My research interests are oriented around three topic areas:
Targeting bone metastatic cancers
Bone metastatic cancer patients have to deal with tremendous pain and pathological facture during the tumor progression. To tackle the bone metastatic tumor progression, it is important to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying tumor and bone marrow niche interaction. Hence, I am interested in delineating tumor niche-directed therapeutic targets leveraging three-dimensional osteoblastic niche (3D-ObN) assay originally developed in this laboratory. The 3D-ObN assay is a particularly useful platform for understanding cellular interactions of bone metastatic tumors such as highly advanced breast and prostate cancers in bone marrow.
Recently, our team has identified a novel function of Cdk5 in melanomagenesis and progression, utilizing a new B-RafV600E/Pten/Cdk5 genetically
engineered mouse model. There are currently significant research efforts toward the development of novel CDK5-specific inhibitors for multiple clinical applications.
Finally, I am largely dedicated to the development of dendritic cell-based therapies including personalized DC vaccine for malignant cancer patients and tolerogenic DC specifically designed for restoring the immune system in the patients with complicated immune disorders commonly observed in graft-vs-host disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type-I diabetes, and allergies.