The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Neurosurgery
My research focuses on using animal models of malignant brain tumors to evaluate therapeutic responses and tumor recurrence. I am specifically interested in oncolytic adenoviruses and immunotherapy. I am using a novel, immune-competent and adenovirus-permissive hamster model of glioma to investigate the anti-viral and anti-tumor immune response to the Delta-24-RGD oncolytic adenovirus. I am also using this unique model to test next-generation Delta-24-RGD variants that encode for immune checkpoint molecules. Delta-24-RGD is currently being evaluated in clinical trials for glioma patients, and animal model studies are designed to complement clinical trial data. A second area of interest is understanding the transcriptional and mutational changes that occur with tumor recurrence. Using patient-derived xenograft models, I am evaluating the glioma stem cell response to chemoradiation and the changes that occur with tumor recurrence after treatment. As there is currently no standard of care for recurrent gliomas, understanding the unique composition of recurrent tumors will be critical for developing new treatment strategies.
Education & Training
PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, 2007