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overview A translation-focused investigator specializing in developmental therapeutics, correlative science, and precision medicine, with 15+ years of continuous NIH and federal funding. Research is focused on identifying novel therapeutic paradigms to enhance self-renewal, in stem cells and organoids for regeneration, and inhibit tumor self-renewal, in cancer stem-like cells (CSCs), for targeting cancer cell plasticity. Our team utilizes genetic reporters to develop first-in-class inhibitors to target CSCs and discover novel immune modulatory activities using organoids, PDXs or genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs), guided by spacial profiling and single cell-derived organoids. The novel patient derived organoid (PDO) technology has been recently licensed to make it easier for many laboratories to utilize it for developing predictive biomarkers, optimized readouts for drug responses, and effective medical paradigms with personalized medicine. I work with my colleagues at the Cancer Center leadership team to serve as Associate Director for Translational Research, and Director of Personalized Medicine at the Division Medical Oncology. My role is to ensure that translational research relevant to Colorado cancer patients is conducted and facilitate the translation of laboratory findings, including agents, technologies, and treatment strategies, into investigator-initiated trials (IITs), with emphasis on personalized and combined therapy. I am deeply committed to translating basic research to the clinic, translating clinical findings back to basic research, and reducing disparities in cancer outcomes in low-income and under-represented minority patients and patients from rural CO. In a key initiative, I am leading a new precision medicine program for systematic use of tissue biopsies for generation of 1) precision diagnostics (Dx) (with single cell and spacial multiomic assays) to provide unparalleled depth and richness of spatially-intact, scientific- and clinical-grade, single cell signatures from tumor biopsies, and 2) precision therapeutics (Tx) with PDO drug testing and high throughput screening, that promise to offer life-saving treatments and fuel new discoveries for health, diseases, and data science.

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