Paige Baugher

Paige Baugher

Associate Professor, Biology

503-352-3165

paige.baugher@pacificu.edu

UC Box: A121

Office: Strain 309

Education

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN.

PhD in Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX.

Bachelor of Music in Music Performance and Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

 

Pre-Medical School Advisor

For questions regarding acceptance into medical school programs contact Paige at

     paige.baugher@pacificu.edu

Cancer Cell Biology
Invasive cancer is the second leading cause of death for people currently living in the United States,

and the third leading cause of death worldwide.  Furthermore, it is predicted that one out of every two men in this country will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, and those statistics are one out

of three for women. Clearly, the current treatments available are failing.  This failure is in part due to the complex nature of the disease and the incomplete understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern both the spread of cancer and the current cancer treatment options.  Therefore, it is essential to pursue a thorough investigation into these mechanisms in order to develop more effective strategies for the treatment of this disease.  My research focuses on the molecular understanding of cancer therapeutics.

The Breast Cancer Project
Phytoestrogens (phyto- meaning plant) are compounds commonly produced by plants that are structurally similar to human estrogens.  There are high concentrations of these compounds in soy, red wine, and ginger, just to name a few.  Interestingly, the nations with the highest consumption of foods rich in phytoestrogens exhibit the lowest incidence of certain types of cancers.  The great mystery is that estrogen produced naturally in the body can act as a tumor promoter, so why are diets rich in phytoestrogens beneficial? 

The answer is that there is an incomplete understanding of how these compounds molecularly affect cancer cells.  The goal of my research is to unlock a bit of that mystery.  My lab is interested in identifying novel phytoestrogens found within plant and fungi species native to the Pacific Northwest.  Currently, we are using a specific breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) to evaluate the “estrogenic” activity of compounds extracted from medicinal plants native to the state of Oregon.  Once identified, these compounds can then be further evaluated for treatment efficacy.  The aim of our project is to understand why, on a molecular level, plant compounds that mimic human estrogens can be beneficial in the context of cancer.

The Bone Cancer Project
Osteosarcoma is a malignant cancer of the bone.  It is the most common type of bone cancer, and the sixth most common type of cancer in children under age 15.   Although treatable, there are currently no effective ways to either prevent or predict this cancer.  The standard treatments for osteosarcoma are surgery or amputation followed by radiation and chemotherapy.  Even though these treatments have been proven effective, they can be devastating -- especially for children.  Fortunately, the development of a novel treatment known as photodynamic therapy (PTD) holds great promise for those patients with inoperable tumors or for whom chemotherapy is not an option. This therapy makes use of a photosensitizing agent, light, and molecular oxygen to destroy targeted malignant tissues. However, the molecular mechanisms of tumor “destruction” induced by PDT are not well understood.

Therefore, it is critical to characterize the molecular targets and pathways that are activated during PDT-induced cancer cell death.  This project aims to understand the molecular consequences of this novel therapy in order to improve quality, decrease side-effects, and increase cancer-free survival years for patients.

Published Works

Baugher PJ and Richmond A. “CXC Chemokines,” Encyclopedia of Cancer, Second Edition, 2009.

Baugher PJ and Richmond A. The carboxyl-terminal PDZ ligand motif of chemokine receptor CXCR2 modulates post-endocytic sorting and cellular chemotaxis. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2008 August; 283(45):30868-78.

Dhawan P, Su Y, Yu Y, Thu YM, Baugher PJ, Kelly M, Ellis D, Cheung T, Ware C, and Richmond A. The Lymphotoxin-beta receptor is an upstream activator of the NIK-NF-kB pathway in melanoma cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2008 May; 283(22):15399-404.

Raman D, Baugher PJ, Thu YM, and Richmond A. Chemokines and Tumor Progression (Review). Cancer Letters. 2007 July 11.

Carlson AL, Hoffmeyer MR, Wall K, Baugher PJ, Richards-Kortum R, and Dharmawardhane, SF. In situ analysis of breast cancer progression in murine models using a macroscopic fluorescence imaging system. Lasers Surg Med. 2006 Dec; 38(10):928-38.

Baugher PJ, Krishnamoorthy L, Price J, and Dharmawardhane SF. Rac1 and Rac3 activation is involved in the invasive and metastatic phenotype of human breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Res, 2005 7:R965-R974.


Recent Conference Presentations

VM Rossi, BM White*, MJ Newton*, SL Jacques, PJ BaugherIn vitro photodynamic therapy of MG-63 osteosarcoma cells mediated by aminolevulinic acid. SPIE Photonics West Annual Conference, Paper Number 7886-29. San Francisco, CA, January 23, 2011.

                         

White B*, Newton M*, Rossi V, and Baugher P.  Aminolevulinic acid-mediated photodynamic therapy for the treatment of human osteosarcoma.  American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, December 11-15, 2010. 

White B*, Newton M*, Rossi V, and Baugher P.  Aminolevulinic acid-mediated photodynamic therapy for the treatment of human osteosarcoma. Murdock College Science Research Conference, McMinnville, OR, November 5-6, 2010. 

Ritenour H*, Liilii R*, Chan J, Cordes D, Halpern S, and Baugher PJ.  Extracts from the shrub             Gaultheria shallon increase proliferation in estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells.  American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., April 16-22, 2010. 

Higa L*, White B*, Loring S*, and Baugher PJ. 5-Aminolevulinic Acid Mediated Photodynamic Therapy Induces Cell Death in Human Osteosarcoma Cells. Murdock College Science Research Conference, Spokane, WA, October 30-31, 2009. 

Ritenour H*, Liilii R*, Chan J, Cordes D, Halpern S, and Baugher PJ. The Identification and        Characterization of Novel Phytoestrogens from Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Murdock College Science Research Conference, Spokane, WA, October 30-31, 2009.

 

Course Information

At Pacific University, all faculty teach a variety of different courses. Typically, we do not use graduate teaching assistants, which means that your classes will be taught by professors and that you will have plenty of opportunites to get to know the faculty in your discipline.

Below I have listed some of the courses that I teach. We are always developing and trying out new classes, so the list may change now and then. You can use the links to the left to read descriptions of the courses listed below.

Biology 224 Human Anatomy

Biology 240 Human Physiology

Biology 304 Research Methods

Biology 360 Cancer Biology

Biology 304 Research Methods

Biology 400 Molecular Biology