Molecular and Translational Cancer Biology
Investigating the molecular genetic and physiologic basis for childhood cancer development and identifying personalized, tumor-specific therapies.
The research interest of our laboratory lies in identifying new effective therapies to improve the outcome of children with brain tumors. Our laboratory studies to understand the biology and molecular mechanisms that promote cancer development and progression, and would accordingly reveal potential therapeutic targets. We utilize animal model systems that faithfully recapitulate the biology and genetics of human brain tumors. Animal model systems enhance the testing of new therapeutic agents being considered for clinical trials, as well as new therapeutic approaches that bypass the blood-brain barrier, such as convection enhanced delivery and intranasal delivery.
Our laboratory focuses on molecular neuro-oncology and translational experimental therapeutics with a goal of developing more effective and less toxic therapies for children with malignant brain tumors. Our ultimate goal is to improve the clinical outcomes of pediatric malignant brain tumors.
Kyle MacQuarrie, MD, PhD, is a pediatric oncologist who specializes clinically in the care of children with solid tumors, and has a particular interest in pediatric sarcomas. Dr. MacQuarrie’s research interests include understanding the relationship between normal developmental biology and pediatric cancer, focusing on the pediatric tumor of skeletal muscle, rhabdomyosarcoma. Dr. MacQuarrie hopes to leverage these types of studies to advance our understanding and treatment of pediatric cancers generally. He also has an interest in scientific and medical diversity, equity, inclusion, and mentoring.
Studies in our lab are aimed at defining biological markers that shed light on the pathogenesis and/or aid in the therapeutic stratification of pediatric renal tumors and pediatric germ cell tumors. We are performing these studies in collaboration with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), which governs treatment protocols used for over 90% of pediatric malignancies and serves as a central collections agency for biological samples.
The Walz Laboratory conducts research on the treatment of pediatric patients with solid tumors, including renal tumors, liver tumors, germ cell tumors, sarcomas, and rare tumors. The laboratory also develops new therapeutic clinical trials for renal tumor patients.