About the Brady Lab

There is a complex relationship between cancer therapies and cancer genomics. Mutations within cancer cells can lead to drug resistance and, subsequently, ineffective therapies. Some existing therapies may induce mutations, leading to secondary cancers later in life. Our laboratory is interested in identifying mutational signatures to understand how and why these events occur in patients. By combining genomic and pharmacology techniques, our work can help inform better treatment development and prevent future complications. Further, certain genomic alterations can promote drug responsiveness, and we seek to understand how to exploit these vulnerabilities in cancer.

Science Team

The team

The Brady Lab is building an innovative and enthusiastic team of scientists that aspire to identify improved treatment approaches through genomics and pharmacology.

Our research summary

The overarching objective within the Brady Lab is to use cancer genomics and pharmacology to identify improved pediatric cancer treatment approaches. Patients with cancer will often respond to their initial treatment, but sometimes, a small subset of cancer cells evade treatment and develop drug resistance; our lab aims to understand why and how that occurs. One method the team employs is identifying mutational signatures; prior research indicates that the sources of DNA mutations leading to acquired drug resistance within cancer cells can be identified using mutational signature analysis. For example, neuroblastoma has a mutational signature indicative of reactive oxygen species (ROS) DNA damage. These mutations may lead to drug resistance while conferring vulnerabilities to other therapies; discerning how to prevent or exploit these mutations is the next step toward developing better therapies and preventing relapses.

The team also uses mutational signatures to understand how existing therapies may induce secondary cancers in survivors later in life. Many pediatric cancer survivors will undergo treatment and be cured of their initial cancer but then develop a second cancer due to their prior therapy. Our lab uses mutational signatures and other genomic techniques to understand how therapy can induce specific mutations that initiate second cancers. The results of this work could help inform which therapies should be reduced to a lower dosage and which should be avoided entirely in certain patient populations.

Finally, we aim to tackle new therapeutic targets. Many existing cancer therapies are toxic, which is a significant problem for pediatric patients because their bodies are still developing. In order to develop treatments that will have the maximum impact on cancer cells with minimal impact on healthy tissue, the team is working to identify the genes that are unnecessary for human survival but vital to a cancer cell’s survival. This research will allow new therapies to target specific proteins and minimize treatment toxicity. 


Contact us

Samuel W. Brady, PhD
Assistant Member, St. Jude Faculty

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
MS 313, Room I5308

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN, 38105-3678 USA
(901) 595-2747 samuelw.brady@stjude.org

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262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN, 38105-3678 USA