About the Lab

The Brain Tumor Stem Cell Research Laboratory of Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, M.D., focuses on elucidating molecular and cellular pathways involved in the progression of tumors arising in the central nervous system, in particular glioblastoma. In collaboration with partners across multiple Mayo Clinic departments and other research institutions, the laboratory team designs novel therapeutic agents and explores the potential for translation into human clinical trials.

Areas of interest

Specific areas of interest in Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa's laboratory include:

  • Elucidating important molecular players involved in brain tumor invasion and migration
  • Designing novel cellular therapies using adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells to treat brain tumors
  • Developing effective approaches to target brain tumors using novel local and systemic therapies
  • Developing clinically relevant animal models to study the progression of brain tumors

The research team studies the most common and aggressive brain cancer — glioblastoma — which has a high recurrence rate and dismal prognosis, with only 3.3 percent of patients surviving five years.

In particular, the research group studies tumor-propagating cells that comprise a minority population of highly tumorigenic clones. These cells display stemness features and are believed to be brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs). BTICs are the most aggressive and malignant tumor-propagating cells and are believed to be the main culprits of therapy resistance and recurrence seen in patients today.

Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa's laboratory strives to understand the molecular drivers of invasion and cellular engines of BTICs and discover new therapeutic modalities to permanently eliminate cancers in the central nervous system.