The brain and its maladies are ever mysterious but more easily treatable than they used to be, except for brain tumors whose prognosis remains infaust. Brain tumors are among the most challenging of human cancers. Their location in the pièce de résistance of human evolution and their ability to resist any contemporary treatment are equally fascinating. Despite their profound impact on the unfortunate person concerned, brain tumors are comparably neglected in research and the public remains unaware of the magnitude of this disease.
Our research addresses both translational and basic questions in neuro-oncology with the ultimate goal to identify novel therapeutic approaches to treat so-called high-grade gliomas, the most common and devastating type of human brain tumor. At the heart of our work is the belief that a glioma cell’s behavior and its response to therapy are contextual attributes of distinct patterns of orchestrated activity and spatiotemporal interactions between multiple genes in multifaceted pathways and networks.
Our research has succeeded in prioritizing so-called ‘hub’ genes whose role may be to determine network behavior and in identifying lead molecules that may factor in the evolution of high-grade gliomas and in the susceptibility of these tumors to therapy (see ‘Research Projects’).
Another focus of our laboratory concerns student education. We are participating in the Northwestern University (NU) Feinberg School of Medicine (FSM) Research Thesis Program (RTP), the NU Integrated Graduate Program in the Life Sciences (IGP), the FSM Medical Student Summer Research Program (MSSRP), the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (CURE) Program, and the NU Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP).