My current research projects focus on two questions:
- What are the signaling networks that control the maintenance of leukemic stem cells (which are shown to be chemo-resistant hence are the reason for high relapse rate in leukemia)?
- How does leukemic clonal structure evolve during chemotherapy?
I use bioinformatic approaches to analyze gene expression and clinical response data sets to identify critical signaling networks that are related to the maintenance of leukemic stem cells. I then test small molecular inhibitors and genetic approaches that can manipulate these networks to target leukemic stem cells.
To study leukemic clonal evolution during chemotherapy, we utilize next generation sequencing platforms to define the clonal structure through out the treatment of leukemic disease in patients. The goal of this project is to identify sub-clones that are resistant to conventional chemotherapy treatment, and ultimately to discover new therapeutic agents to eradicate these resistant clones.