Catherine J. Wu, MD
Dr. Wu’s laboratory focuses on dissecting the underlying mechanisms of pathobiology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) as a means to more rationally generate effective therapies, including immune-based treatments, for this common adult leukemia. She has been principal investigator of several center-initiated clinical trials, including an ongoing study that examines the effects of a personal whole tumor cell-based vaccine on outcomes following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant for the treatment of CLL. A major priority of her studies is the identification of tumor-specific antigens that would allow effective tumor targeting without collateral toxicity. She has been using exome and transcriptome sequencing technologies to identify unique mutated leukemia antigens that arise from individual-specific genetic alterations within a tumor and that could be potentially targeted immunologically, thus paving the way for developing personalized tumor vaccines. Through large-scale genome analysis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia, her laboratory has further discovered key mutated genes and pathways involved in CLL. Other ongoing studies in her laboratory focus on: (a) systematic analyses to couple tumor genotype with phenotype; (b) understanding CLL tumor heterogeneity; and (c) mechanistic studies of novel CLL driver gene.