Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics (Hematology & Oncology)
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics
Integrative –omics and childhood cancer research
Our laboratory is focused on childhood cancer research with a goal of elucidating the underlying biology of highly refractory disease. Our mission is centered on the following project:
+ Identification of patients with ultra-high-risk neuroblastoma. Our guiding hypothesis is that patients with primary refractory neuroblastoma (PRN) have distinct biologic features that we can identify at diagnosis. This de novo chemotherapy resistance is a challenge in many cancers as there are frequently limited therapeutic strategies for these subsets of patients with highly lethal disease.
From a uniform case series of high-risk neuroblastoma patients with early death from tumor progression compared to those with a maintained complete response, we are evaluating tumor tissue for unique histo-morphologic and proteomic features in those patients who have particularly dismal outcomes. We are computationally integrating these data with genomic and transcriptomic datasets to develop a combined predictor of primary refractory disease. This biomarker signature can then be prospectively applied for the detection of PRN (require non-standard/intensified treatment) versus cases with maintained complete responses (require standard therapy). Using human-derived cell lines and patient samples, oncogenic drivers of PRN will be further characterized with cellular and molecular biology techniques. This will facilitate strategies for novel pharmacologic intervention. Our prognostic and therapeutic modeling system will be broadly applicable and have significant utility in diverse human cancers.
Additional ongoing work:
+ Detection of circulating tumor DNA in osteosarcoma.
+ Assessment of accelerated aging using miRNA-seq in survivors of childhood cancer.
+ Evaluation of novel combinatorial targeted therapeutic approaches in neuroblastoma.
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Montefiore Medical Center
3415 Bainbridge Avenue
Bronx, NY 10467