In the Bergsagel lab we are interested in the molecular pathogenesis of multiple myeloma, a cancer of bone marrow plasma cells. We believe that the disease is best understood by comparing the biology of malignant plasma cells to normal plasma cell differentiation. The normal sequence of developmental genetic rearrangements that characterize normal plasma cells contribute to the genetic complexity of myeloma. To a large extent the important biologic factors that govern normal plasma cells also govern the malignant plasma cells in myeloma. We identify genetic mutations in patients with multiple myeloma, and seek to understand their biologic significance using in vitro cell line models, and in vivo in genetically engineered murine models.
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