Congratulations! Dr. Joy was awarded with Faculty RISE-Undergraduate Research Award from Division of Research & Innovation, Prairie View A&M University, for her study, “Developing a 3D Glioblastoma model with a partial immune environment”. The Faculty-RISE Undergraduate Research award amount of $5,000 is for the duration of the academic year 2020-2021 Fall/Spring semesters. Funds can be used for an undergraduate student’s salaries and/or tuition, $2,500 per semester. Dr. Joy’s current undergraduate student, Viet Nguyen, will be funded by this award.

Principal Investigator (PI): Joy, Anna, Research Associate Professor, Center for Computational Systems Biology and Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, Roy G. Perry College of Engineering, Office Phone: (936)261-9920.

Project Summary: Glioblastoma (GBM) tumors hijack non-tumor cells in their environment to suppress the immune system and promote tumor progression, growth and drug resistance. The GBM-tumor microenvironment (TME) ecosystem is complex and dynamic where multiple cell types interact to benefit the tumor. We believe a careful, systems level study of bidirectional, multistep communication between cell types will yield critical interactions that are potential therapeutic targets. We will use a new 3D GBM cell culture model consisting of brain organoids invaded with patient-derived GBM cells. To this we will incorporate a partial immune environment. We will then investigate pathways and cell-cell interactions that are changed by the GBM-TME ecosystem using scRNAseq and advanced data analysis approaches. Candidate pathways will be validated by modulating the pathway then finding effect on tumor growth with the goal of developing anti-tumor therapeutics.