Novel Oncologic Therapeutics and Oxygen Sensing
Over the past 25 years, Dr. Vasconcelles’ research interests in oncology have primarily focused on areas within tumor biology broadly referred to as non oncogene addiction, and more recently the emerging area of immuno-oncology. Several years ago in the laboratory, we established a eukaryotic model system using Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Baker’s yeast) to better understand the adaptive response to low oxygen tension. We learned that changes in gene expression in yeast, in response to hypoxia, are similar to higher eukaryotes in several fundamental ways, suggesting potential conservation of oxygen-sensing pathways.
More recently, focus has turned to the development of novel cancer therapeutics based upon important discoveries and observations from several laboratories. Clinical research efforts have led to the development and approval of novel cancer medicines to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia, pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Hodgkins’ lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
Currently, our work is directed toward the development of genetically modified autologous T cell therapies in cancer, with potential broad applications across a variety of malignancies.
Our work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Eukaryotic Cell, Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, among others.