Basic Research Laboratories

Basic and Clinical Research Program | Basic Research Laboratories

  • Laboratory of David Cory Adamson, MD, PhD
    Our molecular neuro-oncology laboratory aims to identify and explore the role of critical genetic alterations in high grade brain tumorigenesis. We use state-of-the-art genome-wide screening techniques, such as large-scale gene microarrays and on-line genomic tools to identify novel genetic alterations. These techniques often identify oncogene or tumor suppressor gene candidates that need further study. These genetic alterations and associated intracellular signaling pathways are then explored in a myriad of brain tumor in vitro and in vivo models to better characterize important pathways that can be genetically or pharmacologically targeted in order to design therapeutic approaches.
  • Laboratory of Oren Becher, MD
    My lab is focusing on a type of brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) which is still incurable. We are studying the genetic alterations of the human disease, as well as developing improved models for DIPG that can help prioritize the translation of novel agents for clinical trials for children with DIPG. In addition to functional genomics approaches, we are looking into novel mechanisms to improve drug delivery into the the tumor.
  • Laboratory of Darell D. Bigner, MD, PhD
    We focus on the identification of novel tumor associated antigens in primary central nervous system cancers that may be targeted using monoclonal antibodies. We have developed and tested a range of antibodies that are in both preclinical and clinical development. Additional studies involve the characterization of monoclonal antibody fragments that may enjoy greater intratumoral delivery.
  • Laboratory of Gerald A. Grant, MD
    The blood brain barrier translational laboratory focuses on the molecular characterization of the blood-tumor barrier in an orthotopic brain tumor xenograft model. This is an interdisciplinary collaborative effort between the Brain Tumor Center, Surgery, Radiation Oncology, and the Center for In Vivo Microscopy at Duke. High resolution MR imaging and confocal microscopy are being used to better understand the heterogenity of drug delivery within and around brain tumors. Thermosensitive liposomes with chemotherapeutics have also recently been used in this model to better delineate their biodistribution with focal heating. Dr. Grant is also adjunct faculty in the Biophotonics section of the Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics to work closely with investigators in Biomedical Engineering to develop better molecular imaging tools to delineate tumor margin intraoperatively.
  • Laboratory of Simon Gregory, PhD
    My laboratory focuses on the characterization of genomic rearrangements using printed oligo and SNP arrays to identify the molecular mechanisms associated with the development and progression of various cancers, including astrocytic tumors. 
  • Laboratory of Matthais Gromeier, MD
    Our laboratory is conducting research to decipher the molecular network determining growth control in CNS tumors. Based on our investigations, we are developing innovative approaches targeting protein systhesis control in brain tumors. Read more about Dr. Gromeier's lab.
  • Laboratory of Yiping He, PhD
    We are interested in genetic and functional genomic aspect of brain tumors. In particular, we use high through-sequencing to identify gene mutations that drive brain tumors. In addition, we employ genetic approaches to modify cancer genes in human cells for studying their roles in normal and tumorigenic conditions.
  • Laboratory of Chay T. Kuo, MD, PhD
    My laboratory is interested in the regulation of postnatal/adult neural stem cells, and how they modify brain homeostasis in health and disease. Throughout development, neural stem cells give rise to differentiated neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes which modulate function of the adult nervous system. A better understanding of stem cell function in the postnatal/adult brain may lead to future therapies for patients suffering from brain injuries and brain tumors.
  • Laboratory of John Sampson, MD, PhD
    We have developed cell based and antibody based tumor immunotherapies. We have identified tumor associated antigens for dendritic cell vaccines. In addition, we target primary brain tumors using convection-enhanced delivery (CED) with immunotoxins. Finally, we are developing immunotherapies against tumor cytomegaloviral (CMV) infection.
  • Laboratory of Hai Yan, MD, PhD
    We focus on the identification, characterization, and therapeutic targeting of mutations involved in the genesis and progression of brain cancer. Our original findings of mutations in IDH1, IDH2, TERT promoter, ATRX, CIC, and FUBP1 in gliomas have immediate impact on glioma classification, diagnosis, and treatment, and have opened new avenues of cancer research.
  • Laboratory of Michael R. Zalutsky, PhD
    The Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratory is focused on the radiosynthesis and validation of novel labeled biomolecules that can be utilized for molecularly specific approaches to cancer imaging and therapy.  Of particular interest is the development of strategies for exploiting the promising therapeutic potential of highly potent and focused radiation emitted by the alpha particle emitter astatine-211 as well as Auger electron emitters.

This article comes from The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke
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