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Dr. Akhavan conducts an activate research laboratory that develops cell-based immunotherapy targeting malignant brain tumors. He and his lab team focus on a molecular dissection of tumor antigen loss, T cell exhaustion and cell manufacturing bottlenecks.

Glioblastoma is a uniformly fatal diagnosis. Median survival is only 12-14 months after standard of care surgery and chemoradiation. Novel therapies are desperately needed. Immunotherapy is rapidly transforming the treatment of a broad range of cancer types. Unfortunately, clinical trials of immunotherapy against brain tumors have been unsuccessful. However, the clinical trial experience has identified barriers to tumor eradication; namely tumor antigen heterogeneity, immune-suppressive tumor micro-environment, and T-cell exhaustion. By leveraging a broad array of tools, including immunocompetent murine glioma models, patient derived xenografts, and clinical trial data, our laboratory seeks to faithfully model the host-tumor microenvironment. Armed with this data, we plan to develop potent combination therapies towards the goal of glioma eradication.

Recent Publications

School of Medicine

Radiation Oncology
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160