Dr. Cahill’s laboratory-based research effort aims to identify the molecular genetic alterations that underlie the development, progression and treatment resistance of brain tumors. By understanding the mechanism by which tumor genome alterations drive the growth of these cancers, therapeutic strategies can be designed to improve outcomes for these patients.

His research effort has contributed key observations regarding the molecular mechanisms of chemoresistance in human glioblastomas, where combined radiation and alkylating chemotherapy temozolomide are the standard-of-care. In close collaboration with Dr. Hiro Wakimoto in the Translational Neuro-Oncology Laboratory of the MGH Brain Tumor Research Center, his more recent work has focused on the subgroup of gliomas characterized by IDH mutation and on targeted therapeutics for brain tumors.  To facilitate precision medicine approaches for diverse CNS tumors, Dr. Cahill has participated in a broadly collaborative effort with Drs. Priscilla Brastianos and Fred Barker to characterize the molecular genetic alterations within multiple tumor types (craniopharyngioma, hemangioblastoma, spinal cord tumors, brain metastases, meningiomas, and others).

This research work has a track record of successful competitive peer-reviewed funding from the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation, the Brain Tumor Society, the National Brain Tumor Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Medical Sciences, the Dana Farber Harvard Cancer Center/MIT Koch Institute Bridge Program, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute  of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health. 

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