May 2017 – Ligon and Beroukhim labs awarded new NCI R01 for studies on MYB transcription factors in cancer.

February 2017 – NCI selects Broad/DFHCC as one of two new national Cancer Model Derivation Centers to participate in the worldwide Human Cancer Models Initiatives (Drs. Boehm/Ligon Co-Directors) More (Broad)...  More (NCI)...

January 2017 – DFCI Launches new Strategic Center for Patient Derived Models to study Advance research in cell line, xenograft, and acute cell sensitivity testing in all cancers (Director Dr. Keith Ligon).

The research of the Ligon laboratory is focused on understanding the links between stem and progenitor cell biology and the biology of Glioblastoma and a diverse array of other human brain cancers. Our studies combine insights from developmental biology, cancer genetics, and neuropathology to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic targets in brain tumors. Our work is especially oriented towards mapping the complex networks of transcription factor proteins which precisely control stem cell growth and the growth of cancer cells. The lab utilizes methods of stem cell biology, mouse transgenics, and molecular genetics to achieve these goals.

Another major goal of the lab is to advance the development of direct “human science” methods. There has been a recent explosion in the possibilities for direct study of human biology in science and decreased dependence on surrogate model systems to study disease. However these studies require direct study of human tissue systems using new techniques. These methods include the study of novel cell culture systems, development of ex vivo human model systems (slice culture), and application of advanced genomic methods to normal and cancer pathology states. These studies involve laboratory research as well as collaborative clinical-trial based research within Boston and other centers around the country.

The lab’s research is highly oriented towards real world translation of these findings into clinical diagnostic and therapeutic tools to help improve the lives of cancer patients.

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