Pediatric Oncology; Leukemia biology
Pediatric Oncology, Anschutz Medical Campus
3 years of college
Number of openings: 1
To learn experimental techniques in basic research related to cancer biology.
The Porter laboratory focuses on understanding the development of childhood leukemia and its resistance to therapy, with the goal of developing novel therapeutic strategies to improve the care of children with leukemia. To do so, we employ a number of models of leukemia, in vitro and in vivo, for discovery and validation of molecular vunerabilities in leukemia cells. For example, we have optimized and used shRNA laboratories to screen the genome in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells to identify synthetic lethality with cytarbine, one of the most important conventional agents currently used to treat AML. We found that inhibition of the cell cycle checkpoint protein, WEE1 is synergistic with cytarabine in killing AML cells. We are funded by an R01 from the NCI to study the mechanisms of synergy and determine whether a strategy is effective in patient derived xenograft models. I am collaborating with Children's Oncology Group investigators to develop a clinical trial testing this strategy in children with the Wee1 inhibitor, ADZ1775. In addition, my lab is studying molecular mechanisms of immune evasion during leukemogenesis, as well as the role of ETV6 in normal lymphocyte development.