Areas of Research
- Breast Cancer Research
- Pancreatic Cancer Research
- Myeloma Research
- Radiation Therapy Research
- Drug Development Research
- Immunotherapy Research
The major focus of the Koong Laboratory is to investigate hypoxia regulated signaling pathways that contribute to tumor growth and resistance to anti-cancer therapy.
We have previously shown that the IRE1-XBP1 pathway, a key component of the unfolded protein response (UPR), was activated by hypoxia and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Since identifying IRE1-XBP1 as a potential therapeutic target in cancer, the lab of Albert Koong, M.D., Ph.D., has completed a high throughput small molecule screen of >120,000 compounds for inhibitors of this pathway. His laboratory has identified a class of compounds that selectively inhibits IRE1 and demonstrates potent anti-cancer activity. We developed several computational biology methods of analyzing the drug screening data to improve the efficiency of drug discovery. Recently, we completed a genome wide siRNA screen to identify other genes that are required for the activation of IRE1. Studies investigating the mechanisms IRE1 activation will lead to the development of novel cancer therapeutics targeting this pathway.
His clinical interest is in the treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies, particularly pancreatic cancer. He has pioneered the use of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) or stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for pancreatic cancer. The translational focus of the Koong Laboratory is to identify cancer biomarkers that facilitate clinical decision making.
1. RP190192, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
Pharmacological targeting of the IRE1/XBP1 pathway for triple-negative breast cancer therapy
2. 3P30CA016672, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Radiation Oncology and Cancer Imaging
3. ROSI Particle Therapy Pillar Seed Award, Division of Radiation Oncology, The UT MD Anderson Cancer Center
Harnessing the Tumor Microenvironment and DNA Repair Defects Using He- and C-Ions for Enhanced Anti-tumor Immunity
Join Our Lab
Albert C. Koong, M.D., Ph.D., FACR, FASTRO
Professor and Chair, Radiation Oncology department
Robert C. Hickey Chair in Clinical Care
The University of Texas
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department of Radiation Oncology
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, TX 77030-4009