Glioblastoma brain tumors hijack non-tumor cells in their environment to suppress a immune response and support tumor progression, growth and drug resistance. How GBM and cells in its microenvironment (astrocytes, neurons, oligodendrocytes, microglia, immune cells) interact to promote the tumor is just beginning to be elucidated. Brain organoids are 3D “mini-brains” that form from pluripotent stem cells directed along a neuronal lineage. We are developing a 3D cell culture model of GBM consisting of brain organoids invaded with GBM cells. We plan to incorporate a partial immune environment and then use single cell RNA sequencing and advanced data analysis techniques to identify targetable GBM-environment interactions. The goal is to develop anti-tumor therapeutics that block pro-tumor interactions.
Dr. Anna Joy is a Research Associate Professor in the Center for Computational Systems Biology at Prairie View A&M University. The ultimate goal of Dr. Joy’s lab is to develop therapeutics that increase survival and quality of life for brain tumor patients. Dr Joy is an NIH funded scientist and has spent the majority of the last 20 years studying the pathobiology and molecular classification of brain tumors. She held a Research Assistant Professor position at Barrow Neurological Institute and before that was an Associate Scientist at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, both in Phoenix AZ. Her degree from Arizona State University was in Chemistry.