Researcher Using Big Data To Explore Potential of Kinase Inhibitors To Thwart Brain Cancer

Share
David Plas, PhD, left and doctoral student Nicholas Clark discuss recent big data analyses in glioblastoma multiforme.

David Plas, PhD, left and doctoral student Nicholas Clark discuss recent big data analyses in glioblastoma multiforme.

Contact: Cindy Starr
(513) 558-3505
cindy.starr@uc.edu

Nicholas Clark, a doctoral student at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, is taking a big data approach to the problem of glioblastoma multiforme, the most stubborn and aggressive of all brain tumors. Clark, who specializes in biostatistics and bioinformatics, is using a one-year, $25,000 grant to explore whether biomedical big data can predict and optimize responses to a form of targeted therapy for glioblastoma, which claims thousands of American lives each year.

The therapy involves using compounds called kinase inhibitors to target proteins that are frequently activated in human cancers, including glioblastoma.
Clark is a PhD student in the Department of Environmental Health’s new Big Data Biostatistics program. His mentors include Mario Medvedovic, PhD, professor of environmental health, and David Plas, PhD, associate professor of cancer biology and holder of the Anna and Harold W. Huffman Endowed Chair in Glioblastoma Experimental Therapeutics.

“My work with Dr. Plas is in the very beginning stages and is still taking shape,” Clark says. “But in the simplest terms the plan is to help with his research on new potential drug therapies for glioblastoma by making use of the huge amounts of publicly available genomic data on cancer cells.”

Publicly available data include:

•    the toxicity of thousands of drugs to hundreds of cancer cell lines;
•    gene and protein expression of cancer cells in response to treatment with these drugs;
•    and the mutational status of cancer-related genes in these cell lines.

“We hope to use this large-scale data, as well as smaller-scale data and knowledge from experiments in Dr. Plas’s lab, to inform new experiments and develop new insights into glioblastoma treatment,” Clark says.

Clark received his fellowship from the Advanced Multidisciplinary Training Program for Systems Biology, which is run by UC’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. The multidisciplinary training program is designed to prime researchers to tackle the complex mechanisms of human disease through a cross-disciplinary approach. The training program involves 38 program faculty members paired with students who have matriculated into 13-degree granting PhD programs at UC.

This entry was posted in Press Releases. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Print This Page
  • Make an Appointment: Schedule Now
  • Sign up for our newsletter!
  • UCNI Weekly Blog
  • Hope Stories

    • Dick’s Story: Limbic Encephalitis

      Dick's Story: Limbic EncephalitisDick was enjoying his retirement as a full-time volunteer at Crayons to Computers when his memory began to go awry. He told his granddaughter that his car was due for an oil change, when he had just had the oil...
    • Norma’s Story: Essential Tremor

      Norma's Story: Essential TremorQuestion: what progressive neurological condition causes a rhythmic trembling of the head, voice, legs or trunk; can be treated with medication or deep brain stimulation; has no definitive cure; and is eight times more common than Parkinson’s disease? If you’re...
    • Amber’s Story: Ruptured Aneurysm

      Amber's Story: Ruptured Aneurysm The only visible sign of Amber Gray’s ordeal is the long slender scar that runs along her forearm. It is the area where a surgeon carefully removed her radial artery, which was needed to bypass a damaged artery in her...
    • Adam’s Story: Post-accident Recovery

      Adam’s Story: Post-accident RecoveryAdam and two friends were tooling down the freeway on their motorcycles one fine Sunday last October when the accident occurred. Adam, who liked to feel the breeze on his shaved head, was not wearing a helmet. Changing lanes, he...
    • Lynne’s Story

      Lynne's StorySemiretired and working part-time at a restaurant, Lynne knew something was amiss when she looked at the cash register and then struggled to make her hands produce the correct amount of change. Could she have suffered a stroke? Lynne pushed the...
    • Rick’s Story: After 45 Years, He Got the Help He Needed

      Rick's Story: After 45 Years, He Got the Help He Needed Rick’s strategy for managing his epilepsy wasn’t perfect, but it had worked well enough for most of his career as a theme park project manager who traveled the world. Whether he worked in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore or Germany, his routine...
    • Alicia’s Story: Multiple Sclerosis

      Alicia’s Story: Multiple SclerosisAlicia is relishing a life that is filled to the brim: she is a wife, a mother, a runner and a master at living with multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed in the late 1990s, Alicia had “a bumpy ride” in the beginning. But...
    • Sunny’s Story: A New MS Family

      Sunny's Story: A New MS Family As Sunny knows, one does not defeat multiple sclerosis. The disease is here today, and it is still here tomorrow. But with help from skilled,...
    • Zettie’s Story: Aphasia

      Zettie's Story: Aphasia In November of 2004, Zettie Williams confronted what neurologists consider one of the most feared consequences of stroke. When a therapist showed her a photograph of her son, she knew she was looking at her son, but she couldn’t say...
    • Paula’s Story: Clot-Retriever Success

      Paula's Story: Clot-Retriever Success No one ever wants to suffer a stroke. But when Paula suffered a major, life-threatening stroke in September 2013 while working at a local deli, one might say that her timing was perfect. First and foremost, Paula got to the University...