Cleveland, OH
(216) 387-2681
info@fightconquercure.com

2012 Recipient of the Steven G AYA Cancer Research Scholarship

$15,000 awarded to David Askew, Ph.D. who is a researcher with Dr. Alex Huang’s Laboratory at the University Hospital Case Medical School.

Dr. David Askew will focus his research effort to study how leukemia cells establish themselves in the bone marrow and the mechanisms by which these cells cross the blood-brain barrier to invade the brain and spinal tissues. Knowing how leukemia cells hide in the bone marrow will allow new therapy development aimed at dislodging the tumor cells from the protective bone marrow environment, thus becoming more susceptible to chemotherapy. Furthermore, understanding how leukemia cells gain access to the brain is critical in developing strategies to prevent or treat brain invasion by leukemia cells.

David Askew, Ph.D

Biography

David Askew earned his Ph.D in Microbiology at Virginia Tech examining the role of macrophage in tumor-induced immunosuppression. David completed post-doctoral training at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he characterized phenotypic and functional differences in specific subsets of antigen-presenting cells in the spleen and in the brain. Prior to joining Dr. Alex Huang’s laboratory in the Department of Pediatrics, David studied the role of innate immunity in regulating immune response and in promoting the development of graft-versus host disease.

Current Research

Leukemia is a disease that not only affect children in the first decade of life, but also represents a devastating illness affecting adolescents and young adults. In particular, leukemias that have invaded the central nervous system have been difficult to treat. Under the guidance of Dr. Alex Huang in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Rainbow, Dr. David Askew will focus his research effort to study how leukemia cells establish themselves in the bone marrow and the mechanisms by which these cells cross the blood-brain barrier to invade the brain and spinal tissues. Knowing how leukemia cells hide in the bone marrow will allow new therapy development aimed at dislodging the tumor cells from the protective bone marrow environment, thus becoming more susceptible to chemotherapy. Furthermore, understanding how leukemia cells gain access to the brain is critical in developing strategies to prevent or treat brain invasion by leukemia cells. Dr. Askew will take advantage of the unique high-power imaging technique available in Dr. Huang’s lab to study migration of leukemia and normal immune cells in live experimental animals with single-cell resolution in real-time.

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