John Laterra MD, PhD

Professor of Neurology
Telephone Number: 443-923-2679
Fax Number: 443-923-2695

Kennedy Krieger
Department of Neurology
707 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
Room: KKI 400Q
Areas of Research
Cellular + Molecular Neuroscience
Neurobiology of Disease

Graduate Program Affiliations

Neuroscience Training Program

Pathobiology Training Program

CNS Tumor and Cancer Stem Cell Biology

My laboratory focuses on the cellular and molecular biology of primary brain tumor malignancy with the combined goals of defining basic mechanisms and translating these discoveries into experimental therapeutics. We are particularly interested in glioma cell growth regulation, how receptor tyrosine kinases and certain transcription factors contribute to glioma malignancy, and molecular mechanisms that regulate tumor-propagating cancer "stem cells".

Recent research projects have identified receptor tyrosine kinase-driven mechanism that induce glioma cell de-differentiation to a tumor-propagating stem-like state through the induction of reprogramming transcription factors (e.g. Oct4, Sox2) and Nanog. This has led to the discovery that Oct4 and Sox2 can "reprogram" glioma cells to a tumor-propagating stem-like phenotype through epigenic mechanisms ivolving the transcriptional activation of DNA methyl transferases and methylation-dependent regulation of regulatory micro-RNAs. Another project has found that the KLF9 transcription factor functions to differentiate glioma stem cells and inhibit their capacity to form tumors. ChIP-sequencing and RNA-sequencing approaches have been used to identify KLF9 regulated genes and signaling pathways on a global scale in human glioma stem cell systems. This work has identified novel molecular mechanisms of glioma regulation and new potential strategies for treatign these aggressive malignancies.

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