The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Neurosurgery
The research in my laboratory focuses on several areas. One of our main goals has been to understand the role of end terminal phosphorylation of the p53 protein and its role in inducing p53-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells. Current studies have involved developing phospho-mimetics viruses and determining their impact on apoptosis in various tumor cell models. A second and evolving area of research, has been understanding the potential use of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in treating brain tumors. These studies have focused on understanding the biological basis for the tropism of mesenchymal stem cells for brain tumors and understanding how mesenchymal stem cells can be exploited for delivering various biological agents to tumors. Along similar lines the laboratory has been developing in vivo models of brain tumors using cancer stem cells. Interactions between the cancer stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells in tumor development has been pursued. We have also developed various intracranial models of brain tumors based on cancer stem cells to study new types of drugs for treating tumors.
Depending on the students’ interests, a tutorial in my laboratory would provide experience with molecular biological techniques and understanding protein phosphorylation properties, methods for harvesting and growing cancer stem cells and bone marrow-derived stem cells, and a variety of in vivo methods for studying stem cells in brain tumors.
Education & Training
M.D. - Yale University - 1988