Frank Furnari, PhD

Member Ludwig Institute, Professor of Pathology

Research Statement

The primary focus of our research is to study fundamental pathways that drive initiation and progression of glioblastoma, as well as the malignant phenotypes of this aggressive brain cancer, ranging from tumor biology, biochemistry, cell biology, signal transduction and bioinformatic analyses, to orthotopic glioma models and preclinical investigations. Our program has the following main objectives with the overarching goal of molecularly understanding and eradicating glioblastoma and other types of brain cancer: • Tumor heterogeneity: How expression of amplified extracellular domain mutants of the epidermal growth factor gene (EGFR) enhance tumor aggressiveness and promote therapeutic resistance. • Tumor vulnerabilities and genetic dependencies: Identifying therapeutically actionable targets. • Brain tumor models: Engineering of next generation tumor models that accurately recapitulate the spectrum of subtype driver mutations and the evolution of adult and pediatric brain tumors.