Funded Research Projects





C1. Brain tumor

C1.1:  Tumor-astrocyte crosstalk regulating brain metastatic cancer. (NIH R01CA238727)

C1.2:  Development of new PCDH7 single domain antibody therapy for brain mets. (Chao Foundation)

C1.3:  Mechanism and drug target of Alzheimer’s suppression of brain tumor. (NIH R01CA238727-S1; Chao Foundation)

C1.4:  Mechanism and drug repositioning of digoxin for medulloblastoma group III/IV. (Chao Foundation; Clinical Trial)

C1.5:  Chronic stress and brain metastasis from triple-negative breast Cancer. (Chao and Dunn Foundations)

C1.6:  Prognostic gene discovery in glioblastoma patients (Dunn Foundation, Greg and Lily Nelson Fund)


C2. Ovarian cancer

C2.1:  Inter-cellular exosomal communication of high grade serous ovarian cancer. (Chao Foundation)

C2.2:  Prognostic biomarkers of high grade serous ovarian cancer. (Tina’s Wish Foundation, CPRIT CCBTP)

C2.3:  MFAP5 immunotherapy for ovarian cancer. (Carole Walter Looke Fund and Chao Foundation)

C2.4:  Immune checkpoint regulator in ovarian cancer progression. (DOD W81XWH-17-1-0126; Dunn Foundation)

C2.5:  Platelets promote growth of ovarian cancer. (NIH R01CA177909)


C3. Lung Disease

C3.1:  Immuno-radiotherapy crosstalk for non-small cell lung cancer. (Chao and Dunn Foundations)

C3.2:  Immunotherapy for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. (Chao and Dunn Foundations)

C3.3:  Cancer risk assessment of incidental lung nodules (Chao and Dunn Foundations)


C4. Bone Cancer

C4.1.  Spatiotemporal modeling of cancer-niche interactions in bone metastasis. (NIH U01CA253553)

C4.2.  Drug combinations and mechanism of metformin and imatinib for Ewing sarcoma. (Dunn Foundation)


C5. Breast Cancer

C5.1. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition in breast tumor metastasis and chemoresistance. (NIH R01CA244413)

C5.2. NOS/COX2 inhibitors for TNBC.  (Dunn Foundation)

C5.3. Convergent AI for Precise Breast Cancer Risk Assessment. (NIH R01CA251710)

C5.4. Digital therapeutics (MOCHA) for post-hospitalization cancer patients and survivors (Chao and Dunn Foundations, Connie Dryer Fund)


Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders


N1.  Alzheimer’s Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics

N1.1.  Systematic Alzheimer's disease drug repositioning via bioinformatics-guided drug screening and image-omics. (NIH R01AG057635, Margolis Fund)

N1.2.  Early and late-life metal exposures and Alzheimer’s disease (NIH R01ES024165-S4)

N1.3.  Systematic modeling and prediction of cell-type-specific and spatiotemporal crosstalk pathways in Alzheimer's disease. (NIH R01AG071496)

N1.4:  High content screening and analysis for drug repositioning using Alzheimer’s 3D cell assays. (Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, Gillson Longenbaugh Foundation, and Carl Anderson Foundation, Margolis Fund, Steve Cook Fund)

N1.5:  Gut-brain axis, microbiome-neural interactions in Alzheimer’s disease. (Chao and Dunn Foundations)

N1.6:  Mitochrondrial dysfunction and OC1AD1 in regulating Alzheimer’s disease progression. (Chao Foundation)

N1.7:  Reduce risk factors of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.  (Chao Foundation)

N1.8:  Multimodal optical coherence tomography probe for detection/monitoring of Alzheimer’s (Chao Foundation)


N2.  Parkinson’s Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics

N2.1:  Drug repositioning for Parkinson’s disease with high content drug screening (Huffington Foundation)


N3.  Stroke Precision Detection and Diagnosis

N3.1:  Smart instrumentation for precision assessment of stroke. (Scurlock Foundation; Dunn Foundation)

N3.2:  Multimedia intelligence for stroke screening and assessment (Scurlock Foundation; Chao Foundation)


Label-free Imaging-Guided Theragnostics


M1. Coherent anti-stroke Raman Scattering (CARS) molecular vibrational imaging for early detection of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and blast brain injuries. (Chao and Dunn Foundations)


M2. Dual optical coherent tomography (OCT) and CARS imaging for studying metastatic cancer initiation and progression. (Chao Foundation, Johnsson Estate)


M3. Label-free imaging-guided cold femtosecond laser single cell microablation. (Chao and Dunn Foundations)