Maria Castro, Ph.D.

R C Schneider Collegiate Professor of Neurosurgery and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Diversity Ambassador
Accepting Students

Biography

Maria G. Castro, PhD, is the R.C. Schneider Professor of Neurosurgery, and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, at the University of Michigan Medical School. My research program focuses on epigenetic regulation of cancer progression, uncovering the role of oncometabolites in the brain tumor microenvironment (TME), and the development of new therapies for adult and pediatric gliomas, including DIPG. We are investigating the role of the tumor immune-microenvironment in tumor progression and response to therapeutics, crosstalk between cancer cells and hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, and mechanisms affecting the migration of immune cells from peripheral lymphoid organs to the tumor microenvironment. The study of these basic immunological mechanisms will lead to clinical implementation. The goal of my program is to develop novel treatments for brain tumors based on immunotherapeutics, a new and exciting approach that targets inhibition of tumor growth and recurrence.
 

Diversity Ambassador

Hispanic or Latino

 

Research Interests

Pediatric and adult brain cancer biology and therapeutics. Epigenetics, cancer metabolism, and signaling networks that mediate tumor progression. Uncovering the role of secreted cancer ligands in hematopoietic stem cell development and anti-tumor immunity. Nanotechnology to develop novel anti-cancer therapies. DNA damage, DNA damage response, and development of novel combination therapies for both adult and pediatric brain tumors, including novel immunotherapeutic approaches.
 

Research Opportunities for Rotating Students

Immune-suppressive Myeloid Cells in the Glioma Microenvironment: Signaling Mechanisms and Novel Therapeutic Strategies
Interactions between the tumor cells and the neuro-immune microenvironment in mutant IDH1 gliomas
Immune-mediated therapies in a genetically engineered murine model of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma

Publications

Haase S, Garcia-Fabiani MB, Carney S, Altshuler D, Nunez FJ, Mendez FM, Nunez F, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG. Mutant ATRX: uncovering a new therapeutic target for glioma.
Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, 2018 Jul;22(7):599-613. PMCID: PMC6044414. Nunez F, Mendez FM, Kadiyala P, Alghamri MS, Savelieff MG, Garcia-Fabiani MB, Haase S, Koschmann C, Calinescu AA, Kamran N, Patel R, Carney S, Guo MZ, Edwards M, Ljungman M, Qin T, Sartor MA, Tagett R, Venneti S, Brosnan-Cashman J, Meeker A, Gorbunova V, Zhao L, Kremer DM, Zhang L, Lyssiotis CA, Jones L, Herting CJ, Ross JL, Hambardzumyan D, Hervey-Jumper S, Figueroa ME, Lowenstein PR*, Castro MG*.
IDH1R132H acts as a tumor suppressor in glioma via epigenetic upregulation of the DNA damage response. Science Translational Medicine 2019 Feb 13;11(479). PMCID: PMC6400220. (*Corresponding authors) Accessible online: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/389817v1 Kadiyala P, Li D, Nunez FM, Altshuler D, Doherty R, Kuai R, Yu M, Kamran N, Edwards M, Moon JJ, Lowenstein PR, Castro MG*, Schwendeman A*.
High density lipoprotein-mimicking nanodiscs for chemo-immunotherapy against glioblastoma multiforme. American Chemical Society Nano 2019 Feb 26;13(2):1365-1384. PMCID: PMC6484828. *Co-corresponding, co-lead authors.

Published Articles via PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/maria.castro.1/bibliography/404...