Karen T. Liby

Karen  T.  Liby
  • Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Life Science
  • 1355 Bogue St Room B430
  • East Lansing MI 48824
  • 517-884-8955


Inflammation and oxidative stress contribute to the pathogenesis of numerous chronic diseases, including cancer. The goals of our research are to 1) learn how inflammation and the immune system contribute to carcinogenesis and 2) develop effective drugs that intervene in this process for the prevention or treatment of cancer. Cigarette smoke contains hundreds of known toxins, and smoking remains the leading cause of preventable cancer. Carcinogens found in cigarette smoke and related chemicals are used to initiate or accelerate cancer in some of our in vivo models. Synthetic triterpenoids, rexinoids (ligands for the retinoid X receptor), HDAC (histone deacteylase) inhibitors, and bromodomain inhibitors are all potent anti-inflammatory agents. These novel drugs are effective in experimental models of estrogen-receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. Identifying molecular biomarkers and investigating the importance of the immune system for the biological activity of these compounds are ongoing areas of study.


Hillsdale College, B.S., 1994, Biology
Palmer College, M.S., 1997, Human Anatomy
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ph.D., 2002, Cell and Molecular Biology
Dartmouth Medical School, Postdoctoral Fellow, 2003 - 2007, Pharmacology and Toxicology




Dr. Liby at MSU Scholars

Dr. Liby at PubMed