Patricia M. Scott Ph.D.

University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth

Although it is well known that mutations in CFTR cause cystic fibrosis, it less well appreciated that CFTR is also a tumor suppressor in colorectal cancer. Research in Patricia Scott's lab has contributed to identification of CFTR, and the functionally related gene KCNQ1, as tumor suppressors. Her work continues to focus on these two novel tumor suppressors. Initially, CFTR and KCNQ1 were identified as candidate colorectal cancer-causing genes in a Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated mutagenesis screen. Dr. Scott contributed to this phase of the work by carrying out functional characterization of a panel of candidate driver genes. Follow-up studies definitively identified CFTR and KCNQ1 as tumor suppressor genes in both mouse models and human colorectal cancer. In these studies, Dr. Scott directed 3D intestinal organoid studies that provided preliminary evidence of a role for CFTR and KCNQ1 in the stem cell compartment. Dr. Scott is a senior author a recent publication in Oncogene reporting this work. Current work is focused on how loss of CFTR and KCNQ1 disrupts homeostasis of the intestinal epithelial stem cell compartment thus contributing to the development of colorectal cancer. Dr. Scott is a PI on an NIH R15 award to fund this work. Patricia Scott received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1987 and completed her post-doctoral studies in 2003. She is now an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth.