Research Overview

Although the genes that drive the development of myeloid blood cancers have largely been defined, there are currently few effective targeted treatment strategies for these diseases. The development of imatinib to treat BCR/ABL-­positive chronic myeloid leukemia remains the only true success story, with the majority of targeted therapies for myeloid malignancies demonstrating unimpressive clinical activity. This illuminates the need to exploit the molecular understanding that has been gained in the last decade through cancer exome sequencing to identify novel therapeutic vulnerabilities in myeloid malignancies. 

 

Research in the Elf Lab focuses on identifying unique molecular dependencies in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that can be targeted for therapeutic gain. Current areas of interest in the lab include:

  • Dissecting the role of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in CALR-mutated MPNs and IDH-mutated AML

  • Identifying, characterizing, and targeting differential metabolic dependencies in type 1 versus type 2 CALR-mutated MPNs

  • Elucidating the impact of cellular metabolism on chromatin remodeling and epigenetics in MPNs and post-MPN AML

Using molecular, biochemical, and cellular approaches in both in vitro and in vivo models, we aim to use the mechanistic insight we gain from these studies to develop rationally designed therapies that will improve upon existing treatments for these challenging diseases.