Lori Hazlehurst, PhD, Professor (WVU School of Pharmacy - Pharmaceutical Sciences and Co-Leader of the WVU Cancer Institute Research Program the Alexander B. Osborn Hematopoietic Malignancy and Transplantation Program) has been named as the Associate Director for Basic Research at the WVU Cancer Institute. In this role, Hazlehurst will work closely with Dr. Richard Goldberg, institute director, and the leadership team of the WVU Cancer Institute to implement strategic goals to increase the impact of basic and translational cancer research at WVU. The primary strategy is to increase the number of NIH funded investigators focused on cancer research at WVU.
It is the mission of the WVU Cancer Institute (WVUCI) to provide excellent care to cancer patients and their families while strengthening our research, education and service programs to address the cancer health disparities unique to the state of West Virginia and Appalachia.
Hazelhurst's focus will be to increase the innovative research portfolio at the institute. The leadership team recognizes the need to support both basic and translational science as required components for improving the effectiveness of the delivery of personalized cancer care at WVU and the nation. She plans to be dedicated to supporting the environment at the institute to rigorously train the next generation of cancer researchers.
“Lori brings a breadth of experience from multiple settings, and we are excited that she will channel that energy and use those skills to help us elevate our cancer research program by bringing in new expertise and innovative services to better serve the research mission of the Institute.” Richard Goldberg, M.D., director of the WVU Cancer Institute, said.
Her laboratory focuses on the role of the tumor microenvironment in mediating tumor progression and drug resistance. This work has led to the development of MTI-101 a cyclic peptide which kills tumor cells via Captosis or calcium-mediated cell death for the treatment of relapsed multiple myeloma.
Prior to her work at WVU, Hazlehurst served as Associate Member of the Cancer Biology and Evolution program at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. She was also an integral member of the Multiple Myeloma working group at the Moffitt Cancer Center.
Her latest project has been to start Modulation Therapeutics, a start-up company that is dedicated to improving patient outcomes by developing novel approaches for targeting cancer in the context of the tumor microenvironment.
"Taking the risk to transition our team based discovery from the academic laboratory to a start-up company and securing SBIR funding required to complete an investigational new drug application for 3 independent technologies, said Hazlehurst. "My goal is that my passion for research will translate into improving patient outcomes, and I can increase the impact of basic and translational cancer research at WVU."