Dr. Einspahr has a broad background in cancer biology and translational research, and in her role as Associate Professor of Medicine the majority of her time is dedicated to laboratory research with a focus in the early detection and prevention of skin cancer through the identification of useful predictive biomarkers. In particular she has focused on the identification of tissue biomarkers that are differentially expressed within the various stages of skin cancer progression and the utility of these biomarkers in risk assessment and as measures of efficacy in clinical trials.
Dr. Einspahr has a proven record of collaboration with investigators participating in cancer prevention research, particularly in the area of skin cancer. She has developed immunohistochemical markers of proliferation and p53 protein expression and has shown that these markers are expressed with increasing frequency in UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis. She has also shown that p53 protein expression can be inhibited by a chemoprevention agent, DFMO, and this reduction correlated with a reduction in the number of the premalignant lesions of SCC, actinic keratosis (AK). She has demonstrated that DFMO inhibits polyamine synthesis in the skin and that both polyamines and p53 expression are reproducible markers.
Most recently, Dr. Einspahr has worked to determine whether findings in mouse models of UV-induced carcinogenesis also apply to human skin exposed to damaging doses of UV. Validation that similar pathways and/or targets are activated in animal and human systems is essential for development of effective chemopreventive strategies.