Dr. Robyn Falcone
Dual Bachelors' degrees in Microbiology and Chemistry, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
Master of Science, Medical Science; Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, USF College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida
Doctor of Philosophy degree in Medical Sciences, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida
My graduate work was in a molecular biology laboratory located in Moffitt Cancer Center under the mentoring of Dr. Richard Jove, a noted researcher in in the src oncogene and its role in cancer. My research in cell signaling and specific DNA-binding proteins (STATs) led to a discovery that the STAT proteins are upregulated in many forms of inflammation and cancer. These STAT proteins bind to DNA and regulate certain genes that prevent cell death (apoptosis) and ultimately allow cancer cells to survive.
My research was instrumental in securing a 5-year, $5-million NIH grant for Moffitt Cancer Center. This discovery paved the way for the Moffitt Cancer Center Drug Discovery program to continue the development of drugs that can block STAT proteins and allow cancer cells to die, and may prolong the life and improve the quality of lives of cancer patients. It was an exciting time of being able to publish a seminal paper that is still being referenced today in the molecular biology research field of cell signaling.
After my post-doctoral fellowship, I began compiling current research and developed a curriculum used for instruction in the healthcare field. I have a variety of teaching experiences over the years ranging from elementary school grades through college.
I find science fascinating, especially the biological sciences and human biological systems. My focus as a professor is to impart the same enthusiasm I have for science to my students so that they may progress in college to make scienctific advances in our community and beyond. Whether in a healthcare field, as a researcher, or future instructor, I hope to ignite the interest in my students for science.