The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Departments of Head & Neck Surgery and Cancer Biology
The goal of our laboratory is to understand the role of oncogenic mutations in promoting tumorigenesis and progression of head and neck cancers, and to exploit this knowledge to develop effective targeted therapies for head and neck cancer patients.
Specifically, the research group focuses on large-scale analyses of genomic and epigenetic alterations in head and neck cancers and understanding the functional mechanisms of gain-of-function TP53 mutations in the promotion of chromosomal instability, metastasis, and cancer metabolism of head and neck cancers.
The Myers laboratory also focuses on understanding the functional roles of TP53 mutations in the development of tumor immunosuppressive microenvironment that promotes immunoevasion and immunotherapy resistance of head and neck cancers. Additionally, we have established genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) in oral cancer, which allows us to study tumor immunity at different carcinogenic stages and identify novel therapeutic targets. Moreover, we are developing alternative approaches to drug delivery of immunotherapeutic agents in order to improve response and avoid systemic toxicity. Ultimately, unraveling these mechanisms can better guide the development of new therapies.
Interested students will have an opportunity to learn a variety of knowledge through participation in ongoing projects within the laboratory, which ranges from basic molecular biology techniques to different animal models of head and neck cancers. Most importantly, we always welcome and support students who are willing to develop an independent cancer research career in the future. Especially, we encourage students to integrate our basic science research into translational study in combating with head and neck cancers.
Key word: TP53, chromosomal instability, metastasis, genome, immunotherapy, drug resistance, head and neck cancer.
Education & Training
M.D./Ph.D. - University of Pennsylvania - 1991