Vincent E. Sollars, Ph.D.

Vincent Sollars, Ph.D.Associate Professor
Department: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research Clusters: Cancer Biology; Infectious and Immunological Diseases
Office: BBSC 336-N | Laboratories: BBSC 313 and 323
Phone: (304) 696-7357 | Fax: (304) 696-7207


Research Interests

My research is focused on the investigation of the role of epigenetics in hematopoietic cell fate decisions as they pertain to myeloid leukemias. In these investigations, I use the mouse model system to examine stem and progenitors cells in bone marrow. We employ a variety of techniques including mammalian cell culture, flow cytometry, colony forming cell assays, and traditional molecular biology. In keeping with the goal of my scientific career of providing research that increases our understanding of oncogenesis, my research focuses on the study of the epigenetic factors associated with oncogenesis using the mouse as a model system. In this aim, I am employing approaches that exploit the strengths of the mouse, while drawing upon my expertise in the Drosophila model system to pursue collaborations that will be complementary to my research.

The goals of my research are:

  1. to identify factors responsible for epigenetics “marks” (including DNA methylation and histone modification) that are important to oncogenesis to produce diagnostic tools.
  2. to identify diagnostic and prognostic tools for myeloid leukemias in an individualized medicine approach by using genetic polymorphisms.
  3. to elucidate the effects of omega 3 fatty acids on hematopoiesis and the epigenetic mechanisms involved.

I will proceed based upon the hypothesis that epigenetic regulation of key factors involved in oncogenesis can precede actual genetic changes, temporarily altering the phenotype of a particular cell or group of cells in a way that make them more susceptible to genetic alteration or mimicking a genetic alteration with an epigenetic change (Fig. 1). Thus, epigenetic alterations can facilitate the multi-step progression of cancer by providing a mimic of an oncogenic mutation preceding the genetic changes that allow the malignant phenotype to become more stable. This idea is an extrapolation of Waddington’s canalization model and a model for evolution involving chromatin remodeling others and myself proposed earlier this year, which has also been postulated in a similar form applied to oncogenesis by Andrew Feinberg. According to Waddington, “By such a series of steps, then, it is possible that an adaptive response can be fixed without waiting for the occurrence of a mutation which, in the original genetic background, mimics the response well enough to enjoy a selective advantage.”

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

Vincent E. Sollars (2012).  Epigenetics as a Mechanism for Dietary Fatty Acids to Affect Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells and Leukemia – Royal Jelly for the Blood.  Nutrition and Cancer, from Epidemiology to Biology. Eds: Pier Paolo Claudio and Richard M. Niles. Brussels, Belgium, Bentham Science Publishers.  pp. 65-76.

Xiangyi Lu, Luan Wang, Vincent E. Sollars, Mark Garfinkel, and Douglas M. Ruden (2012). Hsp90 as a Capacitor of Both Genetic and Epigenetic Changes in the Genome During Cancer Progression and Evolution.  Stress-Induced Mutagenesis.

Editorial Works

Aaron W. Schrey, Christina L. Richards, Victoria Meller, Vincent Sollars, and Douglas M. Ruden (2012).  The Role of Epigenetics in Evolution: The Extended Synthesis, Genetics Research International.  Eds: Aaron W. Schrey, Christina L. Richards, Victoria Meller, Vincent Sollars, and Douglas M. Ruden.  Hidawi Publishing Corporation, New York, NY.

Original Artwork

Cover-art on issue 4 in volume 4 of Microbiology (2007).  Vincent E. Sollars and Hongwei Yu.

Cover-art on issue 8 in volume 17 of Mammalian Genome (2006).  Vincent E. Sollars

Primary Research Articles

Domain requirements for the diverse immune regulatory functions of foxp3 (2011).  Wei-ping Zeng, Vincent E. Sollars, and Andrea Del Pilar Belalcazar. Molecular Immunology 48, 1932-1939. PMID: 21737139.

YB-1 expression and function in early hematopoiesis (2011). Jasjeet Bhullar and Vincent E. Sollars.  Immunogenetics 63, 337-350. PMID:21369783.

A high omega-3 fatty acid diet has different effects on early and late stage myeloid progenitors (2011). Melinda E. Varney, James T. Buchanan, Yulia Dementieva, W. Elaine Hardman and Vincent E. Sollars.  Lipids 46(1), 47-57. PMID: 21038084.

17-N-Allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin induces a diverse response in human acute myelogenous cells (2010). Jennifer Napper and Vincent E. Sollars.  Leukemia Research 34(11), 1493-1500. PMID: 20646760.

Silencing and Re-expression of Retinoic Acid Receptor Beta2 in Human Melanoma (2010).  Jun Fan, Linda Eastham, Mindy Varney, Adam Hall, Nicolas L. Adkins, Vincent E. Sollars, Phillipe Georgel, Richard M. Niles.  Pigment Cell Melanoma Research 23 (3), 419-429. PMID: 20374520.

Rapid selection and proliferation of CD133(+) cells from cancer cell lines: chemotherapeutic implications (2010).  Sarah E. Kelly, Altomare Di Benedetto, Adelaide Greco, Candace M. Howard, Vincent E. Sollars, Donald A. Primerano, Jagan V. Valluri, Pier Paolo Claudio.  PLoS One 5(4): e10035. PMID: 20386701.

Omega 3 fatty acids reduce myeloid progenitor cell frequency in the bone marrow of mice and promote progenitor cell differentiation (2009). Melinda E. Varney, W. Elaine Hardman, and Vincent E. Sollars. Lipids in Health and Disease 8(9). PMID: 19296839.

Defect in early lung defense against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in DBA/2 mice is associated with acute inflammatory lung injury and reduced bactericidal activity in naïve macrophages (2007).  Kari R. Wilson, Jennifer M. Napper, James Denvir, Vincent E. Sollars, and Hongwei D. Yu.  Microbiology 153(4), pp. 968-979. PMID: 17379707.

Analysis of expansion of myeloid progenitors in mice to identify leukemic susceptibility genes. (2006). Vincent E. Sollars, Edward Pequignot, Jay L. Rothstein, and Arthur M. Buchberg.  Mammalian Genome 17(8), 808-821. PMID: 16897342.

Diversity in secreted PLA2-IIA activity among inbred mouse strains that are resistant or susceptible to ApcMin/+ tumorigenesis (2005). Marina Markova, Revati A. Koratkar, Karen A. Silverman, Vincent E. Sollars, Melina MacPhee-Pellini, Rhonda Walters, Juan P. Palazzo, Arthur M. Buchberg, Linda D. Siracusa and Steven A. Farber.  Oncogene 24, 6450-6458. PMID: 16007193.

The Epigenomic Viewpoint on Cellular Differentiation of Myeloid Progenitor Cells as it Pertains to Leukemogenesis (2005).  Vincent E. Sollars.  Current Genomics 6 (3), 137-144. PMID: none.

Epigenetic modification as an enabling mechanism for leukemic transformation (2005).  Vincent E. Sollars.  Frontiers in Bioscience 10, 1635-1646. PMID: 15769653.

Multigenerational selection and detection of altered histone acetylation and methylation patterns: toward a quantitative epigenetics in Drosophila (2004).  Mark D. Garfinkel, Vincent E. Sollars, Xiangyi Lu, and Douglas M. Ruden.  Methods Mol Biol 287, 151-168. PMID: 15273410.

Waddington’s Widget: Hsp90 and the inheritance of acquired characters (2003). Douglas M. Ruden, Mark D. Garfinkel, Vincent E. Sollars and Xiangyi Lu. Seminars in Cell and Molecular Biology 14, 301-310. PMID: 14986860.

Evidence for an epigenetic mechanism by which Hsp90 acts as a capacitor for morphological evolution (2003).  Vincent Sollars, Xiangyi Lu, Li Xiao, Xiaoyan Wang, Mark D. Garfinkel, and Douglas M. Ruden.  Nature Genetics 33, pp. 70-74. PMID: 12483213.

A novel transgenic line of mice exhibiting autosomal recessive male-specific lethality and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (2002).  Vincent E. Sollars, Benjamin J. McEntee, Julie B. Engiles, Jay L. Rothstein and Arthur M. Buchberg.  Human Molecular Genetics 11(22), pp. 2777-2786. PMID: 12374767.

Membrane Fusion Proteins are Required for oskar mRNA Localization in the Drosophila Egg Chamber.  Douglas M. Ruden, Vincent Sollars, Xiaoyan Wang, Daisuke Mori, and Marina Alterman (2000).  Developmental Biology 218, pp. 314-325. PMID: 10656772.

A Drosophila Kinesin-like Protein, Klp38B, Functions during Meiosis, Mitosis and Segmentation. Douglas M. Ruden, Wei Cui, Vincent Sollars, and Marina Alterman (1997).  Developmental Biology 191, pp. 284-296. PMID: 9398441.