Arabinda Das, Ph.D.

As a translational Neuro-oncology researcher, I have witnessed firsthand devastation that adult malignant brain tumors cause both the patients and families. My strong desire is to help these people through conducting basic science research with a goal of translating laboratory experiments into clinical therapies. My collaborators include basic scientists, physician-scientists and neurosurgeons from the Medical University of South Carolina, Stanford School of Medicine, Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute (Chicago), Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis), the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), VA Health Research Scientist at the WJB Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, SC and Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston.

My laboratory's projects primarily focus on the development of novel therapy strategies for the treatment of malignant primary and metastatic brain tumors in preclinical models in order to eventually conduct a phase I clinical trial with malignant brain tumors including adult glioblastoma, adult meningioma, adult metastatic brain tumor and pediatric medulloblastoma. Specifically, I have been using novel research methods in proteogenomics to more rapidly identify unique targets and pathways of brain cancer for detection and intervention using patient-derived ex vivo sliced culture and xenograft-in-humanized mouse models. By using genomics, clinicians can provide individualized care based on patients’ specific biology. In addition, I am in the process of determining whether conventional chemotherapeutics for brain tumors can be enhanced when combined with radiation therapy.

Another related project involves the development of a novel animal model to differentiate radiation necrosis from recurrent malignant glioma using diffusional kurtosis imaging (DKI). Some of the drugs and techniques are currently under a provisional patent application. The focus of my laboratory over the next three years will be on improving the anticancer effect of new pipeline drugs, utilizing a monoclonal antibody to stimulate immune cells and the translation of those pre-clinical findings to the clinic setting.

We have had many students participate in our neuro-oncology research in the past. If you're interested, I would like to meet and discuss utilizing the FLEX rotation for students to focus on translational research in pediatric and adult brain tumor patients.

Ramin Eskandari, M.S., M.D.

Our Lab focuses on pediatric brain injury: models for better understanding of mechanisms and possible novel treatments. We have collaborations with many other physician-scientists and research scientists at MUSC. We use both cell-culture and animal models for mimicking various forms of pediatric neurological and neurosurgical disorders. We love teaching, empowering and involving students in research projects where they can gain exposure to not only the science of research but also the publication and presentation of their work.