Cancers of the nervous system and cancer treatment-related pain present unique challenges. The brain consists of multiple cell types, and the determination of the particular cellular and molecular composition of individual brain tumors is key to developing effective therapies. Moreover, the blood-brain barrier prevents many drugs used for other tumors from entering the brain. Finally, many cancer patients experience chronic pain for which there are limited treatment options. The study of the basic biology of the nervous system and of cancers of the nervous system will inform better treatments.
- The Ma Lab identifies and characterizes transcription factors that regulate the formation of sensory neurons and create neural networks for the perception of pain.
- The Stiles Lab focuses on genes that direct the formation of the glial lineages in the brain.
- The Segal Lab investigates interactions between cells in the brain that lead to cell proliferation or migration.