My research program focuses on improving outcomes for brain tumor patients utilizing a two-pronged approach. My clinical research aims to identify social determinants of health that affect patient access to care, evaluate and modify the peri-operative workflow to improve the patient experience, and assess functional outcomes of brain tumor patients. Through basic research, I also aim to develop new treatments for brain tumor patients by leveraging existing treatments to improve survival. I have a long-standing interest in developing therapies for primary brain tumors, including adult and pediatric gliomas, medulloblastoma, and neuroblastoma, as well as secondary brain tumors such as CNS-metastatic breast cancer. My graduate work focused on neuro-virology and immunology in the setting of herpes encephalitis, and my research efforts during my subsequent neurosurgical residency focused on preclinical development and translational application of viral vectors for gene therapy and oncolytic virotherapy for these malignancies. Notably, I successfully conducted bench research on a unique retrovirus-based gene therapy strategy in experimental models of medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma at the University of Miami (UM), and I continue to collaborate with my research mentor, Noriyuki Kasahara, M.D., Ph.D. For this K08 application, my goal is to improve preclinical tumor models to more accurately recapitulate the tumor microenvironment, furthering my previous work on in vitro and in vivo models of central nervous system disease. As I establish an independent research program (supported by a faculty startup grant), I will utilize these strategies to improve treatment of malignancies of the central nervous system.
Fellowship - University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 2021
Residency - University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL 2020
Fellowship - University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL 2018
M.D. - Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 2013
Ph.D. - Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 2013