Dr. Giulio F. Draetta
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Departments of Genomic Medicine and Molecular & Cellular Oncology
The focus of our research is to identify genetic elements that are required for tumor maintenance in glioblastoma, triple-negative breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Patients with these aggressive, lethal cancers currently have few effective therapeutic options; therefore, an in-depth understanding of the signaling mechanisms in these cancers is needed to allow the rational development of effective targeted therapies. In collaboration with the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, our lab has developed a functional genomics screening platform wherein lineage, genetic, and microenvironmental influences are carefully controlled to identify context-specific molecular targets. This novel approach allows us to rapidly identify specific genetic elements that drive or suppress tumor latency. Upon validation of targets, our lab can leverage ready access to patient samples and cutting-edge technology to rapidly translate research discoveries into improved patient care. Our early screening efforts have resulted in several on-going projects, including projects in cancer cell metabolism and epigenetics.
A rotation in the Draetta lab will provide a unique opportunity to train with an academic research scientist who truly understands the challenges and opportunities that surround an effective translational research program. Our lab is currently composed of 13 members, each of whom receives personalized guidance and training directly from Dr. Draetta.