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Huang Lab

Research interests

Dr. Huang's research focuses on rare embryonal brain tumours of childhood and understanding mechanisms of tumour spread. Embryonal brain tumours which represent the largest category of malignant childhood brain tumours span a large spectrum of diseases, many of which are rare diseases that are poorly characterized and for which best therapy remains unknown.

The Huang lab established a rare brain tumour network and consortium to study large number of rare tumours using advanced genomic tools. Their work has led to the discovery of new genetic markers that can now be used to accurately diagnose categories of rare brain tumours and accelerated research into specific treatments for these rare diseases. Specifically, recent work from the Huang lab has established that rhabdoid brain tumours comprise three different genetic categories that respond differently to various drugs; this research will allow tailoring of treatment for rhabdoid tumour patients in the near future. Many embryonal brain tumours, like rhabdoid tumours and medulloblastoma, have a tendency to spread to other parts of the brain making it to challenging to treat children without use of whole brain and spine radiation.

Recent work from the Huang lab has shown that the Myc oncoprotein and a critical protein partner, JPO2 regulates a critical signaling pathway, the PI3K pathway, to silence a potent tumour suppressor and promote embryonal brain tumour metastases. Through this work they have identified a potential new drug to inhibit tumour metastases, which may ultimately help to spare radiation treatment in children with embryonal brain tumours.