Danilov Lab Research

Geeta Sharma -  Danilov Lab Team Member
The Danilov lab focuses on early drug development in lymphoid malignancies, with a goal of ushering novel therapeutic approaches into clinic. The team follows the "bench to bedside to bench" paradigm, where pre-clinical findings in the laboratory lead to initiation of early phase clinical trials in lymphoma. Subsequently, correlative studies advance understanding of cancer biology and drug pharmacodynamics, spurring progress in the field of molecular therapeutics. The lab investigates mechanistic aspects of targeted therapies and their immunomodulatory effects.

Areas of focus:

1. Novel targets within the ubiquitin-proteasome system
  • Nedd8-activating enzyme as a tractable target in lymphoma
  • Sumoylation in cancer: role in drug resistance and functional significance of pharmacologic inhibition of sumoylation in lymphoma
2. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) as targets in cancer
The lab investigates mechanism of action and resistance to inhibitors of cyclin-dependent kinases, with particular focus on CDK9. We have found that CDK9 is a tractable target in lymphoma, leading to deregulation of multiple oncogenic pathways, including MYC.
We are currently investigating how targeting CDK9 leads to chromatin remodeling and how resistance to CDK inhibition may be overcome in the lab and in the clinic
3. Immuno-modulatory effects of targeted agents
We investigate mechanistic effects of the novel targeting agents, particularly those interfering with the ubiquitin-proteasome system. We then explore how their immunomodulatory effects may be harnessed to improve efficacy of immuno-oncology agents, such as checkpoint inhibitors, and cellular therapies, such as CAR T cells.