Lab interests: Understanding the dynamics of normal tissue within and near the tumor microenvironment to improve cancer therapies

There are many, many subprojects from the themes below that can be individually tailored for postdoctoral fellows, graduate student, rotating students and summer students.  We are always looking for talented and motivated individuals who want to help us improve outcomes for patients with pancreatic cancer.

1.  Exploring the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cytoprotection and regeneration regulated by the EGLN family of prolyl hydroxylases in normal tissues, using genetically engineered mouse models and patient-derived enteroids.

The inhibition of the EGLN proteins promote regeneration after potential grave physiological insults, such as lethal radiation, strokes, cardiovascular ischemia and wounds.  We are interested in understanding and exploiting how this EGLN/HIF pathway promotes tissue regeneration and use it to improve outcomes for our patients.

  • Preprint: Fujimoto,T.N.; Colbert, L.E.; Molkentine, J.M.; Baseler, L; Deorukhkar A, Kingsley, C.V.; Tailor, R.C.; Sawakuchi, G.O.; Taniguchi, C.M. BioRxiv 195610 [Preprint]. Available from:
  • Taniguchi CM, Diep, AN, Miao YR, Wu C, Rankin EB, Atwood TA, Xing L, Giaccia AJ. Prolyl Hydroxylase Inhibition Mitigates and Protects Against Radiation-Induced Gastrointestinal Toxicity Through a HIF2-Dependent Mechanism” Science Translation Medicine, 2014 May 12; 6(236):236ra64 (Received Cover).

2.  Exploiting altered metabolism and mitochondrial function as an Achilles Heel of pancreatic cancer

  • Preprint: Yu, M; Huang, Y; Deorukhkar, A; Fujimoto, TN; Govindaraju, S; Molkentine, JM; Lin, D; Kang, Y; Koay, EJ; Fleming, JB; Gupta, S; Maitra A; Taniguchi, CM. BioRxiv 279745 [Preprint]. Available from:
  • Taniguchi CM, Finger EC, Krieg, AJ, Wu, C, Diep AN, LaGory EL, Wei K, McGinnis LC, Yuan J, Kuo CJ, Giaccia AJ.   “Cross-talk between Hypoxia and Insulin Signaling via PHD3 Regulates Hepatic Glucose and Lipid Metabolism and Ameliorates Diabetes.” Nature Medicine, 2013 19(10): 1325-1330.
  • Wei K*, Piecewicz S*, McGinnis LM*, Taniguchi CM, Wiegand S, Chan CW, Mulligan KX, Kuo D, Yuan J, Mortin L, Lefai E, Simon MC, Maher JJ, McGuinness OP, Thurston G, Giaccia AJ, Kuo CJ. A Liver HIF-2 alpha/IRS2 pathway sensitizes insulin signaling and is modulated by VEGF inhibition. Nature Medicine, 2013 19(10): 1331-1337.

Both articles were featured in Science Signaling and Selected by F1000

3.  Defining the complexity and function of the tumor microenvironment of pancreatic cancer using genetically engineered mouse models and patient samples from clinical trials using advanced biochemical and sequencing techniques. A subtopic in this interest is how hypoxia alters the dynamics of the microenvironment in response to cancer therapy.

  • Preprint: Bernard, VB; Semaan, A; Huang, J; San Lucas, FA; Mulu, FC; Stephens, BM; Guerrero, PA; Huang, Y; Zhao, J; Kamyabi, N; Sen, S; Scheet PA; Taniguchi, CM; Kim, MP; Tzeng, CW; Katz MH; Singhi, AD; Maitra, A; Alvarez, HA. BioRxiv 306134 [Preprint]. Available from:
  • Published Review: Huang Y., Lin,D. & Taniguchi, C.M. Sci. China Life Sci. (2017). Hypoxia in the Tumor Microenvironment: Friend or Foe? Published online first: October 13, 2017.

4.  Modeling and optimizing stereotactic radiotherapy in preclinical models with both radiomodulators and ion therapy, including protons and carbon ions

  • Preprint: Molkentine, JM; Fujimoto, TN; Horvath, T; Grossberg, AJ; Deorukhkar, A; Samuel, ELG; Chan, WK; Lorenzi, PL; Dantzer, R; Tour, JM; Mason, KA; Taniguchi, CM. BioRxiv 289074 [Preprint]. Available from:
  • Preprint: Colbert, LE; Rebueno, N; Moningi, S; Beddar, S; Sawakuchi GO; Herman JH; Koong AC; Das, P; Holliday EB; Koay EJ; Taniguchi, CM. BioRxiv 324129 [Preprint]. Available from: