Research Description. Research in the Marker laboratory is focused on understanding the biology of the prostate gland at the molecular level. Interest in understanding the biology of the prostate is driven both by the fascinating nature of the developmental processes that function during organogenesis of the prostate and by the high incidence in humans of prostatic diseases including prostatic adenocarcinoma and benign prostatic hyperplasia. The Marker lab is particularly interested in the role of intercellular communication between epithelial and mesenchymal/stromal cells during the progression of prostate cancer. Current projects in this area include a series of studies to investigate PDE4D and cAMP signaling in prostate cancer. This project is based on a genetic screen for novel prostate cancer genes. The functional evaluation of candidate genes identified in this screen includes molecular, genetic, and pharmacologic studies using animal prostate cancer models and human patient tissue samples. The goal of these studies is to determine the roles of the candidate genes in prostate cancer initiation and/or progression and to identify new therapeutic targets for prostate cancer. Dr. Marker is a member of the Cancer Genetics group at the UWCCCC. As part of the training environment, members of the Marker laboratory participate in two multi-lab group meetings. Other trainers whose research groups participate in one or both of these meetings include Beebe, Jarrard, McNeel, and Ricke. The Marker laboratory also has direct research collaborations with the Beebe and Ricke groups that have included co-publications (with the Beebe group 1 publication; and with the Ricke group (6 publications). The Marker and Ricke group also have a grant together (U54DK104310, Ricke PI, Marker co-investogator/project PI).