The Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute logo
  • Brendan McKeown, MSc, BScPharm, BA

Supervisor:

Dr. Kerry B. Goralski

Program of Study:

PhD, Pharmacology

Project Title:

Jadomycin B Mechanism of Action and Anti-Metastatic Effects in Triple-Negative, Multi-Drug Resistant Breast Cancer

Research Summary:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women. In 2017, there were more than 20,000 new cases of breast cancer in Canada. Certain advanced forms of breast cancer only respond to aggressive drug therapy (chemotherapy). However, chemotherapy will often fail due to the development of multidrug resistance. Multidrug resistance describes cancer cells which do not respond to chemotherapy very well. One way that cells resist chemotherapy is to produce more pumps that remove chemotherapy drugs; this lowers the level of these drugs and makes them less effective at killing cancer cells. New anticancer drugs are needed to overcome this problem. Our lab studies jadomycin B, a natural product made by soil bacteria that may be useful as a new form of chemotherapy because it is not pumped out of cancer cells as easily as other drugs. We are learning how jadomycin B works to kill cancer cells and which drugs work with it to help its cancer killing properties. Knowing how jadomycin B works is important to decide which advanced breast cancers may respond best to this potential new cancer drug.

Scholarships and/or Awards:

  • Cancer Research Training Program (CRTP) Traineeship Award, 2019 and 2021
  • Dalhousie Undergraduate Bursary, 2018, 2017, 2016
  • J. Victor Robichaud Scholarship, 2017, 2016
  • St. Dunstan’s Parish Council CWL Bursary, 2016
  • UPEI Office of Graduate Studies Award of Distinction for Science, 2015
  • NS University Student Bursary, 2014, 2010
  • UPEI Faculty of Graduate Studies Graduate Scholarship, 2014
  • UPEI Science Graduate Studies 2014 Photo Contest – Best Photograph, Human Biology, 2014
  • UPEI Student Research Travel Award, 2014, 2013
  • ASCB Graduate Student Travel Award, 2013
  • UPEI Department of Biology Graduate Student Fellowship, 2013, 2012
  • UPEI Faculty of Science Entrance Graduate Scholarship, 2012
  • Governor Thomas Carleton Scholarship, 2006
  • BMO- NB High School UNB Entrance Scholarship, 2006

Career Aspirations:

Following my studies at Dalhousie it is my intention to continue to pursue a career in cancer research, either in industry or through a post-doctoral research position. My primary interest remains the study of naturally occurring compounds for the treatment of cancer.

Location:

Dalhousie University

Publications:

Goralski, K. B., A. E. Jackson, B. T. McKeown and C. J. Sinal. More than an Adipokine: The Complex Roles of Chemerin Signaling in Cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Manuscript Submitted for Review.
 
McKeown, B., J. Kim, K. Patel, C. Neto and R. Hurta. 2016. American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) Extract Affects Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I and Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Proteins in Human Prostate Cancer Cells in vitro. Horizons in Cancer Research, 62: 161-178.
 
McKeown, B. T. and R. A. R. Hurta. 2015. Magnolol Affects Cellular Proliferation, Polyamine Biosynthesis and Catabolism-linked Protein Expression and Associated Cellular Signaling Pathways in Human Prostate Cancer Cells in vitro. Journal of Functional Foods in Health and Disease, 5(1): 17-33.
-Article featured in February 2015 FFHD newsletter
 
McKeown, B. T. and R. A. R Hurta. 2014. Magnolol Affects Expression of IGF-1 and Associated Binding Proteins in Human Prostate Cancer Cells in Vitro. Anticancer Research, 34(12): 6333-6338.
 
McKeown, B. T., L. McDougall, A. Catalli and R. A. R. Hurta. 2014. Magnolol Causes Alterations in the Cell Cycle in Androgen Insensitive Human Prostate Cancer Cells in vitro by Affecting Expression of Key Cell Cycle Regulatory Proteins. Nutrition and Cancer, 66(7): 1154-1164. 
 
Kim, J., B. McKeown, H. Jahic, K. Patel, A. Catalli, M. Kulka, C. Neto and R. Hurta. 2014. Proantocyanidins From the American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) Induce Cell Cycle Arrest in DU145 Human Prostate Cancer Cells in Vitro by Affecting Expression of Cell Cycle-Associated Proteins. Journal of Functional Foods in Health and Disease, 4(4): 130-146
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