Student Information Training Programs Research Centers

Pharmacology & Toxicology

Research and Graduate Training Faculty


Wright, Casey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pharm./Tox.
BME 3.510C

Research Interests

Play Video My laboratory is focused on unraveling the complex regulatory mechanisms that govern the activity of the pleiotropic transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), with the long-term goal of identifying pharmacological intervention points along the NF-κB signaling module. Because of the numerous genes that NF-κB transactivates, particularly those that encode pro-inflammatory, pro-survival and pro-cell cycle proteins, the link between deregulated NF-κB activity and disease has become increasingly evident. For instance, the sustained activation of NF-κB can lead to increased expression of numerous pro-inflammatory cytokines and ultimately to chronic inflammation, which promotes the development and progression of cancer. In addition to the promotion of tumorigenesis, deregulation of NF-κB contributes to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. NF-κB is composed of five different subunits, c-Rel, RelA (p65), RelB, p50/p105 (NF-κB1) and p52/p100 (NF-κB2), that homo- or heterodimerize to form functional transactivating complexes.

We have uncovered a mechanism of tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR)-dependent NF-κB activation that is regulated by the aryl hydrocarbon nuclear translocator (ARNT; also known as hypoxia-inducible factor 1-beta). ARNT is a transcription factor that is integral in the regulation of xenobiotic and hypoxic responses but had not been previously shown as a component of NF-κB signaling. Our current focus is whether NF-κB regulation via ARNT is augmented in lymphoid malignancies, many of which express a certain isoform of ARNT that can be inactivated via phosphorylation.

Other interests in the laboratory include investigations of the NF-κB p52/p100 subunit as a suppressor of cell-cycle inhibitory genes and characterizing novel TNFR-interacting proteins that function at the level of the plasma membrane to activate NF-κB.

More information about Dr. Wright
> Wright CV (PDF)
> Wright Publications

Last Reviewed: August 28, 2013

Division Information

Mailing Address:
Pharmacology & Toxicology
College of Pharmacy
The University of Texas
at Austin
107 W. Dean Keeton
Stop C0875
Austin, TX, USA

Email Address: pharmtox

Phone: 512-471-5158

Parkinson Gene Link May Aid Battle Against Disease

Dr. Som Mukhopad-
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> Read more about Dr. Mukhopadhyay's research.

Erickson Authors New Book

"Drugs, the Brain and Behavior" is co-authored by Dr. Carlton Erickson, the college's associate dean for research and graduate studies, and Dr. John Brick, executive director of Intoxikon International.

> Read more about Dr. Erickson's new book.

Gore receives SEBM award

Andrea Gore is named to the SEBM Distinguished Scientist Award.

> Read more about Dr. Gore's new award.

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