My laboratory studies the biology of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive subtype of brain tumors. Cardinal features of GBM tumor cells include their stem cell-like behaviors and highly infiltrative/migratory nature, which are main reasons why GBM is such a fatal disease. Identification of unique signaling regulators operated in GBM stem cells (GSCs) might provide important clues for developing effective therapeutics against GBMs. We are focusing on a few key molecular pathways including; 1) Polycomb-mediated epigenetic gene silencing in the tumor initiation, maintenance, and invasion, 2) c-Met (receptor tyrosine kinase) signal transduction pathways in stemness and migration of these tumor cells, 3) Novel mitogenic signaling pathways that are specific to GSCs, and 4) Identification of radio- and chemo-sensitizing pathway to maximize therapeutic efficacy. By employing various aspects of stem cell biology and neuro oncology, we hope to better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms of GBM and provide potential therapeutic options.
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