Identifying and Targeting 3D Enhancer Hubs that Maintain Cancer Stem Cell Programs


2021 Emerging Leader Award

Effie Apostolou, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Apostolou is studying DNA enhancer dysregulation by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms in the context of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Tumor initiation, recurrence, and resistance to treatment in GBM have all been shown to rely on glioma stem cells (GSCs). These GSCs resemble normal neuronal stem cells but have derailed regulatory networks that support their tumorigenic properties. Her project aims to explore the architecture of the 3D genome to identify DNA enhancer hubs that are found in GSCs but not in normal neuronal stem cells. The functional role of these enhancer hubs in regulating the transcriptional program and tumorigenic properties of GSCs can then be systematically interrogated, which can in turn lead to opening unconventional avenues for effective, therapeutic targeting of GSCs.

Dr. Apostolou completed her PhD studies at the Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens in Greece and her postdoctoral work at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

PUBLISHED RESEARCH

Scourzic L, Salataj E, Apostolou E. Deciphering the Complexity of 3D Chromatin Organization Driving Lymphopoiesis and Lymphoid Malignancies. Front Immunol. 2021.

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