Dr. Wadih Arap
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Cancer Biology
Our central working hypothesis is that differential protein expression in the human vascular endothelium associated with normal or diseased tissues offers the potential for developing novel diagnostic, imaging, and therapeutic strategies. In essence, our research program uses combinatorial library selection (peptide- and antibody-based) to discover, validate, and exploit the vascular biochemical diversity of endothelial cell surfaces towards a new vascular-targeted pharmacology. Such targeting technologies may lead to the development of ligand-directed agents for application in the treatment of cancer patients. Translational applications, such as first-in-man clinical trials, which have started within the institution. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a "safe-to-proceed" status for our first vascular-targeted IND, and an IND filing for a second clinical trial is imminent. Two other drugs are in pre-IND stage and several others in pre-clinical laboratory phase. Long-term, the broader vision of our research is a large-scale mapping of receptors in human vasculature towards a new ligand-directed pharmacology.
Hajitou A, Trepel M, Lilley CE, Soghomonyan S, Alauddin MM, Marini FC III, Restel BH, Ozawa MG, Moya CA, Rangel R, Sun Y, Zaoui K, Schmidt M, von Kalle C, Weitzman MD, Gelovani JG, Pasqualini R, Arap W. A hybrid vector for ligand-directed tumor targeting and molecular imaging. Cell 125:385-98, 2006.
Mintz PJ, Cardo-Vila M, Ozawa MG, Hajitou A, Rangel R, Guzman-Rojas L, Christianson DR, Arap MA, Giordano RJ, Souza GR, Easley J, Salameh A, Oliviero S, Brentani RR, Koivunen E, Arap W, Pasqualini R. An unrecognized extracellular function for an intracellular adapter protein released from the cytoplasm into the tumor microenvironment. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A106:2182-7, 2009.
Staquicini FI, Dias-Neto E, Li J, Snyder EY, Sidman RL, Pasqualini R, Arap W. Discovery of a functional protein complex of netrin-4, laminin gamma1 chain, and integrin alpha6beta1 in mouse neural stem cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106:2903-8, 2009.
Souza GR, Molina JR, Raphael RM, Ozawa MG, Stark DJ, Levin CS, Bronk LF, Ananta JS, Mandelin J, Georgescu M, Bankson JA, Gelovani JG, Killian TC, Arap W, Pasqualini R. A Bio-assembler for 3D Tissue Culture: Cell Levitation with Magnetic Bioinorganic Hydrogels. Nature Nanotech, 5:291-6, 2010.