Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Megan Keniry

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Gilkerson

Third Advisor

Dr. Matthew Terry


The JAK2/STAT3 and PI3K/mTOR pathways are upregulated in cancer cells. STAT3 promotes a positive feedback loop for the stem program whereas PI3K inhibits FOXOs tumor suppressor role and mTOR promotes tumorigenic advancement. Particularly GBM and BBC are aggressive cancers that have a stem cell population that makes them difficult to treat and metastatic. We investigate the effects of a combination therapy that inhibits JAK2/STAT3 and PI3K/mTOR output aiming to lower stem cell expression and promote apoptosis. Our collected data indicates that the dual inhibition induced apoptosis, but it also increased the stem cell signature. The findings pave way for the future isolation of the remaining stem cells to investigate their intricacies and identify how to target them effectively.


Copyright 2019 Neftalí Vázquez. All Rights Reserved.

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