Colin McCornack

MSTP in PhD Training

Program: Computational and Systems Biology

Current advisor: Albert H. Kim, MD, PhD

Undergraduate university: Michigan State University, 2018

Enrollment year: 2019

Research summary
Influence of glioblastoma subtypes on therapeutic resistance and metabolism

My thesis work is involved in exploring the impact of therapeutic pressures on cell transcription and metabolism in the context of glioblastoma. Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common primary brain malignancy, carrying one of the poorest 5-year survival rates among all primary malignancies, and current therapeutic strategies and approaches have only resulted in modest improvements in median survival time. My work leverages engineered neural stem cells representing different genetic subtypes of GBM in combination with in vitro and in vivo radiation therapy to study the changes in transcription and transcriptional regulation that occur in the context of therapeutic pressures, as well as the influence of histone modifying enzymes on promoting or limiting radioresistance. In tandem with this, I am investigating how the overexpression of NAD salvage pathway enzymes in GBM influences therapy resistance, metabolism, and epigenetic regulation, with specific emphasis on the role of PARP and sirtuin enzymes.

Graduate publications
Sun R, Han R, McCornack C, Khan S, Tabor GT, Chen Y, Hou J, Jiang H, Schoch KM, Mao DD, Cleary R, Yang A, Liu Q, Luo J, Petti A, Miller TM, Ulrich JD, Holtzman DM, Kim AH. 2023 TREM2 inhibition triggers antitumor cell activity of myeloid cells in glioblastoma. Sci Adv, 9(19):eade3559. PMCID: PMC10181199