Xiangguo Shi, PhD
Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Shi’s project is to explore the potential of targeting the protein AMPK to safely treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Leukemia cells are particularly sensitive to changes in the balance of intracellular energy levels, and disruption of this balance through targeting AMPK, a key regulator of energy equilibrium, impairs leukemia cell growth and delay leukemia progression. AMPK signaling is not required for normal hematopoietic cell growth and differentiation, so AMPK inhibition may provide a therapeutic window to treat leukemias without disrupting normal blood cells. Dr. Shi seeks to gain a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms by which AMPK regulates leukemia stem cell fate to develop novel therapeutic options. A major focus of his research is to understand the interplay between energy metabolism and epigenetic regulation of leukemic gene expression. His work will lead to improved therapeutic interventions for AML patients, particularly those who relapse from standard treatment.