Laurie Hudson, PhD
College of Pharmacy,
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Cellular and Molecular Oncology
I am UNM Regents Professor and an NIH-funded investigator with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications to date. I have more than 20 years of experience in cancer biology and toxicology research and with continuous funding over that time. My expertise is in inhibition of DNA repair by toxic metals and we obtained key findings relevant to the mechanistic basis of metal disruption of zinc finger motifs. Certain proteins with zinc finger domains are direct targets for interaction with certain metals including uranium and arsenic. Our finding that zinc is protective against these metal actions at the chemical, cellular and organismal level have led to a zinc intervention trial in the Navajo community as part of the UNM Superfund Center. I work closely with other researchers at UNM who hold interests in the adverse health effects of metals and cancer, including active collaborations with other members of the UNM CCC. My other research area is novel therapeutics for ovarian cancer. A transdisciplinary team within the UNM CCC identified R-ketorolac (one component of the racemic drug ketorolac/Toradol) as a selective Rac1 and Cdc42 inhibitor and conducted preclinical and clinical studies. Cell studies demonstrate that R-ketorolac decreases GTPase activity and signaling, adhesion, cell migration, and invasion at low micromolar concentrations. In vivo R-ketorolac inhibits ovarian tumor cell adhesion to omentum, ovarian tumor growth, and decreases tumor progression in a genetic mouse model of breast cancer. Our team is the first to demonstrate selective Rac1 and Cdc42 inhibition in humans after administration of the racemic drug to ovarian cancer patients; the R-enantiomer was the predominant form of ketorolac in the peritoneal cavity. We are partnering with a company to advance R-ketorolac for FDA approval and clinical application. In addition to my research, I have consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to research education and mentorship. I am currently Director of Mentorship at the UNM College of Pharmacy and have held other administrative roles to support research education at the undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral and faculty levels. I have developed numerous career development workshops and seminars for participants in the IMSD, Bridges, AGEP, Biomedical Sciences graduate program, post-doctoral programs and for junior faculty. I am committed to the support of career development, CV building and assisting trainees and faculty in successful navigation of education and career transitions so they may achieve their research career and professional development goals.