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Personal profile

Research Interests

Our laboratory utilizes DNA sequencing, gene expression profiling, proteomic analyses, flow cytometric methodology and many other basic techniques to pursue goals that are ultimately translatable for improving health and overall survival in patients with brain cancer. Although our research is primarily focused on malignant glioma, with a special emphasis on glioblastoma, we are also interested in pursuing incurable pediatric brain tumors, as well as metastatic tumors that invade the brain/spinal cord. It is our sincere hope that, the basic mechanistic investigations that we carry out, uncover important and meaningful discoveries that translate into highly effective immunotherapeutic modalities for the benefit of patients with incurable cancer in the brain.

The primary goal of our research is to analyze the immune response in human brain tumors, as well as syngeneic and humanized mouse brain tumor models, with the intent to develop and evaluate novel immunotherapeutic strategies for malignant brain cancer. We aim to: 1) discover new targets that increase immunosuppression, 2) develop new drugs that inhibit immunosuppression, 3) and test novel treatment strategies for clinical translation into human patients with malignant glioma. Current Projects -Dissect the multiple roles of immunosuppressive indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase 1 (IDO) in glioblastoma (GBM) -Determine how advanced age suppresses the effectiveness of immunotherapy for treatment of GBM -Investigate the psychosocial aspects of stress, anxiety and/or depression on the suppression of immunotherapeutic efficacy for GBM. -Characterize the gut microbiota of GBM patients, before and after treatment with immunotherapy

Training Experience

2013Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Loyola University Chicago

… → 2009

MS, Loyola University Chicago

… → 2004

Research interests

  • Aging
  • Biologic Therapies
  • Brain Cancer / Nervous System Cancer
  • Cancer Biology
  • Immune Regulation
  • Immunology
  • Metabolism
  • Neuro-Oncology
  • Neurobiology
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology

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Research Output

Open Access
  • Open Access
  • 3 Scopus citations

    CD73: An emerging checkpoint for cancer immunotherapy

    Chen, S., Wainwright, D. A., Wu, J. D., Wan, Y., Matei, D. E., Zhang, Y. & Zhang, B., Jan 1 2019, In : Immunotherapy. 11, 11, p. 983-997 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 6 Scopus citations

    Commentary: preclinical efficacy of immune-checkpoint monotherapy does not recapitulate corresponding biomarkers-based clinical predictions in glioblastoma by Garg et al. (2017)

    Zhai, L., Ladomersky, E., Lauing, K. L., Wu, M., Scholtens, D. M., Savoor, R., Zhang, B., Wu, J. D., Horbinski, C., Lukas, R. V., Binder, D. C. & Wainwright, D. A., Mar 4 2019, In : OncoImmunology. 8, 3, 1548242.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

  • Imaging tryptophan uptake with positron emission tomography in glioblastoma patients treated with indoximod

    Lukas, R. V., Juhász, C., Wainwright, D. A., James, C. D., Kennedy, E., Stupp, R. & Lesniak, M. S., Jan 15 2019, In : Journal of Neuro-Oncology. 141, 1, p. 111-120 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 6 Scopus citations