I am an Independent Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School advised by Peter Sorger. I use genetic perturbations (CRISPRi/a) to solute carriers (SLC) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters to discover novel mechanisms of nutrient and drug transport, determine how extracellular nutrient levels influence cellular metabolism and drug sensitivity, and explore the nutrient requirements imposed by the tumor microenvironmen in targeted pooled screens. I aim to use this comprehensive approach to guide the development of metabolic strategies to suppress tumor growth and aid precision medicine efforts in cancer therapy by revealing determinants of drug sensitivity and resistance.
I did my PhD in the lab of Kai Johnsson at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, where I developed a yeast-based screen to identify the human protein targets of small molecule drugs. Using that system, I characterized the mechanism of action of the anti-inflammatory drug sulfasalazine, a poorly understood drug that has nonetheless been widely used for over 70 years in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. I then joined the lab of Erin O’Shea at Harvard for my postdoc and I used a functional genomics screen in haploid human cells to decipher the bioactivity of a potent anticancer natural product. I found that ophiobolin A reacts directly with a plasma membrane phospholipid, forming a toxic adduct that destabilizes the lipid bilayer. I subsequently joined Peter Sorger's lab at Harvard Medical School where I used CRISPRi/a genome-wide screens in cancer cells to survey the mechanisms of single- and multi-drug resistance to anti-cancer drugs in order to understand how a five-drug combination therapy cures lymphomas (low cross-resistance and no drug synergy). In 2020, I worked with Mike Springer at Harvard Medical School to develop a novel rapid test for SARS-CoV-2.