The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Translational Molecular Pathology
Description of overall research program: One of my major research interests is elucidation of the molecular abnormalities involved in the pathogenesis and progression of lung cancer. My research interests also include identification of new molecular targets, validation of biomarkers for targeted therapy, and identification of molecular markers associated with metastasis development. My lab is furnished with state-of-art molecular biology and pathology equipment and technology, and my research is integrated to the multidisciplinary lung cancer program in MD Anderson Cancer Center. I have established an invaluable tissue and cell bank resource for lung cancer with more than 3,000 frozen and archival lung cancer and airway epithelia specimens, and a database of clinical and molecular information associated with these patient samples. Several lung cancer datasets with comprehensive molecular profiling (RNA, miRNA and DNA) are available for mining and validation studies.
1. Identification and validation of molecular abnormalities associated to the pathogenesis of lung cancer through comprehensive molecular profiling (miRNA/RNA expression, miRNA/RNA-sequencing, and DNA mutation/copy changes) of the airway (field of cancerization) of patients with lung cancer.
2. Identification and validation of novel molecular changes and potential molecular targets through comprehensive molecular profiling (miRNA/RNA expression, miRNA/RNA-sequencing, and DNA mutation/copy changes) of lung cancer tumors.
3. Identification and validation of novel molecular therapeutic targets through comprehensive molecular profiling (RNA expression, RNA and DNA next generation of sequencing) of tumor tissue specimens treated with AKT and MEK inhibitors (BATTLE clinical trial).
4. Molecular characterization of mechanisms of resistance to platinum-based chemotherapy in patients with lung cancer.
Education & Training
M.D. - Austral University of Chile - 1985