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Kelly Gregory

Adjunct Research Assistant Professor

Research area includes breast cancer treatment.

Current Research
Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women and represents the second leading cause of cancer death among women. It is essential to better understand the mechanistic actions by which breast cancer occurs in order to develop new treatments. Therefore, my research is aimed at further elucidating the molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer. For example, aberrant activation of the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway contributes to the genesis of breast cancer.
I am interested in the secreted frizzled-related proteins (SFRPs) because they are a family of proteins that antagonize Wnt signaling and loss of SFRP expression is found in a multitude of cancers, including breast cancer. Our lab is investigating whether low SFRP levels might lead to breast cancer development in both humans and mice. I am currently utilizing a SFRP1 knockout mouse model to determine whether SFRP loss renders the mammary gland more susceptible to breast cancer development.
Additionally, we are manipulating the expression levels of SFRP in both immortal (non-malignant) mammary epithelial cell lines as well as breast cancer cell lines to determine the mechanisms by which SFRPs influence the various pathways that lead to tumorigenesis since both Wnt dependent and independent pathways are involved. For example, the SFRPs exhibit an apoptotic function in several different tissues and the anti-apoptotic effect of lost SFRP expression has been implicated in carcinogenesis. Therefore, my research also focuses on has SFRPs regulate the pathways that lead to cell death how they might be targeted for breast cancer treatment purposes.

Learn more at www.bio.umass.edu/biology/about/directories/faculty/kelly-j-gauger

Academic Background

  • BS University of Miami, FL, 2000
  • PhD University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2006
Gregory KJ, Morin SM, Kubosiak A, Ser-Dolanski J, Schalet BJ, Jerry DJ, Schneider SS. (2020) The Use of Patient-Derived Breast Tissue Explants to Study Macrophage Polarization and the Effects of Environmental Chemical Exposure. Immunology & Cell Biology. July 29, 1-14
Muse M, Titus AJ, Salas LA, Wilkins OM, Mullen C, Gregory KJ, Schneider SS, Crisi GM, Jawale RM, Otis CN, Christensen BC, Arcaro KF (2020). Enrichment of CpG island shore region hypermethylation in epigenetic breast field cancerization. Epigenetics. April 7; 15 (10) 1093-1106
Gregory KJ, Roberts AL, Conlon EM, Mayfield JA, Hagen MJ, Crisi GM, Bentley BA, Kane JJ, Makari-Judson G, Mason HS, Yu J, Zhu LJ, Simin K, Johnson JPS, Khan A, Schneider BR, Schneider SS, Jerry DJ. (2019) Gene expression signature of atypical breast hyperplasia and regulation by SFRP1. Breast Cancer Research. June 27; 21(1):7
Gregory KJ, Morin SM, Bentley B, Elsayad M, Crisi GM, Schneider SS (2018). The relationship between the calcium-sensing receptor and secreted frizzled related protein in the breast. J Molecular Oncology Research. 2 (2): 27-35
Gregory KJ, Morin SM, Schneider SS (2017) Regulation of Early Growth Response 2 expression by Secreted Frizzled Related Protein 1. BMC Cancer. July 7; 17(1):473
Roubert A, Gregory KJ, Li Y, Pfalzer AC, Li J, Schneider SS, Wood RJ, Liu Z (2017) The influence of tumor necrosis factor-? on the tumorigenic Wnt-signaling pathway in human mammary tissue from obese women. Oncotarget. May 30; 8 (22):36127-36136
Contact Info

Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute
Baystate Health, Inc.
3601 Main Street
Springfield MA, 01199

(413) 210-3774; Fax (413) 794-0857