In 2007, I became greatly interested in and started studying the functions of microRNAs in the most malignant brain tumor, glioblastoma. Since then, I have accumulated solid knowledge and experience in a variety of approaches that we apply to investigate the role of miRNAs in glioma models. In my first study, we identified the mechanism of miR-21 function in glioma invasion (Gabriely et al., MCB, 2008). After that, we focused on miR-10b role in gliomagenesis. As we found, miR-10b is not expressed in normal brain but highly upregulated in glioma tissues, where it is involved in gliomagenesis by accelerating glioma cell growth and prevention of apoptosis (Gabriely et al., Cancer Research, 2011).
To further understand how miRNAs mediate gliomagenesis, I decided to explore the role of miRNAs in immunosuppression of glioblastoma by utilizing various in vitro and in vivo glioma models. In 2010, with high enthusiasm, I joined the lab of Dr. Weiner to investigate the myeloid cell-mediated glioma pathogenesis and whether miRNA modulation may activate suppressive myeloid cells for glioma elimination. Initially, I performed miRNA and gene profiling of glioma-infiltrated macrophages and microglia. Currently, I am identifying key miRNAs and biological pathways that they regulate to reveal potential targets for modulation of immunosuppression program of myeloid cells in glioblastoma treatment.