Dr. Albert Lai's research interest is in understanding the role of Connexin43, the primary astrocytic gap junction, in the growth and migration of glioma cells. These studies are being conducted in cell culture using a model system of overexpression of wild-type and mutant Connexin 43 constructs in rat C6 glioma cells. He is also beginning studies examining the role of promoter methylation of MGMT and response to temozolomide. These studies involve analysis of methylation of genomic DNA isolated from human tissue collected during glioblastoma resection. These initial studies will form the basis for broader inquiry regarding the role of epigenetic alterations on glioblastoma initiation and progression.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Carlson M, Pope WB, Horvath S, Braunstein JG, Nghiemphu P, Tso CL, Mellinghoff I, Lai A, Liau LM, Mischel P, Nelson SF, Cloughesy T. Relationship between survival and edema in malignant gliomas: role of VEGF and neuronal pentraxin 2. Clin. Canc. Research. 2007; 13:2592-2598.
Chen W, Delaloye S, Geist C, Silverman DH, Czernin J, Sayre J, Satyamurthy N, Pope WB, Lai A, Cloughesy T. Predicting treatment response of malignant gliomas to bevacizumab and irinotecan by imaging proliferation with 18F-FLT PET: a pilot study. J. Clin Oncology. accepted, 2007.
Lai A, Le D, Paznekas WA, Gifford WD, Jabs EW, Charles AC. Oculodentodigital dysplasia connexin43 mutations result in non-functional connexin hemichannels and gap junctions in C6 glioma cells. J. Cell Sci. 2006; 119:532-541.
Pope WB, Lai A, Nghiemphu P, Mischel P, Cloughesy T. MRI in patients with high-grade gliomas treated with bevacizumab and chemotherapy. Neurology. 2006; 66(8):1258-1260.