The Brockman Foundation has provided funding support for The Transformative GBM Initiative led by Dr. Amy Heimberger, a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Heimberger directs an extensive research program focused on immune therapeutic strategies for glioma patients and studies tumor-mediated mechanisms of immune suppression.
She has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and also holds multiple National Institute of Health and foundation grants. Dr. Heimberger has a clinical interest in awake mapping and resection of gliomas within eloquent cortex. She has been named by the US News and World Report as a Top Doc.
Dr. Heimberger’s Foundation-funded research aims to target network vulnerabilities or use approaches that are unthwarted by tumor heterogeneity; modulate the tumor microenvironment and enhance/target BBB penetration; and clarify how to optimize immunotherapy for GBM.
To accomplish these goals, Dr. Heimberger and her research team will identify novel therapeutic targets that will be exploited for clinical impact, devise therapeutic strategies that are not limited by profound tumor cell heterogeneity, and clarify how to open the Blood Brain Barrier within the GBM to make the full compendium of therapeutics applicable to their patients. They will also convert immunologically nonreactive tumors to those that can benefit from immunotherapy, determine what informs immunological hotspots of reactivity within tumors, and clarify new therapeutic opportunities.
- Project Focus:: Immune therapeutic strategies