Alaoui Lab

Discovering New Methods for Early Detection & Novel Theraputics for Thoracic Malignancies

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Early detection is critical to effective treatment. The Alaoui Lab, a core research lab in the Thoracic Oncology Program, is focused on elucidating diagnostic biomarkers and developing novel targeted therapies for treatment of lung cancer, mesothelioma and esophageal cancer. We seek to gain a keen understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying these diseases. Our projects include:

  1. Investigating the role of extracellular heparan sulfate degrading sulfatases (SULFs) in tumorigenesis, and finding novel ways to target them.
  2. Discovering novel blood biomarkers for early detection and stratification of thoracic malignancies.
  3. Elucidating the molecular mechanisms of multi-drug resistance in thoracic malignancies.
  4. Developing DNA repair inhibitors for thoracic malignancies, particularly small-molecule inhibitors, which hold great promise for damaging tumor cells.
  5. Adapting cAbl inhibitors, FDA-approved for the treatment of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), for treatment of malignant mesothelioma, a devastating and currently incurable disease.

Our lab employs state-of-the-art molecular and cellular technologies including the Affy-gene Titan high throughput expression analysis and ABI HT 7900 qPCR, and has access to the Thoracic Oncology Tissue Bank, one of the largest repositories of lung tumor tissue specimens in the world.

Recent Publications

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