Andrew L. Kung, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
DF/HCC Program AffiliationCancer Cell Biology
Research AbstractThe overarching goals of my research program are to move basic laboratory discoveries into clinical testing to advance the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cancer. The translational oncology research in my laboratory is powered by the horizontal integration of diverse experimental approaches including molecular biology, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, cell biology, drug development, mouse models, and molecular imaging. My laboratory has previously established proof-of-concept (PoC) for targeting several signal transduction pathways that are aberrantly activated in cancer, including Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1 (HIF-1), CXCR4, Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 Receptor (IGF1R), and the Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins (IAP). My laboratory continues to have active research programs focused on:
- Transcriptional regulation by HIF-1, and therapeutic targeting of HIF-1 in cancer.
- Therapeutic strategies to modulate targets considered undruggable by conventional discovery methods such as oncogenic transcription factors (e.g., EWS/FLI, ETS1).
- The role of epigenetics in cancer development and potential therapeutic targeting of histone modifying enzymes (e.g., histone demethylases, MLL fusion proteins).
- Combinatorial strategies utilizing therapeutic modulators of apoptosis.
To accelerate translational research on an enterprise level, I have helped to build two Strategic Centers at the DFCI. I directed the design and construction of the Lurie Family Imaging Center (LFIC), an 14,000 square foot state-of-the-art experimental therapeutics center. The LFIC is a barrier facility containing space for 16,500 experimental animals, along with 7T MRI, PET/CT, ultrasound, and optical imaging instruments as well as radiochemistry, radiotherapy, physics, and full pharmacology support. Studies at the LFIC are focused on validation of novel cancer therapies and imaging probes for PoC studies in preclinical and early phase clinical trials. In addition to serving as Director of the LFIC, I also serve as Co-Director (with George Demetri) of the Center for Novel Experimental Therapeutics (C-NExT). C-NExT is a horizontally integrated platform designed to identify and validate optimum patient stratification and biomarker strategies for emerging novel therapeutics. Together, the LFIC and CNExT represent critical platforms empowering translational research on an institute level.