Division Faculty Labs

Larry Anderson, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
My lab is interested in finding targets for T cell therapy of Multiple Myeloma and other Monoclonal Gammopathies, such as Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia. The ultimate goal of this research is to translate findings from tissue culture and mouse studies into immunotherapies for Myeloma patients. Thus far we have identified two potentially relevant peptides from the candidate myeloma antigen MAGE-C1 (CT-7), a cancer testis antigen, and we are also looking for epitopes from other candidate antigens. We are using various methods including reverse immunology as well as vaccination of HLA-A2 transgenic mice with gene-modified cellular vaccines to elicit T-cell responses. Another goal of the lab is to identify the targets recognized by T-cells in the setting of Graft versus Myeloma responses and Graft versus Waldenstrom’s following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation.

James Brugarolas, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Website: Brugarolas Lab

Kathlynn Brown, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Website: Brown Lab
Due to the heterogeneity of cancer, personalized therapies tailored to the molecular signatures of a tumor are anticipated to provide better clinical efficacy. Tumor targeting ligands are becoming an important component in the development of customized therapies. Our laboratory utilizes unbiased phage display biopanning to identify targeting peptides that can home to tumors or other cells critical for tumor maintenance. After selection of a peptide, it is chemically optimized for use in different applications. The current scientific goals of the research group are to utilize these highly specific peptides to 1) develop drug delivery platforms that enable tumor-specific delivery of biologically active molecules in vivo 2) synthesize molecular PET imaging agents that can assess expression of cancer biomarkers in vivo 3) identify the cellular feature responsible for peptide binding and understand the role of this cell-surface receptor in cancer and 4) activate the immune system to destroy tumors. Our approach is multi-faceted encompassing biochemistry, organic chemistry, and molecular and cellular biology. 

James Kim. M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Dr. Kim’s laboratory focuses on how fundamental developmental pathways, such as Hedgehog, are involved in the initiation, growth, and metastases of cancers through the use of cancer mouse models and cell and molecular biological techniques. The laboratory also seeks to understand interactions of these pathways with each other and between tumor epithelia and stroma. 

Elizabeth Maher, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor 

Deepak Nijhawan, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Theodora Ross, M.D., Ph.D.
Website: Ross Lab
Our laboratory is interested in understanding mechanisms of transformation of normal cells to cancer cells and the use of that understanding in the clinic. Our focus is on three areas. First, we are interested in receptor tyrosine kinases and their connection to an endocytic protein called Huntingtin Interacting Protein 1 (HIP1) in cancer biology. Second, the role(s) of tyrosine kinase oncogenes in cancer initiation, maintenance and drug resistance are being studied using humanized knock-in mouse models of leukemia. Finally, we are defining the molecular and cellular biology of families with a high risk for cancer in hopes that we can use this information in the general management of cancer prone families.

Pier Paolo Scaglioni, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Website: Scaglioni Lab
We are interested in gaining insights into the processes that underlie tumor initiation, progression, and maintenance. To achieve these goals, we utilize a broad array of technologies that include cellular and molecular biology techniques mouse genetics and novel targeted drugs. We focus our interests on the promyelocytic leukemia tumor suppressor and oncogenic K-RAS. These genes control processes that are key in oncogenesis. We expect that their study will reveal the critical molecular pathways that drive tumor formation and maintenance revealing novel targets that can be exploited in cancer therapy.

David Wang, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Dr. Wang’s laboratory is focused on understanding the role of aberrant developmental pathway signaling in esophageal cancer and precursor lesions.  In his clinic, Dr. Wang sees patients with esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, and other gastrointestinal malignancies.