About the UCLA SPORE in Brain Cancer

UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Flow Cytometry shared resource

The UCLA Brain Tumor Center is a designated Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) site funded by the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Linda Liau, who is Professor and Chair of the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery, Director of the UCLA Brain Tumor Center, and Principal Investigator of the UCLA SPORE in Brain Cancer, is helping to bring together basic researchers and clinicians to translate basic research from the laboratories into patient clinical trials much more quickly and effectively.


The objectives of the UCLA SPORE in Brain Cancer are to contribute significantly to progress in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of brain cancer. These goals will be accomplished through diverse research projects involving mechanistic pre-clinical work and innovative clinical studies, with a particular focus on developing novel strategies to overcome the problem of treatment resistance. The SPORE program includes research for several brain cancer types, including low- and high-grade glioma, glioblastoma, and meningioma.

The broad, long-term objectives and aims of our brain cancer SPORE are as follows:

  1. Investigate mechanisms by which brain tumors evade the immune system following immunotherapy, and develop rational combinations of immunotherapeutic strategies to overcome the immunosuppressive microenvironment of the brain tumor
  2. Elucidate the alterations in brain tumor metabolism that happens as a result of targeted therapy resistance, and exploit these metabolic vulnerabilities to induce intrinsic apoptosis of tumor cells
  3. Investigate the feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of a novel bispecific CART-T cell therapy for glioblastoma, as well as study response biomarkers and mechanisms of immune evasion following this immunotherapy.

These translational research projects will be supported by shared resource cores: the Administrative Core, the Biospecimen and Pathology Core, the Neuroimaging Core, and the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core. Please see the “Shared Resource Cores” section of this website to learn more.

This SPORE program will also support Developmental Research and Career Enhancement Programs in order to foster new approaches for assessing and treating brain cancer. Please see the “Seed Grants” portion of the Research Projects section of this website to learn more.

Our diverse array of novel projects and state-of-the-art cores will likely make a significant impact on brain cancer patient care. Each project has been developed jointly by teams of basic and clinical researchers working together in a trans-disciplinary manner to address the most vexing problem in brain cancer -- the development of treatment resistance.

About the UCLA Brain Tumor Center

To learn more about the UCLA Brain Tumor Center and brain cancer care at UCLA, please visit the UCLA Brain Tumor Center page.