Description of Research Expertise
I conduct brain tumor research and specialize in treatment of patients with intracranial malignancies. I have scientific expertise in the areas of signal transduction, molecular therapeutics, brain tumor biology, and radiation biology. As a translational researcher, I am actively involved in basic mechanistic studies, the application of in vivo imaging methods to preclinical studies in relevant biological models of cancer, and early phase clinical trials in intracranial malignancies (as lead principal investigator). In a broad sense, my research focuses on understanding the underlying mechanisms whereby cancers demonstrate resistance to radiation and chemotherapy and characterizing normal cell/tissue responses to radiation therapy. This information will give us a framework to develop ways to target oncogenic pathways that lead to therapeutic resistance and identify potential molecular interventions that may reduce the normal tissue complications of radiation therapy. One major focus concerns the elucidation of the mechanism whereby ER stress modulates death receptor expression and initiation of apoptosis. A second area of interest is the application of in vivo imaging methods to preclinical studies in relevant biological models of cancer with a focus on high-grade brain tumor biology. This includes evaluation of the efficacy of novel therapeutic combinations in preclinical animal models and determination of timing, dosage, and in vivo mechanisms of anti-tumor action. In summary, I have a demonstrated record of successful and productive research projects in highly relevant areas of cancer, molecular oncology, and radiation biology.