Ongoing research in the Cancer Nanotechnology and Tumor Immunology Laboratory includes the development of effective therapeutic regimens to target primary and metastatic tumors using advanced technologies and multimodal treatment modalities.
Dr. Kim and her team are involved in four main cancer research projects:
- Nanomedicine for brain diseases. Dr. Kim has extensive experience conducting leading-edge research in nanomedicine. By designing multifunctional and biocompatible nanoparticles, the objective is to evade the blood-brain barrier and to specifically target the essential molecular and cellular events involved in brain tumor growth and neurodegeneration.
- Dissecting real-time crosstalk within the tumor microenvironment. High-resolution bioimaging platforms enable the lab's research team to track, label and identify the in vivo interactions between tumor cells and adjacent stromal cells in real time. This approach identifies the cellular and molecular processes that are critical for tumorigenesis.
- Harnessing the immune system host to fight tumors. The goal is to develop combination approaches to overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and potentiate anti-cancer immunotherapies.
- Identifying reliable biomarkers for personalized medicine. The heterogeneous nature of tumors requires diversified regimens that can be individualized for each patient. Patients at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida who have consented to participate in research have a fragment of their brain tumor tissue and a blood sample stored as a pair to be screened for molecular and cellular biomarkers. The goal is to develop a comprehensive central nervous system biobank to study predictive and prognostic biomarkers to optimize tumor treatments.