Professional Profile

Jean J. Latimer, B.A., Ph.D.

Photo Director, AutoNation Institute for Breast & Solid Tumor Cancer Research
Associate Professor
Dept: Pharmaceutical Sciences
Phone: 954-262-1529
Campus: Fort Lauderdale

My laboratory has developed a number of important in vitro models related to the human breast and breast cancer. My background in developmental biology and murine embryonic stem cells has allowed my laboratory to establish a tissue engineering system that involves multiple autologous cell types from the non-diseased breast. We have established 48/48 reduction mammoplasty extended explants,12 of which are from African American patients. This system culminates in an organotypic breast epithelial/myoepithelial ductal system in vitro, after one month, over a field of stromal fibroblasts. We utilize a rich serum-containing medium based upon embryonic stem cell culture called MWRI. Tumors can also be placed into the same system although we perform this without any stromal contamination. Tumors do not form normal ductal architecture in this system but we have a successfully created over 55 human breast tumor cell explants (<13 passage) and cell lines (>13 passages) from tumors of stages 0-IV at an 85% success rate. Thirteen triple negative tumors have been successfully cultured as explants from European white and African American patients. We published a landmark paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science involving 19 stage I tumors as primary explants and loss of functional DNA repair. Both types of cultures (non diseased and malignant) contain stem cell populations shown in a paper published in Stem Cells. Our goal is to use these tumor cultures for drug development and discovery. Our goal for the non-diseased breast cultures is to use them as a model system for environmental chemical assessment.

Dr. Latimer's NSU National Library of Medicine Citations
Dr. Latimer's Lab on ResearchGate
Research Interests:
Loss of Nucleotide Excision Repair in Breast Cancer Etiology Cancer Prevention: Testing of xeno-estrogens and mutagens from consumer products with human breast organotypic model system Epigenetic acquisition of high Nucleotide excision repair in advanced stage breast cancers and in breast cancer stem cells
Research Interests keywords:
womens' health, breast cancer, DNA repair, environmental causes of human cancer, autism, microRNA drug discovery for advanced stage cancer
Dr. Latimer's laboratory is engaged in tissue engineering of human breast tissue and breast tumors. There is a theory gaining acceptance in the medical literature, that stem cells within a tumor are the true source of metastasis in cancer. We have projects available that involve the testing of drugs for their efficacy against breast cancer and more specifically, against breast cancer stem cells, using these novel cultures. In addition, the impact of these drugs on the ability of the cells to perform DNA repair can also be studied. Techniques: analysis of expression microarray data, DNA repair assays, tissue culture (if time permits), flow cytometry of stem cells, RNA sequencing, isolation of RNA and DNA from cultured cells, bioinformatic analysis of next generation sequencing data, and statistical analyses. A second study involves the loss of Nucleotide Excision (DNA) Repair as a causative factor in breast cancer. Some of this work was recently published in PNAS. The clinical implications of this work are that early stage breast cancer has defective NER (DNA repair) which renders it more vulnerable to genotoxic chemotherapy agents than later stage breast cancer. Since most laboratory studies involve stage IV (end stage) breast tumors that have been in culture for decades, it was our ability to culture stage I breast tumors that has made this project possible. At the current time the most commonly diagnosed type of breast cancer in the US is stage I so the focus of drug development should shift to stage I disease.
Contact information: Dr. Jean J. Latimer
Office telephone: 954-262-8679
Date Posted: 12/13/2019

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