I am fortunate to have joined the world renowned Dr. Bert Vogelstein’s lab for my PhD thesis research on the genomic studies of human cancers. I co-led the first exomic sequencing of human pancreatic cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), and medulloblastoma, and published three first co-author papers in Science. We made the seminal discovery that IDH1 was highly mutated in GBM, and showed its importance in human cancer for the first time. This has led to the subsequent mechanistic studies and development of targeted therapies in multiple tumor types with IDH1 mutation. My research was rated as one of the Top Ten Breakthrough of Year 2008 by Science.
During my PhD study, my second research focus was on novel cancer therapeutics using anaerobic bacteria Clostridium Novyi-NT to treat solid tumors. I was particularly interested in combining the bacterial therapy with novel immunotherapies to achieve greater response in the cancer bearing mice. I have also contributed to the preclinical safety studies and the launch of the phase I clinical trial using Clostridium Novyi-NT to treat patients with advanced solid tumors.
At UCSF, I continued my translational research in Dr. Andrei Goga's lab. I worked on identification of therapeutic biomarker and development of targeted therapy using breast cancer patient derived xenograft mouse model. We have some very exciting discovery that will be translated into human clinical trial. During my hematology oncology fellowship, I have also developed particular interest in clinical research in GI oncology under the co-mentorship of Drs. Alan Venook and Pamela Munster. This has framed my long term career goal in designing clinical trials and ultimately make an impact on the lives of cancer patients.