The Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute and the faculty have created a specialized cancer and research center that focuses on advancing scientific knowledge relevant to childhood cancer and accelerating that knowledge into innovative cures for all ages.
The interest of our lab is to identify and understand mechanisms of damage survival. People who inherit a deficiency in damage response are predisposed to develop cancer, usually as children or young adolescents. Further, most cancer treatments are based on damaging cancer cells, so understanding why a chemotherapy works, and for which patients, should lead to more effective and less toxic treatments that will increase the cure rate and improve quality of life for cancer survivors.
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBBI) focuses on developing computational solution and statistical modeling to bridge between quatitative science and the basic biology and translational research within Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute and around UT Health San Antonio.
Our studies are aimed at understanding mechanisms of cancer initiation in children and using this information to develop more effective and less toxic treatments that will increase the cure rate and improve quality of life for cancer survivors.
Our research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of resistance of Ewing sarcoma cells to PARP1 inhibition with the ultimate goal of developing more effective and less toxic therapy for Ewing sarcoma patients. Another project in which the lab is involved identifies novel drugs and drug combinations to treat pediatric sarcoma and renal tumors. This project is a part of the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium (PPTC) that has been recently funded by NCI.
Dr. Zhao Lai is Director of Genome Sequencing Facility (GSF) in the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (GCCRI) at UT Health San Antonio. The GSF utilizes state-of-the-art genomic platforms to generate high-quality genomic data and provides support with its analysis to scientists of GCCRI, CTRC, UTHSCSA and surrounding San Antonio areas.
My laboratory studies post-transcriptional regulation from a global perspective. We use a combination of genomics, systems biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics and molecular biology to investigate the networks formed by RNA binding proteins, miRNAs and their target genes and evaluate their impact on biological processes, cancer and disease states.
Our research interests integrate computational biology, cancer biology and genetics. We study regulatory RNA molecules called non-coding RNAs (called that because they do not code for proteins), including microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and how they regulate cancer cell growth and response to anti-cancer drugs.