The focus of our research is drug resistance. We make use of human biospecimens collected as part of our extensive biobank, which comprises primary tumors, metastatic tumors and plasma. We have generated pre-clinical models derived from patients’ tumors including a collection of patient derived xenografts from breast, colon and gastric cancer patients. We have also adopted a novel method to establish primary cultures using conditional reprogramming. These pre-clinical in vivo and in vitro tools are currently used in several of our projects.

We make use of genomics tools including gene expression microarrays, whole exome and targeted sequencing, RNA sequencing, copy number analysis and ddPCR technology.

Clinical trials: we have expertise in investigator initiated biopsy driven clinical trials where tumor and blood are collected prior to and during drug treatment. We have expertise in sample collection and processing for downstream molecular profiling and we have developed standard operating procedures to ensure the high quality of biospecimens analyzed. We recently completed the Q-CROC-03 trial, a biopsy driven study to identify molecular markers of drug resistance in triple negative breast cancer, the analyses of these samples are currently part of projects on going in the laboratory.

The projects currently on going in the laboratory include:
• Validation of clinical drug response in PDX and conditionally reprogrammed cells.
• Identification of novel therapeutic targets to overcome drug resistance in triple negative breast cancer.
• Novel treatment modalities for drug resistant HER2+ breast cancers.
• Impact of the microenvironment on drug resistance.
• Identification and validation of biomarkes of drug response and resistance in triple negative breast cancer patients.
• Q-CROC-03- Clinical trial to molecular profile drug resistant triple negative breast cancer.
• Study of tumor suppressor genes (ARID1A and SPEN) in breast cancer.
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