Glioblastoma is a devastating brain tumor. Approximately 10,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in the United States, and median survival is approximately 15 months. New therapies for glioblastoma are badly needed. My role as a Research Specialist is to support the activities of Dr E. Antonio Chiocca and other PIs and staff in the Harvey W. Cushing Neurooncology Laboratories (HCNL) at Brigham and Women?s Hospital, where we are dedicated to developing new treatments for glioblastoma. As well as my deep experience in state-of-the-art techniques in biochemistry/molecular and cell biology, I am a specialist in animal cancer models, microscopy/imaging, innovative technologies, and computational solutions. I contribute to an array of projects across the HCNL, as well as external collaborations, and play a key role in training lab members in various techniques. I am actively involved in multiple projects funded by the National Cancer Institute. I am investigating 1) the combination of local cytotoxic gene therapy agents with immune checkpoint blockade, 2) a novel oncolytic herpes virus for glioblastoma treatment and 3) the role of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in glioblastoma using animal models. This project may help illuminate the role of CMV in glioblastoma and provide a rationale for therapeutics that target the underlying biology. Finally, I am technical Manager of a Translational Neurooncology Core, in which, working with local clinical leaders we are identifying readily translatable approaches for glioblastoma treatment, and providing data to support clinical trials. Overall, I play a vital supporting role in a number of important NCI-funded projects with the potential to impact the treatment of patients with glioblastoma.
Glioblastoma is a devastating type of brain cancer with a very poor prognosis. The overall goal of this study is to develop innovative approaches to overcome the resistance of glioblastoma to treatment. I develop and apply innovative in vitro assays, and utilize pre-clinical mouse models and patient specimens to address key questions in this field including targeting invading cells, overcoming immunosuppression and improving the response to standard therapies.