Our Researchers

Our mission is to develop new therapies that can render mesothelioma, an asbestos-linked cancer, and other cancers curable, treatable, or chronically manageable conditions. Located in West Los Angeles, the PHLBI research laboratory is staffed by cross-disciplinary scientists collaborating on intramural basic research on treatment approaches to mesothelioma.

PHLBI researchers also work with influential extramural investigators from world-renowned institutions such as the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System in order to advance basic, clinical, and translational therapies for mesothelioma and other cancers.

PHLBI’s core investigators hold degrees, including five doctorates, from schools such as

  • University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles,
  • Gunma University School of Medicine (Japan), and
  • Dalian Medical University (China).

Our researchers collectively have been involved with organizations such as

  • Bristol-Myers Squibb,
  • MannKind Corporation,
  • Duke University,
  • Cleveland Clinic,
  • and the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

PHLBI’s in-house research team has extensive experience in research on immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and molecular biology techniques used to halt or potentially reverse the progression of cancer. While all of these approaches offer hope for developing new treatments for cancer, immunotherapy is among the most exciting advances available today for conquering a variety of tumors.

The immune system is a complex network of organs, tissues, cells, and proteins that protects the body from foreign substances, including disease-causing agents. Immunotherapy aims to treat cancer by potentiating host immune responses to destroy tumors. By harnessing the innate power of the body’s own immune system, immunotherapy holds potential to shrink or stabilize tumors resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. This treatment modality is generally free of the serious side effects associated with chemotherapy and radiation, and is less invasive than surgery.

The complementary skills and experience of PHLBI’s onsite scientists foster a collaborative work ethic and research environment as well as a firm commitment to finding cutting-edge interventions for cancers. By pioneering the development of a novel adult stem cell-based intervention to potentially alter the immunosuppressive microenvironment within tumors, our researchers seek to impact a wide array of cancers.

The FDA currently has a favorable view of the type of adult stem cell-based therapy being investigated at PHLBI. This research is encouraging not only for new treatments for mesothelioma, but also for other solid tumors such as breast, prostate, lung, colon, pancreatic, thyroid, and other cancers. Immunotherapy may also be a valuable treatment option for blood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.