The Molecular Neuroscience and Neuro-Oncology Laboratory is an innovative research laboratory that connects the latest in research with clinical practice, and is dedicated to staying at the forefront of brain tumor research. The laboratory’s mission is to better understand the causes and mechanisms of brain tumors, such as glioblastomas, in order to provide more individualized treatment to patients today and develop innovative therapies for these aggressive cancers in the future.
Our laboratory utilizes a one-of-a-kind bio-bank that collects not only tissue and blood from tumors for research, but, unlike other such facilities, also includes live cells that provide RNA (ribonucleic acid) that is essential to research. Although RNA is difficult to maintain, our proprietary process allows us to keep a library of samples that provide important information about how the basic transcripts and proteins that cause aggressive brain cancers work, and more importantly, give us clues to how someday in the future their progress might be slowed or even halted.
Our ongoing work combines the expertise of a fully functioning research laboratory with real-world experience of clinicians to help make treatment decisions for patients at the hospital, depending on which transcripts and proteins are expressed in their given tumor, and which can direct us to know which targets might yield effective treatments in the future. Our research has already led us to the development of investigational medicines that are currently in clinical trials.
As our work continues, we look forward to collaborating with other departments in the hospital and extending our methods to include studying other cancers as well. In collaboration with laboratories at Brown University and other academic and medical centers, we are also doing pioneering work in tissue engineering and 3D modeling to create new human-like organs and cultures in which to more accurately predict how treatments will affect real patients.
Our staff of researchers, postdocs, and students within the laboratory hope that our work, in conjunction with innovations in immunotherapy and neurosurgery, will one day be able to extend survival outcomes for patients with glioblastomas and other brain tumors. We are excited to apply our skill and experience in an academic environment that encourages out-of-the box thinking to find ever more advanced ways to help patients.
Margot Martinez Moreno: Postdoctoral Fellow
John Zepecki: Research Assistant