Neurosurgical Oncology Laboratory

Focusing on the cellular and immunological characteristics of malignant brain tumors, this lab’s areas of interest include immunotherapy, brain tumor stem cells, and mouse models of malignant gliomas.

This laboratory has demonstrated that an interrelated cellular network mediates immunosuppression in malignant glioma patients including glioma cells (differentiated and stem cell phenotypes), tumor-infiltrating monocytes/microglia, circulating myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and regulatory T cells. Multiple molecular mechanisms contribute to these cells' effects, but evidence from our lab has implicated a central role for the immunosuppressive T cell costimulatory molecule homologue B7-H1. Much of our work is aimed at disrupting this network to facilitate immunotherapies and develop appropriate murine models of glioma-mediated immunosuppression to allow pre-clinical testing.

A major aim of our work is to translate discoveries to the clinic through glioma vaccine clinical trials, an effort that is facilitated by the presence of a GMP ("Good Manufacturing Practices") laboratory for generating clinical grade cellular therapy reagents. We also work closely with other members of the Mayo Clinic Brain SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence). Only three "Brain" SPOREs have been awarded nationwide, underscoring the Mayo Clinic's exceptional capacity to perform translational research in neuro-oncology.

Also see Neuro-oncology research program.