Dr. Cheryl Jorcyk is an Associate Professor with the Department of Biological
Sciences. Dr. Jorcyk’s laboratory’s research interests are directed towards elucidation
of the molecular mechanisms that promote tumor progression. She has been working on the
effects of the cytokine Oncostatin M (OSM) on breast tumor progression and metastasis.
Oncostatin M (OSM), an IL-6 family cytokine, is produced by breast cancer cells and
tumor-associated cells of the immune system, including macrophages and neutrophils. OSM
has been shown to inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells, and this effect
initially focused much attention on OSM as a potential breast cancer therapy. Data from
her lab, however, suggests that OSM could actually contribute to tumor progression and
the development of a metastatic state. She and her colleagues have shown that OSM induces
vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), cell
detachment, and invasive capacity in vitro. In the fall of 2009, Dr. Jorcyk received a
$720,000 Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS) to support her
project, “Breast Cancer Metastasis in Bone: The Role of Oncostatin M.” It is only the
second ACS grant in Boise State history. With this distinction, Dr. Jorcyk joins a
distinguished group of researchers, including 42 Nobel laureates, to be funded by the ACS
over the last 63 years. 

Articles and Conference Proceedings


DNA Topology Influences Molecular Machine Lifetime in Human Serum (with Sara Goltry, Natalya Hallstrom, Tyler Clark, Wan Kuang, Jeunghoon Lee, William B. Knowlton, Bernard Yurke, William L. Hughes, and Elton Graugnard), Nanoscale (2015)

DNA nanotechnology holds the potential for enabling new tools for biomedical engineering, including diagnosis, prognosis,...



The Effect of OSM on MC3T3-E1 Osteoblastic Cells in Simulated Microgravity with Radiation (with Jake Goyden, Ken Tawara, Danielle Hedeen, Jeffrey S. Willey, and Julia Thom Oxford), PLoS One (2015)

Bone deterioration is a challenge in long-term spaceflight with significant connections to patients experiencing disuse...



Oncostatin M Binds to Extracellular Matrix in a Bioactive Conformation: Implications for Inflammation and Metastasis (with Randall E. Ryan, Bryan Martin, Liliana Mellor, Reed B. Jacob, Ken Tawara, Owen M. McDougal, and Julia Thom Oxford), Cytokine (2015)

Oncostatin M (OSM) is an interleukin-6-like inflammatory cytokine reported to play a role in a...



Stüve-Wiedemann Syndrome: LIFR and Associated Cytokines in Clinical Course and Etiology (with Dawn Mikelonis, Ken Tawara, and Julia Thom Oxford), Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (2014)

Stüve-Wiedemann syndrome (STWS; OMIM #610559) is a rare bent-bone dysplasia that includes radiologic bone anomalies,...



I Just Don't Trust Them: The Development and Validation of an Assessment Instrument to Measure Trust in Science and Scientists (with Louis Nadelson, Dazhi Yang, Mary Jarratt Smith, Sam Matson, Ken Cornell, and Virginia Husting), School Science and Mathematics (2014)

Trust in science and scientists can greatly influence consideration of scientific developments and activities. Yet,...


Contributions to Books

Numerical Experiments For Mammary Adenocarcinoma Cell Progression (with Barbara Zubik-Kowal and Mikhail Kolev), Integral Methods in Science and Engineering, Computational and Analytic Aspects (2011)

An estimated 192,370 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer during 2009....




Breast Cancer: Progress in the Search for a Cure, Boise State - Beyond the Blue Faculty Podcasts (2012)

The statistics are sobering: 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, a devastating disease...


DNA as an Engineered Material (with William L. Hughes, Bernard Yurke, Elton Graugnard, Jeunghoon Lee, Wan Kuang, and William B. Knowlton), 10th Annual Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Conference (2011)


Operation of a DNA-Based Autocatalytic Network in Serum (with Elton Graugnard, Amber Cox, Jeunghoon Lee, Bernard Yurke, and William L. Hughes), 16th International Conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming (2010)

The potential for inferring the presence of cancer by the detection of miRNA in human...



Point-of-Contact, DNA-Based Amplifier for Detecting Cancer-Related Micro-RNA in Blood Serum (with Elton Graugnard, Amber Cox, Jeunghoon Lee, Bernard Yurke, and William L. Hughes), 7th Annual Foundations of Nanoscience: Self-Assembled Architectures and Devices (2010)

Student Mentored Work

Cytokine-induced microRNA Expression in Breast and Prostate Cancer (with Julianna A. Sherman, Brittany Sanchez, and Danielle Hedeen), Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (2015)

Inflammatory cytokines have in recent years been tied to the process of tumor progression, invasion,...


Exploration of the Effects of Two Inflammatory Cytokines in Triple Negative and ER+/PR+/HER2- Breast Cancer (with Jessica Burlile, Danielle Hedeen, and Ken Tawara), Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (2015)

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is characterized by cells lacking estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor...


Preparation of Anticancer Analogs that Target Metastatic Breast Cancer (with Lauren Hosek and Don L. Warner PhD (Mentor)), Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (2015)

The American Cancer Society estimates over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be...


Regulation of FAK, RAC, RHO, and CD44 by Inflammatory Cytokines in Breast Cancer (with Matthew Dillon and Danielle Hedeen), Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (2015)

In breast cancer, inflammatory cytokines have been found to promote tumor cell migration, invasive capacity,...


Serum Cytokine Levels in Breast Cancer Patients (with Hannah Scott, Danielle Hedeen, Ken Tawara, Laura Bond, and Paul Montgomery (Mentor)), Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (2015)

Breast cancer is the second most prominent cancer facing women today. Statistically, 1 in every...