Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute teams converge on strategies to defeat McCain’s form of brain cancer
Research teams at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute from three colleges — Engineering, Science, and Veterinary Medicine — are developing new approaches to treat glioblastoma, the aggressive form of brain cancer recently diagnosed in U.S. Sen. John McCain.
“Overall, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute is positioned to have important impact in developing innovative therapies for treating glioblastoma,” said Michael J. Friedlander, founding executive director of the research institute and vice president for health sciences and technology at Virginia Tech. “With complementary research approaches in several laboratories here, we are committed to bringing cutting-edge science to bear on this devastating disorder that has evaded substantial progress for too long.”
The institute has invested resources and recruited top talent to focus on the challenge of brain cancer, Friedlander said.
“Although the prevalence of glioblastoma is not as great as several other cancers, the lack of good therapeutic options is a major challenge and one in which the research institute with its strengths in brain research, cell and structural biology, and focus on translational science can make a difference — and we plan to do so,” Friedlander said.
Researchers at the institute attacking the problem include Rob Gourdie, Harald Sontheimer, Zhi Sheng, and Samy Lamouille.
Gourdie is the Commonwealth Eminent Scholar of Regenerative Medicine and professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics in the College of Engineering; Sontheimer is the I.D. Wilosn Chair and professor of neuroscience, and executive director of the School of Neuroscience in the College of Science; Sheng is an assistant professor of biomedical science and pathobiology in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine; and Lamouille is a research assistant professor at the VTCRI.