Davidson Laboratory of Cell Signaling and Tumorigenesis

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Research Areas: Malignant glioma, including the anaplastic astrocytoma (AA) and glioblastoma (GBM) are the most common and aggressive primary brain tumors. Current treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, prognosis remains extremely poor and median survival has not changed appreciably. Limitations to therapy include the distinctly infiltrative nature of the tumors which prevents complete resection and contributes to tumor recurrence and the high resistance to radio- and chemotherapy of residual tumor cells and glioma stem cells (GSC).

The main research in our laboratory focuses on understanding the signaling pathways associated with the oncogenic potential, infiltrative nature and radioresistance of glioma stem cells. We also study the role of small non-coding RNAs (micro-RNA) in the biology of these cells and their potential use as novel diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets.

In addition to understand the basic mechanisms involved in the tumorigenesis of GBM and glioma stem cells, we are developing new approaches for the selective targeting of theses cells using nanoparticles and mesenchymal stem cells. Since brain tumor share some similarities with neurodegenerative disorders, we further implement our approaches of using mesenchymal stem cells as delivery vehicles and as replacement cell therapy also in these diseases.

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