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Lai Lab Links
The Lai Lab is dedicated to improving outcomes and ultimately finding the cure for patients with primary brain cancer. In particular, we are focused on diffuse gliomas (including glioblastoma), the most common form of primary brain cancer. Affecting ~30,000 adults per year in the United States, diffuse gliomas represent a devastating and incurable disease for most patients in which significant improvements in treatment outcome remain elusive. The development of personalized targeted therapies and associated biomarkers shows the most promise to achieving a cure for these patients. Recognition that diffuse gliomas can be separated based on the presence of active site mutation of isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 or 2 (IDH1/2) represents a significant advance in the field. Accordingly, the major focus of the lab is understand the basic mechanisms by which the IDH1/2 mutations triggers glioma development and influences glioma response to treatment and outcome.  In particular, we focus on understanding how IDH1/2 mutations affect the epigenetic landscape by harnessing patient tissue resources and glioma cell models to identify novel epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes in glioma, to validate their use as biomarkers of outcome, and determine their mechanistic/therapeutic significance.  The Lai Lab is committed to pursuing the concept that exhaustive molecular and phenotypic investigation of each patient will lead to the cure.