Dr. Krishna P.L. Bhat
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Translational Molecular Pathology
Our laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular changes that underlie adult brain tumors called gliomas. The long term goal of our laboratory is to identify novel biomarkers and biological targets and eventually discover therapeutic agents to eliminate this disease. We have recently discovered the existence of two major and clinically relevant molecular subtypes of glioma stem-like cells (GSCs). Of these, the mesenchymal GSCs are radio-resistant and dependent on a set of transcriptional regulators including the Hippo signaling pathway transcriptional co-activator TAZ, and the pro-inflammatory transcriptional factor NF-kB for their survival. We are currently using genetic, biochemical and proteomic approaches to identify additional novel regulators of the mesenchymal subtype of glioma and understand how they contribute to therapy resistance. Furthermore, the contribution of the tumor microenvironment to glioma progression is also being actively explored. A tutorial in my laboratory will provide experience with cancer stem cell culture, basic and advanced molecular biology techniques including western blotting, immunoprecipitation, nucleic acid isolation, RT-PCR, fluorescence microscopy, next gen sequencing, and xenograft and genetically engineered mouse models of cancer.