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Katherine Cook, PhD

katherine Cook

Assistant Professor
Hypertension and Vascular Research Center
Wake Forest University Health Sciences



Ph.D., Molecular Medicine and Translational Science Graduate Program, May 2010
Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

BS in Biochemistry, 2006
State University of New York at Oswego

Mentor:  Ann Tallant, PhD-Surgical Sciences (Hypertension)

Research Interest:

While working in Dr. Tallant’s lab, I am investigating whether Angiotensin-(1-7) can be used as a novel first-in-class therapy for estrogen receptor (ER) positive and human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) amplified breast cancer.  Previous studies have demonstrated that Ang-(1-7) decreases the growth of non-small cell lung adenocarcinoma in vitro and in vivo.  The decrease in tumor growth is associated with a corresponding downregulation in activated MAPK and COX2.  My preliminary studies have shown that subcutaneous infusion of Ang-(1-7) reduces orthotopic HER2 amplified (BT-474) breast cancer and orthotopic ER-positive (ZR-75-1) breast cancer.  In addition, it was shown that the decrease in HER2 amplified breast cancer may be due in part to a decrease in active MAPK activity, decreased COX2, and decreased VEGF.  My research will also focus on the molecular mechanism of Ang-(1-7) mediated growth reduction in HER2 amplified and ER-positive breast cancer with special focus on Ang-(1-7) effect on the protein kinase B (Akt) pathway.

Honors and Awards:

Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Fellowship
NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant, Molecular Medicine Program


Cook KL, Metheny-Barlow LJ, Tallant EA, Gallagher PE. Angiotensin-(1-7) reduces fibrosis in orthotopic breast tumors.Cancer Res. 2010 Nov 1;70(21):8319-28. Epub 2010 Sep 13.


Cook Katherine L., Soto-Pantoja, DR, Gallagher PE and Tallant EA. Angiotensin-(1-7) inhibition of human breast tumors with distinct hormone receptor expression results in a differential regulation of Akt. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 2008.

Soto-Pantoja DR, Menon J, Cook K, Chacko S, Gallagher PE and Tallant EA.  Angiotensin-(1-7) inhibits growth of triple negative breast cancer in a mouse orthotopic model.  To be submitted to Cancer Research December 2008

Cook Katherine L., Patricia E. Gallagher, E. Ann Tallant.  Angiotensin-(1-7) inhibits the growth of orthotopic human breast tumors [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2008 Apr 12-16; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; 2008. Abstract nr LB-232


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