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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Hematology/Oncology

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photo John C. Schmitz, PhD

Co-Director, Cancer Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics Facility

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Email: schmitzjc@upmc.edu

Phone: 412-864-7743

Contact
Office: 5117 Centre Avenue
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center G.27
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
 
Phone: 412-864-7743
Fax:
E-mail: schmitzjc@upmc.edu
Administrative Assistant:
Darren Gilmartin
Address: 5117 Centre Avenue
Hillman Cancer Center, Suite G.2
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Email: gilmartina@upmc.edu
Phone: 412-623-1213
Education and Training
Education
BS, Biochemistry, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 1988
PhD, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston SC, 1996
Training
Postdoctoral Training, Yale University, New Haven, CT, 2000
Research Interest
Dr. Schmitz’s laboratory research focuses on development of novel chemotherapeutic targets and agents for the treatment of human colorectal cancer (CRC). Research interests include: (1) pharmacodynamic biomarkers of DNA damage response. Our lab demonstrated that local targeted radiotherapy can induce a DNA damage response in patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells as observed by induction of phosphorylation of ATM; (2) therapeutic inhibition of protein kinase D in CRC. We have identified PKD2 as the key isoform responsible for CRC proliferation and demonstrated that PKD2 inhibition (small molecules; siRNA nanoparticles) resulted in tumor growth suppression in in vivo animal models; and (3) identification and validation of traditional Chinese herbal medicines and/or natural compounds with anticancer activity by themselves and in combination with current therapies. Our lab has shown that an analog of the natural product C1 disorazole effectively inhibited cell proliferation in CRC cells overexpressing ABCB1 protein, a known mediator of resistance to tubulin inhibitors. In addition to small molecule compounds, we demonstrated that clove extract has significant antitumor activity against CRC in both in vitro and in vivo model systems. We identified oleanolic acid as the active anti-proliferative compound in clove extract. Current research interests have focused on identifying herbal medicines that enhance the antitumor activity of standard CRC therapies.
Publications
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Wu SY, Chen TM, Gmeiner WH, Chu E, Schmitz JC. Development of modified siRNA molecules incorporating 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine resideues to enhance cytotoxicity. Nucleic Acids Research. 2013; 41(8): 4650-9.