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Areas of Focus

Basic Research

Molecular Neuro-Oncology Laboratory

  • Underlying biology of glioma pathogenesis and invasion
  • Identification of novel tumor suppressors
  • Mechanisms of pluripotency and differentiation in neural and glioma stem cells
  • Tumor-tumor and tumor-host interactions

Translational Research

Starr Foundation Cerebral Organoid Translational Core

  • High throughput drug screening to develop personalized treatment for individual patients
  • Preclinical trials for commercial drug candidates

GLICO – A novel GLIoma Cerebral Organoid model

Our most recent initiative is the creation of cerebral organoids to use these “in vitro human brains” as 3-D platforms for growing and studying how primary patient-derived glioblastoma tumor stem cells proliferate, invade, migrate and destroy human brain tissue. We have developed a novel model system (GLICO) whereby we retro-engineer patient-derived primary brain tumors (gliomas) into iPSC/hESC-derived human cerebral organoids, ultimately forming tumors that closely phenocopy patient glioblastomas.