Vidya Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D.
Areas of Research
- Pediatric Research
- Brain and CNS Tumor Research
- Chromatin Remodelers Research
- Epigenetics Research
The overall goal of research in the Gopalakrishnan Laboratory is to understand how pediatric brain tumors develop and to translate this information for therapeutic purposes.
Despite the rarity of childhood cancers, they are the leading cause of death from disease among children in the United States. A central challenge to improving long-term survival in pediatric cancer patients is an extremely limited spectrum of therapeutics that are effective in the setting of recurrent or metastatic tumors. High-throughput genomic studies have underscored the scarcity of mutations in pediatric tumors and also highlighted the need to evaluate changes in chromatin structure, post-translational modifications on proteins and a dysfunctional tumor microenvironment as drivers of childhood cancers. The advantage to the study of epigenetic, proteomic or immune mis-regulation in cancers is that these are potentially reversible and can be therapeutically targeted. Indeed, a number of epigenetic, kinase and immune modulators are in clinical trials for adult cancers and can be readily leveraged in a pediatric setting. Thus, the overall goal of research in my lab is to understand how pediatric brain tumors develop and to translate this information for therapeutic purposes.
Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
American Cancer Society (ACS)
Addis Faith Foundation
Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancers