Driving brain and spine cancer research
Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa's Brain Tumor Stem Cell Research Lab at Mayo Clinic studies the molecular pathways of glioblastoma, chordoma and metastatic brain cancer to find new therapies for patients.
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.
About Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa
Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa — known to his patients as Dr. Q — is the William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor and chair of the Department of Neurologic Surgery at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida. His research interest is focused on discovering new methods of delivering effective treatments for brain tumors in diverse populations and predicting prognoses for patients with brain tumors.
Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School, with honors. He did his neurosurgery residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental and stem cell biology. His career began at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he served as professor of neurosurgery and oncology, neurology, and cellular and molecular medicine, as well as director of the Brain Tumor Stem Cell Research Laboratory.