About the PI
After obtaining his medical degree and board certification in Clinical Immunology from the University of Leipzig, Germany, Siegfried Janz joined the Laboratory of Genetics at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, Maryland. He performed studies on the inflammation-dependent peritoneal plasmacytoma, the first-generation mouse model of human plasma cell neoplasms such as multiple myeloma, plasmacytoma and plasma cell leukemia. His tenure at NCI shaped an enduring fascination with fundamental and translational research into plasma cell malignancies.
In 2007 Janz joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Iowa (UI) Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine as a full research professor to conduct studies on second-generation mouse models of human myeloma dependent on deregulated expression of the cellular oncogene MYC (c-myc). This work took advantage of gene-insertion mice generated in the Janz Lab to mimic different fine structures of the human MYC-activating t(8;14)(q24;q32) translocation. As leader of the cancer genetics program, he was actively engaged in research efforts at the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In 2018 Janz relocated his laboratory to the Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Milwaukee, where he joined the Clinical Cancer Center and its Developmental Therapeutics Program. Janz currently works on an NCI-supported project (2R01CA151354), entitled “Biological validation of candidate myeloma genes,” that seeks to elucidate genetic pathways underlying malignant plasma cell transformation. Additionally, he serves as a subcontractor on a NCI project (1R01CA214246) directed by Dr. Alan Lichtenstein, UCLA, concerned with the mechanism by which the ribonucleoprotein hnRNP A1 regulates the translation of MYC message in myeloma cells.
Fumou Sun, MS
Education: China Pharmaceutical University, PhD Microbial and Biochemical Pharmacy
Research: My MS and PhD training (defense scheduled 06/2019) were in the area of antibody engineering. I generated humanized and genetically engineered bispecific antibodies. Beginning in 2017, I have been developing expertise in multiple myeloma first at the University of Iowa and currently the Medical College of Wisconsin. Currently, I am carrying out studies on osteolytic lesions resembling human myeloma bone disease in transgenic mice. This project utilizes integrated 3D X-ray microscopy and µCT analysis to assess, for the first time, bone loss in plasma cell tumor-bearing mice in an objective, unbiased manner. I am also involved in ongoing studies on the biological validation of candidate myeloma drivers such as forkhead box M1 transcription factor, FOXM1.
Michael Pisano, BS
Education: Truman State University, BS Biology
Research: During my time in undergrad I learned basic RNA sequencing analysis in R language, worked on an epitope mapping project at A. T. Still University, and contributed to assay development as an R&D intern at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Carlsbad, CA. I joined the Janz lab at the University of Iowa as an Immunology graduate student in June 2017 and relocated in Fall 2018 to MCW where I hold a research appointment. My current project concerns genomic analysis of myeloma-like plasma cell tumors in a double-transgenic mouse model of human myeloma. To that end, I rely on next generation DNA and RNA sequencing, and proteomics. Of importance to my PhD dissertation project, I perform immunological studies including analysis of bone marrow infiltrating Th17 cells which have been implicated in myeloma bone disease.
Vivian Zhou, PhD
Education: School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, PhD
Research: I have engaged in medical research relating to signaling pathway, cellular differentiation and proliferation in immunology and cancer research fields since graduate school. After joining Department of Hematology/oncology Medical College of Wisconsin in 2011, my projects were focused on the hematological and immunological research, particularly in graft-versus-host disease after bone marrow transplant. I have demonstrated that a colitogenic memory CD4+ T cell population mediated gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease. I identified a unique CD4+ T cells that expresses the beta2 integrin CD11c, displays a biased central memory phenotype, increased expression of gut-homing molecules a4b7 and CCR9. In May 2021, I joined the Janz lab. I will play a role in lab management and work on the research projects in Multiple Myeloma and blood cancer research.
William G. Schuett, Jr., Multiple Myeloma Research Laboratory