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D. Wade Clapp
Richard L. Schreiner Professor
Dr. Clapp's laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of two genetic diseases that result in both hematopoietic malignancies as well as solid tumors. One major area of interest is understanding the pathogenesis of neurofibromas, a complex tumor that is prevalent in neurofibromatosis type 1, the most common genetic disease in man with a predisposition to cancer. Neurofibromatosis type 1 is caused by mutations of the NF1 tumor suppressor gene whose protein product functions at least in part as a GTPase activating protein for p21ras.
Dr. Clapp's laboratory is currently interested in understanding the molecular and cellular targets in the microenvironment of neurofibromas that promote tumor progression. Together with his collaborators at IU and UT Southwestern (David Ingram, Feng-Chun Yang, Kent Robertson and Luis Parada), one phase 2 trial is currently in progress and others are currently being planned. Dr. Clapp's lab also has an interest in developing strategies to treat Fanconi Anemia, a genetic disorder with a high predisposition to bone marrow failure, myelodysplasia, and solid tumors. Current studies focus on developing gene transfer and transplantation methodologies to correct autologous stem cells. Other genetic studies underway are designed to understand the mechanisms underlying the clonal evolution to leukemia that occurs frequently in Fanconi Anemia patients.