C. Ryan Miller Lab


To develop genomics-driven approaches to diagnosis and treatment of gliomas, the most common primary brain tumors.

Research Overview

Precision medicine promises to revolutionize oncology by tailoring treatments to specific mutations that drive cancer.  However, this approach fails to account for the dynamic state of tumor cells and their ability to adapt to an ever-changing tumor microenvironment.  Our laboratory focuses on defining the molecular changes that drive the evolution of gliomas during their progression from low-grade precursors to  malignant, high-grade neoplasms.  We are particularly focused on the most aggressive glioma, glioblastoma, and seek to:

  1. Identify the cell type(s) from which these lethal tumors arise;
  2. Define the role of tumor cell plasticity and glioma stem cells (GSC) in glioma biology;
  3. Define the wiring diagrams that control proliferation and migration/invasion of glioma cells that arise from different cell types in the normal mammalian brain.

Our laboratory uses sophisticated preclinical model systems and cutting-edge genomic and proteomic techniques to address these questions.

  • Genomic techniques include whole-exome, RNA, FAIRE/ATAC, and Cut & Run sequencing
  • Proteomic techniques include kinome profiling via multiplex inhibitor bead – mass spectrometry (MIB-MS)
  • Developmental neurobiology techniques, including genetic lineage tracing and immunofluorescence/confocal microscopy
  • Glioma models include genetically-engineered models and human patient-derived xenografts (PDX)

Current Projects

  1. Dynamic profiling of the glioma kinome
  2. Cellular and epigenetic biology of glioma stem cells