Dr. Du’s research focuses on the role of a protein modification process called SUMOylation in cancer progression and anti-tumor immunity. Her study investigates cellular signaling pathways of SUMOylation in cancer cells and tumor immune micro-environment and identifies ways to inhibit these pathways. She focuses on inhibiting SUMOylation to overcome drug resistance and advance current therapy in blood cancers. She has previously shown that SUMOylation plays a critical role in cancer stem cell maintenance and self-renewal in colon cancer and identified a promising SUMO inhibitor drug with potent anti-tumor activity in cancer cells and animal models. Her study has proved that inhibition of SUMOylation enhanced multiple myeloma sensitivity to dexamethasone and lenalidomide. Her current work is identifying novel mechanisms mediating immune therapy failure and developing new regimens to potentiate current immune therapeutic efficacy, focusing on CAR T cell therapy and mono- and bi-specific antibodies.