Frank Church, PhD


Research Interests

  • Thrombosis
  • Cancer Biology
  • Gene Transfer / Protein Engineering

Research Synopsis

The research area of this laboratory is concerned with proteases and their inhibitors in human biology and in various disease processes (thrombosis and cancer). We investigate this area using three different approaches. In the first approach, we perform structure to activity studies with Serpins (serine protease inhibitors) and serine proteases. This research is aimed at understanding the molecular mechanism of protein-protein recognition between proteases and inhibitors (and glycosaminoglycans). In the second approach, we are studying the role(s) of proteases in pathological processes by describing the in vivo localization and molecular regulation of proteases and inhibitors in tissues (and tumor cell lines), especially breast and gynecological cancers. Limited proteolysis is important for normal and abnormal processes, and we are dissecting

My research philosophy is to provide a supportive environment for students (undergraduate, medical and graduate) to perform biomedical research, to allow postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to direct the entire scientific process, and to strive for a caring laboratory family. It is my belief that research should be considered an “apprenticeship”, and providing this training is of paramount importance to my career goals. My research is in protein structure-activity relationships, in the molecular basis of disease, and in trying to bridge these two endeavors for development of clinical therapeutics. My overall goal is to be an effective mentor and to provide scholarship and education to everyone in this laboratory.


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  • Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine