Amaia Lujambio, PhD

Immunotherapy is revolutionizing the clinical management of a variety of cancers. Unprecedented complete responses have been observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a type of liver cancer that shows little response to conventional therapeutic approaches. Unfortunately, the clinical efficacy of nivolumab (Opdivo), a novel immune checkpoint inhibitor, is limited to less than 20% of HCC patients.

Arvin C. Dar, PhD

Genes that are mutated, amplified, or altered in cancer contribute directly to tumor development, maintenance, and metastasis. The Ras-MAPK signaling pathway contains two of the most frequently altered genes across all cancers. Ras-MAPK has important roles in normal development but is also commonly dysregulated in a variety of human cancers. The biochemistry of this pathway is highly complex, thus hampering drug development efforts and resulting in the inability to develop any drug that directly targets Ras-MAPK to date. 

Eirini Papapetrou, MD, PhD

Dr. Papapetrou [Edward P. Evans Foundation Innovator] studies a disease called myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), which often progresses to leukemia. She is using a novel approach to identify the specific genetic alterations involved in the development of MDS, which are not currently known.