Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute
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Our Investigators

The Northwestern Medicine Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital unites teams of experts from related yet diverse disciplines to infuse new knowledge and perspectives into cancer care and to advance our basic, clinical and translational science efforts. 

The institute's interdisciplinary approach holds promise for something greater than the sum of individual faculty member efforts. Our teams of faculty clinicians and investigators are focused on identifying and treating brain cancers early, determining factors that contribute to their development, researching new therapies and investigational drugs, developing effective new cancer treatments and enhancing our patients' quality of life. 

The result of this commitment is the presence of some of the country's most esteemed clinical and basic research scientists, whose groundbreaking efforts are strengthened by the presence of Northwestern's widely recognized Stem Cell Research Lab and the Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, a dynamic partnership between Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology and the Lurie Cancer Center.

Learn more about their work below.

Atique Ahmed, PhD

Atique Ahmed, PhD

Assistant Professor

My laboratory focuses on understanding the evaluation of therapeutic resistance and disease recurrence in brain cancer.

Irina Balyasnikova, PhD

Irina Balyasnikova, PhD

Associate Professor

My research focuses on the development of novel targeted approaches for the treatment of malignant brain tumors with particular interest in developing and utilizing antibodies and genetically engineered variants against tumor-specific antigens in order to enhance and deliver therapeutics.

Orin Bloch, MD

Orin Bloch, MD

Assistant Professor

I direct a brain tumor immunology laboratory and am the principal investigator for brain tumor immunotherapy clinical trials.

Daniel Brat, MD, PhD

Daniel Brat, MD, PhD

Professor

We investigate mechanisms of progression to glioblastoma (GBM), the most malignant form of primary brain tumor, including genetics, hypoxia, the tumor micro-environment and glioma stem cells. 

Shi-Yuan Cheng, PhD

Shi-Yuan Cheng, PhD

Professor

My laboratory's work looks to improve our understanding of molecular mechanisms of cancer tumorigenesis, invasion, metastases and angiogenesis, and to translate our novel discoveries to clinical treatments.

Stewart Goldman, MD

Stewart Goldman, MD

Professor

My laboratory investigations include examining the safety and efficacy of the photon radiosurgery system (PRS) for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors. I am also leading or involved in a number of clinical trials focused on developing new therapies for the treatment of brain stem gliomas.

Rintaro Hashizume, MD, PhD

Rintaro Hashizume, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

My primary research interests in understanding of the mechanisms of genetic and epigenetic changes that promote cancer development and progression, and identifying novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of brain cancer.

Craig Horbinski, MD, PhD

Craig Horbinski, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Our laboratory studies how mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase affects gliomas. Particular focus is on its suppression of Tissue Factor, a critical protein involved in blood clotting and tumor malignancy. We also provide MBTI researchers with high-quality biospecimens for their projects. My clinical specialty is molecular diagnostics in brain tumors.

C. David James, PhD

C. David James, PhD

Professor

My laboratory establishes human brain tumors in mice, and tests experimental therapies in the mice to identify treatments that can be used to improve outcomes for brain tumor patients.

Neil Kelleher, PhD

Neil Kelleher, PhD

Professor

The Kelleher Team has expertise in technology development for complex mixture analysis using Fourier-Transform Mass Spectrometry for targeted applications in proteomics and metabolomics.

Priya Kumthekar, MD

Priya Kumthekar, MD

Assistant Professor

I am very active in leading and designing clinical trials in neuro-oncology from phase 0 to larger late phase studies. I also oversee the Neuro-oncology Clinical Trial Disease Team and clinical trial portfolio at the cancer center. A complete list of clinical trials offered can be found in on the Institute?s Clinical Trials page.

Maciej (Matt) Lesniak, MD

Maciej (Matt) Lesniak, MD

Professor

I have been overall principal investigator of over 25 multi-institutional clinical trials for recurrent and newly diagnosed malignant gliomas.

Chad Mirkin, PhD

Chad Mirkin, PhD

Professor

My research focus is on the development and application of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) in biology, the life sciences, and medicine.

Amanda Saratsis, MD

Amanda Saratsis, MD

Assistant Professor

My research looks to integrate genomics data to understand the molecular biology of pediatric brain tumors.

Denise Scholtens,

Denise Scholtens,

Professor

I am a biostatistician with interests in high-dimensional and network data analyses. My group and I collaborate with brain tumor researchers on a wide range of studies spanning basic science to clinical trials.

Alexander Stegh, PhD

Alexander Stegh, PhD

Assistant Professor

Our research program is aimed at understanding the genetic program that underlies the pathogenesis of glioblastoma. Applying a combination of cell/molecular biology, oncogenomic and mouse engineering approaches, we are dedicated to systematically characterize novel cancer-causing genes, and to develop nanotechnological therapeutics to target these genes.

Derek Wainwright, PhD

Derek Wainwright, PhD

Assistant Professor

My laboratory discovers, tests and optimizes novel immunotherapeutic approaches in brain cancer models for the translation of those treatments into human patients. Our work has resulted in more than 10 clinical trials and we have high hopes for substantially increasing brain cancer patient survival.

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