Signaling Lab

Head and Neck Cancer

The Head and Neck Cancer Lab is dedicated to increasing our understanding of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) to develop new treatment and prevention approaches. One overarching theme is to identify predictive biomarkers that will identify which treatment(s) are most effective for individual patients, thus allowing for personalized medicine. Translational resources we have developed to support our projects include a large collection of patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and tissue microarrays containing over 500 human HNSCC research samples linked to a professionally curated clinical and pathologic database that includes information on treatment and survival. In addition to basic and translational research, we also have experience conducting investigator-initiated clinical trials of novel therapeutics, including an antisense EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) gene therapy and a novel decoy oligonucleotide targeting STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription).

Principal Investigators

Jennifer R. Grandis, MD
Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Associate Vice Chancellor, Clinical and Translational Research
Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor

Patrick Ha, MD
Chief, Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery
Irwin Mark Jacobs and Joan Klein Jacobs Distinguished Professor of Head and Neck Surgery
Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Daniel E. Johnson, PhD
Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Research Team

Brandon Leonard, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar

Hua Li, PhD

Neil Bhola, PhD

Rachel O’Keefe
Graduate Student

Stefan Hartmann, MD
Visiting Scholar

Toni Brand, PhD
Postdoctoral Scholar
Institutional Training Grant Recipient
Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms in Cancer
5 T32 CA108462-12 (Werb PI; NIH/NCI)

Yan Zeng, MD
Staff Research Associate