Welcome to the Eck Lab!
We use biochemical and biophysical methods (including X-ray crystallography and cryo electron microscopy) to distill problems of central importance in cancer biology to their structural and mechanistic essentials. We are especially interested in the structure and regulation of kinases and their mutational activation in cancer, and in using structural approaches to facilitate development of anti-cancer drugs. The lab is located at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and we are part of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School.
Current Research Interests
We have a long-standing focus on EGFR mutations in lung and other cancers, and have discovered mechanisms by which somatic mutations in the EGFR kinase domain lead to catalytic activation and also sensitize to EGFR-directed inhibitors. Additionally, we have dissected the mechanism of resistance of the EGFR T790M mutant and developed novel mutant-selective inhibitors that overcome this resistance. More recently, we have initiated an effort to elucidate the structural basis of BRAF autoinhibition. Though widely studied, the mechanistic details of BRAF autoinhibition and activation are poorly understood. An additional interest in this area is the KIAA1549:BRAF fusion found in pediatric glioblastomas. We hope to exploit our evolving structural/biochemical dissection of this fusion oncogene to develop novel therapeutics.