The Minna Lab is part of the Nancy B. and Jake L. Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology Research and the W.A. “Tex” & Deborah Moncrief Jr. Center for Cancer Genetics, which are both directed by John D. Minna, M.D.. It is located on the UT Southwestern North Campus in the Simmons Biomedical Research Building.
Dr. Minna is a Professor of Internal Medicine (Medical Oncology) and Pharmacology, and Co-Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Program for the UT Southwestern Simmons Cancer Center. The Minna Lab is closely aligned with the laboratory of Adi Gazdar, M.D., Professor of Pathology, also part of the Hamon Center.
As part of the Minna Lab research effort Dr. Minna is the principal investigator or main co-investigator of several major grants. These include an NCI Special Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Lung Cancer, NASA Special Program of Research Excellence (NSCOR), NCI Cancer Target Discovery and Development Network (CTD2N, Michael Roth, PI), Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) grant for discovery of new lung cancer therapeutics (Steven McKnight, PI), and CPRIT grant for discovery of using nuclear receptors and their co-regulators for treatment of lung and breast cancer (David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D., PI), as well as several private foundation grants.
The current major areas of focus for the Minna Lab research are:
- Identifying and targeting lung cancer acquired vulnerabilities
- Identifying and targeting lung cancer stem cells (CSCs)
- Developing conditionally reprogrammed tumor and normal cells (CRCs) and genetically manipulated normal lung epithelial cells for the study of lung cancer pathogenesis
- Identifying and targeting nuclear receptors (NRs) and their Co-Regulators (CoRegs) as lung cancer prognostic markers and therapeutic targets
- Developing ASCL1 targeted therapy for small cell lung cancer and other neuroendocrine lung cancers
- Identifying molecular predictive biomarkers for available chemotherapy and targeted therapy for lung cancer
- Identifying molecular biomarkers predictive of response to radiation therapy for lung cancer
- Identifying molecular mechanisms of resistance to available chemotherapy for lung cancer
- Develop an understanding of intra-tumor heterogeneity for lung cancer
- Determine key events in radiation induced lung cancer on Earth and during space flight