• Researcher Profile

    Ruben Carrasco, MD

     
    Ruben Carrasco, MD
     
    Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School

    Center/Program

    Hematologic Oncology

    Office phone: 617-582-8159
    Fax: 617-582-8160
    Email: ruben_carrasco@dfci.harvard.edu

    Preferred contact method: appointment phone

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    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Hematologic Neoplasia

    Area of Research

    Oncogenomic Studies and Disease Pathogenesis of Multiple Myeloma

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Dana 530
    Boston, MA 02215

    Biography

    Dr. Carrasco received his MD in 1991 from the University of Chile School of Medicine. He trained in surgical pathology and hematopathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital; he is board-certified in both fields. In 2001, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Ronald DePinho as a postdoctoral research fellow. After completing this training, Dr. Carrasco joined the faculty in 2004. He has a long-standing interest in hematological malignancies and is currently investigating the genetic events leading to disease pathogenesis in multiple myeloma.

    Recent Awards

    • Kimmel Award, 2005

    Research

    Oncogenomic Studies and Disease Pathogenesis of Multiple Myeloma

    Multiple myeloma (MM), a multifocal plasma cell neoplasm, remains incurable despite conventional high-dose chemotherapy. The development of rational-based therapeutics for MM requires a detailed knowledge of the mutations driving this malignancy. It stands to reason that a more complete view of these genetic lesions would increase opportunities for cancer drug development. It is equally imperative that biological systems be developed to better validate these target genes.

    Genomic studies
    Our laboratory is working to identify the genetic events leading to MM. To this end, we have developed a thorough molecular profile of MM pathogenesis by analyzing cancer-associated alterations in the DNA and RNA of clinically annotated specimens and established cell lines. This oncogenomic analysis has yielded genetic elements of MM with strong biological and clinical correlates to other tumor types, to survival, and to known oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, or their homologues, not previously implicated in MM pathogenesis.

    Biological systems
    Our next challenge is to identify which genes within newly identified loci are myeloma oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, and to understand the role that these genes play in the genesis and progression of MM. To characterize these genes, we are conducting functional studies that include in vitro cell-based assays as well as hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and genetically engineered mice.

    Biologic correlates
    In conjunction with the Pathology Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital, we are also examining a series of MM bone marrow tumors to evaluate the expression of novel disease markers. In addition, we are engaged in translational studies to develop novel markers for diagnosis and prognostication in MM patients. The increasing availability of small-molecule inhibitors of protein interaction may open the door to a series of clinical trials.

    Trainees

    • He, Hiying, MDPhD
    • Mani, Mala, PhD
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