Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

James W. Freeman, Ph.D.

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Research in Dr. James Freeman's lab focuses on basic and translational studies related to pathobiology and therapy of pancreatic cancer. Cancer cells undergo cellular plasticity in response to environmental stresses and chemotherapy. Plasticity involves a phenotypic switch with cells undergoing an epithelial to mesenchymal transition an expressing stem cell markers. 

The consequences of this switch are resistant to chemotherapy and more highly invasive cancer cell. Thus one adverse effect of chemotherapy can by the development of a subpopulation of cancer cells that are more aggressive. Our studies focus on understanding the molecular events that regulate this switch and development of strategies to block phenotypic switching as a means of improving therapy.

Selected Publications

Venkatasubbarao K, Peterson L, Zhao S, Hill P, Cao L, Zhou Q, Nawrocki ST, Freeman JW. Inhibiting signaltransducer and activator of transcription-3 increases response to gemcitabineand delays progression of pancreatic cancer. Mol Cancer. 2013 Sep 11;12(1):104.

Gong J, Xie J, Bedolla R, Rivas P, Chakravarthy D, Freeman JW, Reddick R, Kopetz S, Peterson A, Wang H, Fischer SM, Kumar AP. Combined Targeting ofSTAT3/NF-κB/COX-2/EP4 for Effective Management of Pancreatic Cancer.Cancer Res. 2014 Mar 1;20(5):1259-73.

Zhao S, Cao L, Freeman JW. Knockdown of RON receptorkinase delays but does not prevent tumor progression while enhancing HGF/METsignaling in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Oncogenesis. 2013 Oct 7;2:e76.

Carew JS, Espitia CM, Zhao W, Kelly KR, Coffey M, Freeman JW, Nawrocki ST. Reolysinis a novel reovirus-based agent that induces endoplasmic reticularstress-mediated apoptosis in pancreatic cancer. Cell Death Dis. 2013 Jul 18;4:e728.

Bera A, Zhao S, Cao L, Chiao PJ, Freeman, JW. OncogenicK-Ras and loss of Smad4 mediate invasion by activating an EGFR/NF-κB Axis thatinduces expression of MMP9 and uPA in human pancreas progenitor cells. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 5;8(12):e82282.

Medicine/Hematology & Medicine Oncology


Ph.D., Experimental Pathology, University of Kentucky, 1983

M.S., Microbiology, Eastern Kentucky University, 1976

B.S., Biology/Chemistry, Eastern Kentucky University, 1972



Phone: (210) 567-5298

Research Profile
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