Eileen A Friedman, PhD

Eileen A Friedman, PhD
Appointed 01/26/96
2305 Weiskotten Hall
766 Irving Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13210

315 464-4460

Current Appointments

Hospital Campus

  • Downtown

Research Programs and Affiliations

  • Biomedical Sciences Program
  • Cancer Research Institute
  • Research Pillars

Education & Fellowships

  • Fellowship: Albert Einstein School of Medicine, Bronx, NY, 1978, Cell Biology
  • Fellowship: New York University School of Medicine, 1974, Cell Biology
  • Fellowship: Johns Hopkins University, 1973, Molecular Biology
  • PhD: Johns Hopkins University, 1972, Molecular Biology

Research Interests

  • The role of the kinase Mirk/dyrk1B in solid tumors


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Research Abstract

Our lab cloned Mirk/Dyrk1B, a member of the Minibrain/dyrk family of serine/threonine kinases [1] which is amplified in ovarian cancers, pancreatic cancers,  non-small cell lung cancers, and colon cancers.

Mirk/dyrk1B is an unusual kinase in that its expression and abundance varies during the cell cycle, with the highest levels found in quiescent, noncycling cells in G0, and with 10-fold lower levels in S [2], [3]. Furthermore, Mirk helps to maintain cells in the G0 quiescent state by increasing levels of the CDK inhibitor p27kip by phosphorylation of p27 at a site which blocks its degradation [2]. Mirk also prevents cells from entering G1 by destabilizing the cyclin D family of G1 cyclins, by phosphorylation at a conserved ubiquitination site which leads to rapid turnover  [4].

Mirk is expressed in several cancers and has been shown to mediate the clonogenic growth of pancreatic cancer cells, colon carcinoma cells and rhabdomyosarcoma cells [1], [5],[6]. We recently have shown that  Mirk mediates the survival of quiescent pancreatic cancer cells by inducing expression of a group of antioxidant genes which protect cells against oxidative stress generated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Depletion of Mirk enabled these cells to escape the quiescent G0 state and enter S phase damaged by ROS and thus with reduced viability [7], [8]. Pharmacological inhibition of Mirk kinase will allow some quiescent tumor cells to be killed by their increased levels of ROS and also sensitize noncycling cells to chemotherapeutic drugs by inducing them to enter cycle by increasing their cyclin D levels.


Faculty Profile Shortcut: http://www.upstate.edu/faculty/friedmae
Eric Wohlford

Eric Wohlford

Eric Wohlford received a 2012 travel award from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and spent two months in Kenya working in the lab of Rosemary Rochford, PhD, professor and chair of Upstate’s Department of Microbiology & Immunology. Eric studied the effects of malaria on B cells (producers of antibodies that fight infection) and Epstein-Barr Virus infection in the region. “Tropical medicine is unique, in that small, focused improvements in patient care make dramatic improvements in the well-being of patients,” he said.

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