Leeat Yankielowicz-Keren, PhD

Dr. Yankielowicz-Keren studies cellular changes in breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in women in the U.S. Recently, a new multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI) technology has been introduced, which enables simultaneous imaging of dozens of proteins at a single cell level within a tissue section with high sensitivity.

Ryan A. Flynn, MD, PhD

Dr. Flynn aims to understand the interplay between cancer metabolism and RNA biology at the level of protein modifications, such as glycosylation. The use of metabolites to fuel cellular processes including cell division and protein synthesis are critical in both healthy tissue and cancer growth. This work will define glycosylation events that respond to and regulate the cancer state within RNA-based networks, thereby establishing new layers of regulation for future therapeutic targeting.

Ami S. Bhatt, MD, PhD

Chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) can cure otherwise deadly cancers such as leukemias and lymphomas. Unfortunately, there are many serious complications associated with these aggressive forms of therapy. A significant proportion of these complications have been associated with alterations in the microbiome - the bacteria, viruses and fungi that naturally live within and on us. Dr. Bhatt applies cutting-edge molecular, microbiology and computational biology approaches to understand how the microbiome may mediate these serious complications.

David M. Kurtz, MD, PhD

Despite improved outcomes for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma over the last two decades, a significant number of patients - about 40% in the most common type of lymphoma - will ultimately die from their disease. One of the major reasons for this is a lack of response to chemotherapy. Predicting how an individual patient will respond to treatment remains a major challenge. Current methods rely on risk factors measured prior to therapy; however, cancer is a dynamic process with dramatic changes throughout therapy. Dr.

Scott J. Dixon, PhD

Dr. Dixon aims to determine whether the altered metabolism of cancer cells creates new vulnerabilities that can exploited therapeutically. “Reductive stress” is a cellular concept in which too much glutathione could lead to cell growth arrest and death. He is investigating how a gene called NRF2 balances the demand for new glutathione synthesis with the need to avoid glutathione-mediated reductive stress.

Albert G. Tsai, MD, PhD

Dr. Tsai is developing next-generation diagnostics for low abundance cellular cancer samples. By measuring 40 or more markers simultaneously on individual tumor cells deposited on glass slides, he hopes to enable definitive diagnoses of blood and lymph node cancers without the need for invasive surgery or a histopathology laboratory. These methods will also provide a unique way to study these cancers, by merging traditional light microscopy with automated antibody-based multi-marker analysis.

Christopher J. Cambier, PhD

Dr. Cambier [HHMI Fellow] studies the role of cells called macrophages in mediating inflammation in immune responses to cancer. He is using the Mycobacterium marinum/zebrafish model of infection to examine misguided immune responses, many of which are shared with cancer. In particular, he proposes to study the distribution of a mycobacterial glycolipid molecule that is associated with driving macrophage activation and death, and will visualize the interactions of these glycolipids with macrophages in a living system.

Kathrin Leppek, PhD

Dr. Leppek [Layton Family Fellow] aims to combine RNA and ribosome biology with developmental biology to investigate how cells regulate protein synthesis through a process called translation. This process requires regulatory mechanisms to fine-tune when and where genes are expressed. Defective expression of certain genes gives rise to uncontrolled growth and metastasis of cancer cells. She will identify and characterize molecular components that play a functional role in mediating translational control during embryogenesis.