T: (858) 534-7819
I earned my PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1993. I subsequently trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the Ludwig Institute in San Diego, where I focused on the genetic alterations that drive the genesis of grade IV gliomas (glioblastoma multiforme; GBM), notably the commonly amplified and truncated epidermal growth factor receptor gene (known as EGFRvIII or ∆EGFR) and mutation of the PTEN gene. During my postdoctoral studies, I was credited with a seminal study demonstrating that the ability of PTEN to suppress glioma cell growth was mediated through the enzyme’s lipid phosphatase activity.
Currently as a Member of the Ludwig Institute, as well as Professor of Pathology at UCSD, my research program is directed at studying fundamental pathways that drive tumor initiation and progression, as well as malignant phenotypes of human glioblastomas, ranging from cancer biology, biochemistry, cell biology and signal transduction, to orthotopic glioma models and preclinical investigations. Specifically my lab focuses on: 1) how expression of EGFRvIII potentiates tumor heterogeneity and aggressiveness; 2) the role of this receptor in tumor maintenance; and 3) how modulators of the PTEN/PI3K signaling axis influence the effectiveness of receptor-directed therapeutics.
I serve on the editorial boards of Molecular Cancer Research and Neuro-Oncology, as well as the scientific advisory boards of the National Brain Tumor Society and the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center brain tumor SPORE. I have published more than 75 scientific papers and have received numerous honors.
PhD, Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1993
BA, Biology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, 1985
European Association for Cancer Research, Molecular Insights into Invasion and Drug Resistance, proffered paper award, 2012
Rubinstein Achievement in Neuropathology Award, 2011
Society for Neuro-Oncology Award for Excellence in Translational Research, 2011
Society for Neuro-Oncology Award for Excellence in Adult Basic Research, 2010
Goldhirsh Foundation Grant, 2005
V Foundation Scholar Award, 2002
Kimmel Faculty Scholar Award, 2001
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Travel Award, 1999
AACR Young Investigator Award, 1999
The Robert Steel Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research Fellowship, 1994