SURF

Alex Yang Lu

The Mechanism of Glioblastoma-Derived Endothelial Cell Evasion of TGF-B1 Induced Apoptosis

My research this summer focuses on battling Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), the most common and malignant type of brain tumor. Despite invasive surgical resection and pharmaceutical therapy, patients with GBM have a mean survival time of 12-15 months following diagnosis, making GBM among the most aggressive of human cancers. Tumors growth is dependent upon vascularization through the formation of new capillaries from pre-existing blood vessels, a process called angiogenesis. Numerous cytokines and growth factors have been shown to regulate angiogenesis while modulating cell invasion, growth and differentiation; however, these mechanisms remain poorly defined. GBM cells have the ability to become endothelial cells (ECs) that contribute to abnormal tumor vasculature. I will examine specific molecular targets to investigate the following: are GBM-derived ECs more resistant to apoptosis than host-derived ECs? Does this result in increased aggressiveness of tumors that have the potential to generate GBM-derived ECs?

Message to Sponsor

As a SURF fellow this summer, I will be able to refine my laboratory techniques and hone my critical thinking skills without financial constraints or looming midterms. This opportunity will allow me to not only collaborate with expect scientists but also discover how to incorporate medical research into my future career. In addition to the SURF staff, I would like to acknowledge the members of Wurmser lab (Professor Andrew Wurmser, Vicki Sciorra, Emily Ho, Julia Chang, and Michael Sanchez) for their continued support and guidance. Go Bears!
  • Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Mentor: Andrew Wurmser, Molecular & Cell Biology