Dimitris Placantonakis, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator

Dimitris PlacantonakisI obtained my MD/PhD degree in Neuroscience from NYU School of Medicine and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in human embryonic stem cell biology with Drs. Lorenz Studer and Viviane Tabar at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. I was also trained in Neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering. At NYU, I am a tenure-track physician-scientist dividing my time between the laboratory and my neurosurgical practice. I have an interest in the treatment of gliomas and brain tumors in general. My laboratory studies stem cell biology in the context of glioma, a malignant brain tumor. We use genetic approaches and patients’ tissue to generate models for high-grade gliomas, with emphasis on the heterogeneity of cancer stem cells. Furthermore, we adapt human embryonic stem cell and genetic technologies to model oncogenic processes, with the goal of understanding the early steps in gliomagenesis and developing translational applications, such as high-throughput drug screening and biomarker identification. Our ultimate goal is to translate our laboratory findings to new therapies and diagnostic tests for patients with glioma.