Currently, my research program is centered around the use of orthotopic humanized adult and pediatric GBM and other metastatic tumor models to evaluate therapeutic potential of standard-of-care cytotoxic agents in combination with small molecular inhibitors that block both the PI3K/Akt/mTOR- and Mdm2-signaling networks. I am investigating the preclinical pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) characteristics of these innovative and unexplored combination treatments at both the molecular and cellular levels with my scientific team. In the context of these therapies, my research lab team is also using in vitro and in vivo screening models to develop intermittent dosing regimens that minimize therapy-mediated hematoxicity. In 2016, I helped establish a patient tissue pipeline in collaboration with Dr. Wade Clapp’s Pediatric NF1 group. I am working directly with his team in the development and characterization of patient-derived tumor xenograft models from patients with NF1 mutations also collaborates with Dr. Jamie Renbarger on the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health’s Precision Genomics clinical and research initiative. The objective of this comprehensive program is to evaluate tumor genomics and transcriptomics along with germline genomics from children with relapsed cancer to identify potentially effective therapeutic interventions for pediatric patients with highly aggressive cancer. I work closely with Dr. Pollok’s team that is establishing the critically needed infrastructure and patient tissue pipeline for both internal IU and for external pediatric investigators. This will allow me and my team of researchers to evaluate a number of therapeutic options in cell line and patient-derived xenograft models to refine our therapeutic decision-making algorithm to help guide safe, effective therapeutics for children with deadly cancers. I am also PI of a Wells Center for Pediatrics seeds grant entitled Targeting the in-vivo adaptive response induced by inhibition of RAS/PI3K hyperactivation in Wilms tumor xenografts. Our team try to establish the foundation for a research program focused on novel therapeutic approaches for relapsed metastatic Wilms Tumor by focusing on two goals, Characterize WT PDX developed from pediatric specimens obtained from the Riley Hospital for Children and Identify novel dual targeting strategies that target SHP2, PI3K, or MAPK in combination with actionable targets induced by the tumor adaptive response in a metastatic WT PDX model.
Post-doctoral Fellowship - Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN 06/2004
Ph.D. - Leeds University, Leeds, United Kingdom 05/1999
Post-doctoral Fellowship - Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN 04/2001