Nephi Stella, PhD
We are interested in the molecular mechanism controlling the growth and migration of brain tumor stem cells. We are currently testing the hypothesis that pharmacological activation of cannabinoid receptors, a subclass of G protein-coupled receptor, control the growth and migration of cancer stem cells resulting in astrocytomas grade IV (as known as glioblastomas). To test this hypothesis, we use a full range of experimental approaches, from analytical chemistry and proteomics, to molecular biology and neuropathology. Our goal is to develop new medicines that will kill these stem cells and prevent their invasion of healthy brain parenchyma, while avoiding adverse side effects.