Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson Medical College

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The current NIH paradigm acknowledges both the weak scientific basis for much of clinical practice and the limitations of traditional in vitro assays. The proposed solution is to integrate basic science into clinical trials, enabling both the development and testing of biological hypotheses in humans, and then bringing this new knowledge back into the laboratory for further refinement. Our ultimate goal is to develop rational, hypothesis-driven clinical trials with a strong interdisciplinary translational program.

We are in the process of developing an interdisciplinary translational program in preclinical drug research to address outstanding clinical issues in relation to radiation oncology and to integrate this program with the mission of the RTOG to improve patient outcome by optimally integrating chemotherapy and emerging molecular targeted agents into radiation therapy clinical trials.

We focus individual research programs on the effects of chemo-radiation- targeted therapy on DNA damage response (as measured by biomarkers of homologous and non-homologous DNA repair, such as γH2AX, DNA-PK and PARP; cell cycle check-point response; and cell death markers (senescence, autophagy and apoptosis-related). Another area of research development is the tumor microenvironment (i.e., tumor angiogenesis, hypoxia and acidification); more specifically, how the tumor microenvironment is altered by chemo, radiation and molecular targeted therapies and in turn, how these alterations impact on DNA damage response, DNA repair mechanisms and tumor metabolism.

Faculty

Adjunct Faculty

  • Randy Burd, PhD
    Assistant Professor, University of Arizona
  • Yaacov Richard Lawrence, MD
    Director, Center for Translational Research in Radiation Oncology
    Sheba Medical Center, Tel HaShomer Hospital
    Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Languino, Lucia
    Professor, Cancer Biology
  • Zhang, Jianke
    Associate Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
  • Karen Knudsen, PhD 
    Professor, Cancer Biology
  • Ullrich Rodeck, MD
    Professor of Dermatology