Director of Neuropathology; Professor of Pathology
The main focus of our laboratory is developing a better understanding of how key mutations in gliomas alter their biological characteristics, and how best to exploit specific weaknesses that such mutations often impart. In particular, our laboratory focuses on mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (mutIDH1), which is present in the vast majority of WHO grade II and III gliomas. This mutation has profound effects on the epigenome and metabolome, yet produces tumors that are markedly less aggressive. Our work indicates that mutIDH1 also dramatically alters the glioma’s micro-environmental landscape by preventing the thrombosis-necrosis phenomenon that is characteristic of IDH1 wild-type gliomas. Furthermore, mutIDH1 increases the risk of seizures in patients. We are currently exploring the mechanisms by which these phenomena occur, as it will have major implications for understanding why mutIDH1 gliomas are less aggressive and how to better manage both wtIDH1 and mutIDH1 gliomas.On a clinical level, I specialize in the use of molecular testing in brain tumors to improve our diagnostic and prognostic accuracy. This is helping us achieve the goal of personalized medicine through cutting-edge next generation sequencing.
American Association for Cancer Research
Mesenchymal Stem Cells Successfully Deliver Oncolytic Virotherapy to Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma
Through analysis of RNA sequencing data provided by CBTN, researchers bolster the use case for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to deliver oncolytic virotherapy (OV) in the treatment of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).
Michael Chastkofsky, Katarzyna C. Pituch, Hiroaki Katagi, Liliana Ilut, Ting Xiao, Yu Han, Adam M. Sonabend, David T. Curiel, Erin R. Bonner, Javad Nazarian, Craig Horbinski, Charles D. James, Amanda M. Saratsis, Rintaro Hashizume, Maciej S. Lesniak, Irina V. Balyasnikova