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Saturday, November 26, 2022

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Research Horizons: The Quest to Cure Cancer

Chemistry professor Christal Sohl studies how rogue enzymes lead to tumors.
By Kellie Woodhouse with video by Scott Hargrove

SDSU's Research Horizons series highlights early career faculty and their burgeoning research projects.

How does a tumor escape the normal checks and balances that keep cells healthy and cancer-free?

This question has fueled Christal Sohl’s life work. 

The San Diego State University chemistry professor studies how enzymes, the protein workhorses of human cells, go rogue in ways that lead to cancer. Unlocking the relationship between enzymes and cancer could help researchers develop new treatments for patients. 

“Once we know, at the molecular level, how the activity of the enzyme changes to support tumor growth, we can ultimately design personalized medicine that targets rogue enzymes in our quest to cure cancer,” Sohl explained. 

Sohl receives funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Cancer Society. She came to SDSU in 2015 from Yale University, where she served a postdoctoral fellow.