Rachel Sexton

Rachel Sexton
(Graduated 1/25/2022) 

Dissertation Mentor: Dr. Asfar Azmi

Research Focus: Targeting nuclear export (XPO1) in gastric cancer.  My research utilizes translational research techniques to explore how XPO1 inhibition with small molecule inhibitors can be used as a way to target gastric cancer either in single agent or in combinatory therapy.  Further, I want to understand the impact XPO1 has on small noncoding RNAs and how XPO1 inhibition alters gastric cancer specific small noncoding RNA pools. 

Grants, Awards, Scholarships:
2019 DOD Horizon Award (2020-2022), Department of Defense
2019-2020 DeRoy Fellowship, Wayne State University School of Medicine
2017-2018 Cancer Biology Director's Award, Wayne State University School of Medicine
2017 Cancer Biology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship

2019 - Present Curriculum Committee


Sexton R; Al-Hallak, M.N.; Uddin, M.D.H.; Diab, M; Azmi, AS. Gastric Cancer Heterogeneity and Clinical Outcomes. Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment. 2020. Pending Publication awaiting an additional peer review. 

Khan, H.Y.; Li, Y; Aboukameel, A; Mpilla, G; Sexton, R; Kanbur, T; Cetinkaya, H; Cagir, A; Al-Hallak, M.N.; Sukari, A; Azmi, A.S.; Nagasaka, M. A10 A Novel Inhibitor for KRASG12C Mutant Lung Carcinoma. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2020;15:S15.

Khan HY, Mpilla GB, Sexton R, Viswanadha S, Penmetsa KV, Aboukameel A, Diab M, Kamgar M, Al-Hallak MN, Szlaczky M, Tesfaye A, Kim S, Philip PA, Mohammad RM, Azmi AS. Calcium Release-Activated Calcium (CRAC) Channel Inhibition Suppresses Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Cell Proliferation and Patient Derived Tumor Growth. Cancers (Basel). 2020;12:750.

Nagasaka M, Sexton R, Alhasan R, Rahman S, Azmi AS, Sukari A.Gut microbiome and response to checkpoint inhibitors in non-small cell lung cancer- A review. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol . 2020;145:102841.

Sexton R, Mahdi Z, Chaudhury R, Beydoun R, Aboukameel A, Khan HY, Baloglu E, Senapedis W, Landesman Y, Tesfaye A, Kim S, Philip PA, Azmi AS. Targeting Nuclear Exporter Protein XPO1/CRM1 in Gastric Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019;20:E4826.

Sexton R, Mpilla G, Kim S, Philip P, Azmi AS. Ras and Exosome Signaling. Seminars in Cancer biology. 2019.

Sexton R.E, Hachem A.H, Assi A.A, Bukhsh M.A, Gorski D.H, Speyer C.L. Metabotropic glutamate receptor-1 regulates inflammation in triple negative breast cancer. Scientific Reports. 2018;8:16008.

Speyer CL, Bukhsh MA, Jafry WS, Sexton RE, Bandyopadhyay S, Gorski DH. Riluzole synergizes with paclitaxel to inhibit cell growth and induce apoptosis in triple-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017;166:407-19.

Wang B, Sexton RE, Feig M. Kinetics of nucleotide entry into RNA polymerase active site provides mechanism for efficiency and fidelity. Biochim Biophys Acta Gene Regul Mech. 2017;1860:482-90.

Dazzo F, Sexton R, Jain A, Makhoul A, Shears M, Gusfa D, Handelsman S, Niccum B, Onsay D. Influence of Substratum Hydrophobicity on the Geomicrobiology of River Biofilm Architecture and Ecology Analyzed by CMEIAS Bioimage Informatics. Geosciences. 2017;7:56.

Education: 2017 B.S. Michigan State University

Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI