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Kristina A. Trujillo, Ph.D.

FINAL Trujillo PhotoKristina A. Trujillo, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Health Sciences Center
The University of New Mexico
Exovita Biosciences (NM Start-up Factory/STC start-up)

Dr. Trujillo has disclosed three inventions, has three pending patent applications, and has an exclusive option to license agreement with local start-up Exovita Biosciences for her cancer biological therapeutic technologies.

Dr. Trujillo’s technologies are based on her research into the role tumor-adjacent normal tissue plays in the behavior of cancer cells. She has demonstrated that the normal-appearing tissue close to the tumor demonstrates tumor-promoting properties, while tissue further from the tumor has significant anti-cancer properties. Her studies of breast cancer tumors have shown that there are molecular abnormalities in the structurally normal-looking tissue surrounding the tumor up to 1 centimeter, which is well beyond surgical margins (often as little as 2 millimeters in breast lumpectomies) for tumor removal. She has identified several biomarkers that identify this abnormal tissue and is currently investigating if these biomarkers show a correlation with cancer recurrence. The second technology involves the anti-cancer properties of normal-appearing tissue further from the tumor. Dr. Trujillo has discovered that particular exosomes (small secreted organelles within cells that play a key role in intercellular signaling) from specific populations of cells in tumor-adjacent tissues cause cell death in cancer cells but not in non-malignant cells. These technologies could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of breast cancer as well as medical devices that aid during surgery for the prevention of cancer recurrence.

Dr. Trujillo’s research areas of interest include the tumorigenic potential of tumor-adjacent histologically normal tissue in vitro and in vivo; the relationship between biomarkers in tumor surgical margins and recurrence of breast cancer; wound healing characteristics of tumor and tumor-adjacent tissue for novel cancer therapeutics; inflammation and natural dietary supplements in cancer and normal cell metabolism; and the effects of natural dietary supplements on glycolytic and oxidative metabolism.

Pending Patent Applications

  • Exosomes from Field Cancerized Tissue
  • Exosomes as a Therapeutic for Cancer
  • Method of Decreasing Effective Dose of Chemotherapy