Steve Barthel, Ph.D.
Bringham and Women’s Hospital
Dr. Barthel’s project explores newly discovered melanoma-expressed Tim-3 and its effectors as unrecognized therapeutic targets for cancer treatment and as biomarkers for improving melanoma diagnosis and staging. His team’s data reveals for the first time that Tim-3 expression directly on melanomas powerfully regulates cancer progression and they envision this interdisciplinary research laying the groundwork for development of innovative drugs and methods for slowing melanoma growth. Moreover, since Tim-3 is viewed as an exciting target for ‘next-wave’ immunotherapeutic melanoma cancer trials, Dr. Barthel anticipates this research to 1) raise discussion in administration of Tim-3 drugs given unexpected drug impact on melanoma-Tim-3 intrinsic cancer functions, 2) illuminate potential impact of Tim-3 drugs on melanoma progression, 3) discern new avenues for improving Tim-3 drug selectivity and potency in cancer, and 4) advance scientific and therapeutic exploration of currently undefined Tim-3 signaling pathways in melanoma with potential relevance to diverse cancers.