Dr. Shibata obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Virginia in 2005. For her PhD in Genetics, she worked with Dr. Maria Garcia-Garcia at Cornell University and studied mid-gestation mouse embryos with ENU (N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea) induced mutations to identify functions of novel genes important for the morphogenesis of mouse embryos. Her work revealed tissue-specific requirements for a Kruppel-associated box (KRAB) zinc finger protein, ZFP568, and its binding partner TRIM28 in the development of extraembryonic tissues.
Her interest in applying knowledge from developmental biology to cancer research led her to Dr. Michael Shen’s lab at Columbia University Medical Center in 2011. In her postdoctoral research, she contributed to the establishment of an organoid culture system for studying prostate progenitor and luminal stem cells, and studied the role of Wnt signaling in mediating androgen receptor signaling to progenitor cells during prostate organogenesis.
Hormone therapy (androgen deprivation) is the main treatment for advanced prostate cancer. However, many prostate cancers that initially respond to androgen deprivation therapies ultimately become castration-resistant, leading to recurrence. In our lab, we study mechanisms for castration resistance in prostate cancer from the perspective of developmental and stem cell biology.
We use genetically engineered mouse models, explant cultures, and 3D organoid culture systems. Our long-term goal is to apply our findings to developing new biomarkers and identify novel approaches for prostate cancer treatment.