The research of Richard J. Bram, M.D., Ph.D., stems from an interest in the signals that control whether cells live or die. These signals control our immune system, and are essential for a normal response to prevent infections and in anti-cancer surveillance. Additionally, when these cellular signals go awry, cancer or leukemias can develop.
Learning more about the controls that regulate cell survival and death will ultimately lead to better treatments for cancer and diseases of the immune system, such as autoimmunity or immunodeficiency.
- Identification of novel molecular targets for therapy of glioblastoma multiforme, medulloblastoma and acute leukemia
- Discovery of new anti-cancer small molecules and testing in mouse models of human cancers
- Understanding the immune system by studying genetic knockout mouse models, with emphasis on rejection of tumors and development of leukemia
Significance to patient care
Although cure rates for children with cancer have greatly improved over the last 20 years, there is still an unacceptable number of deaths from malignancies in this age group. Additionally, current treatments are still plagued by long durations and chronic toxicities, including dramatically increased risks of heart failure, secondary malignancies and infertility.
Efforts to identify new targets for cancer therapy, or to enhance the efficacy of the immune system to reject cancer, are expected to lead to better treatments with reduced short- and long-term side effects.