The Pao Laboratory aims to perform translational research in the area of solid tumor biology, using lung cancer as a paradigm. The overall goals are to:
• Define clinically relevant molecular subsets of cancers
• Elucidate mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to targeted therapies
• Translate genomic information into clinical care
The Pao Laboratory has developed a basic and translational research program that made seminal contributions to the understanding of molecular mechanisms of solid tumor pathogenesis, with a particular focus on lung cancer. Our work has identified new molecular mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance of lung cancers to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and has yielded important insights into a molecular understanding of lung cancers and other cancers such as thymic malignancies and melanomas. Based on these discoveries, we have developed and successfully tested new anti-cancer therapies in animal models and humans, including the combination of afatinib plus cetuximab for patients with EGFR mutant tumors and resistance to EGFR TKIs. Our work has helped change the standard of care in lung cancer. To address biological issues, the lab employs a variety of cellular, biochemical, and molecular tools, including both in vitro and in vivo model systems.