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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences

Graduate Student Directory

Daniel T. Hughes

Degree Program: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Room: PSC 622
Major Professor: Marj Peña

The focus of my research is to identify and understand the molecular mechanisms in the early stages of colorectal cancer metastasis. In our orthotopic mouse model, we have observed many genes to be upregulated in the liver prior to the arrival of tumor cells. Lipocalin 2, an iron trafficking protein, is highly upregulated in the pre-metastatic liver and is the most highly upregulated gene in a metastasis bearing liver. 

This work is clinically relevant because colorectal cancer kills approximately 50,000 people in the United States annually, most of whom die from metastasis. Even with great research effort directed at understanding metastasis, it remains a complex multi-stage process that must be better understood to increase the extremely low survival rates for patients with metastatic cancer. 



2011 B.S. Biology. North Greenville University. Tigerville, SC. 

2007 Woodberry Forest School. Woodberry Forest, VA. 



Graduate School Travel Grant. USC. 2014

SPARC Graduate Research Fellowship. USC. 2013



Associate Member, American Association for Cancer Research, January 2013 to present

Graduate Association for Biological Sciences, Fall 2012 to present

Preparing Future Faculty, Spring 2014 to present


Teaching Appointments:

Comparative Anatomy, Dept. of Biological Sciences. USC, Spring 2014, Spring 2017.

Biology 101, Dept. of Biological Sciences, USC, Fall 2013

Anatomy and Physiology I, Dept. of Exercise Science, USC, Fall 2011-Spring 2012