Welcome to the lab!

The Van Meir research team strives to understand the molecular basis for human tumor development and identify new biomarkers for neuro-oncology, using proteomic and metabolomic analyses of the cerebrospinal fluid. They aim to translate these novel biomarkers and therapeutic agents to testing in clinical trials with the hope to improve cancer patient treatment.

To help cancer patients, decoding the molecular puzzle of how tumors develop is imperative. Cells form tumors when tumor suppressors are inactivated, and Dr. Van Meir’s team is seeking ways to reactivate their expression by reprogramming the cancer genome to block tumor growth. His laboratory focuses on the two most malignant brain tumors: glioblastoma in adults and medulloblastoma in children. His investigations also include uveal melanoma – a malignant eye tumor – which causes eye loss and rapid liver metastases.

Dr. Van Meir’s laboratory comprises 1,900 square feet and is located at the Wallace Tumor Institute building, part of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center (OCCC) at UAB. The OCCC is Alabama’s only cancer center designated by the NCI and is a national leader in driving cancer research, advancing new cancer treatments, engaging communities in cancer prevention and early detection initiatives, and training the next generation of cancer physicians and scientists

His research has generated over 200 scientific publications in high impact international peer-reviewed journals and represents enormous gains in understanding many cancers and developing new treatments. Clinical trials based on these discoveries hope to shed light on novel cancer treatment options and medications. His laboratory is continuously supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and numerous private foundations over the last 20 years. Currently, the NCI and the Department of Defense contribute to his brain tumor and eye melanoma research. And additional donor support is critical in helping the Van Meir laboratory test novel ideas and generates critical proof-of-principle data that can then help leverage larger federal funding.