Andrew Li-Jen Kung, MD, PhD
The overarching goals of my research program are to move basic laboratory discoveries into clinical testing to advance the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The translational oncology research in my laboratory is powered by the integration of diverse experimental approaches including molecular biology, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, drug development, mouse models, and molecular imaging. In the arena of target identification and validation, 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, CXCR4, Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 Receptor, and the Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins. We have active research programs focused on targeting hypoxic tumor cells, oncogenic transcription factors, epigenetic modifying enzymes, and modulators of apoptosis. To accelerate preclinical and early clinical PoC studies, we have helped to establish the Center for Biomedical Imaging in Oncology that integrates preclinical and clinical imaging research on an enterprise level. I designed and now serve as Director of the Lurie Family Imaging center (LFIC), a 14,000-square-foot state-of-the-art preclinical imaging and experimental therapeutics facility. Studies at the LFIC emphasize the identification and validation of novel cancer therapies and imaging biomarkers for PoC studies in preclinical and clinical trials. The translational focus of our research program has been facilitated by a horizontally integrated approach that crosses boundaries separating conventional scientific disciplines and clinical disease areas. Our research programs have led to therapeutic strategies that have been or are currently being clinically tested in multiple myeloma, leukemia, sarcoma, lymphoma, and pediatric cancers.