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Jason T. Yustein, MD, PhD


Due to the relatively inferior long-term patient outcomes, we recognize the need for improving our understanding of pediatric sarcomas, specifically osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma. My laboratory has tremendous interest and experience in merging innovative murine models and patient-derived resources towards garnering molecular insights into sarcoma initiation, development and metastatic progression and translating these findings towards testing novel therapeutic interventions for these aggressive malignancies.

Research in our laboratory is focused on these areas:

  • Utilizing tissue-specific genetic perturbation to form novel, applicable transgenic mouse models of metastatic osteosarcoma and rhabdomyosarcoma, both conditions that have particularly poor patient outcomes. Such models allow for further understanding of critical genetic and proteomic alterations involved in sarcoma development, progression and metastasis and can be utilized as preclinical models for therapeutic testing and efficacy.
  • Use of innovative in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models in order to investigate the roles of critical signal transduction mechanisms, such as the Wnt-signaling pathway, in the metastatic and therapeutic resistant conditions.  
  • Investigating the role and the therapeutic potential of the tumor microenvironment, focusing on non-tumor cell contributions and metabolic alterations, towards sarcoma initiation, development and progression.      

Furthermore, we have developed multiple collaborations within Baylor College of Medicine, as well as local, domestic and international institutions to further enhance our studies from a basic science and translational/clinical approach. For example, we have active collaborations with investigators at the Houston Methodist Research Institute to develop novel approaches in nanomedicine towards targeting metastatic osteosarcoma, and KU Leuven in Belgium to understand the role of microRNAs in rhabdomyosarcoma differentiation.

Utilizing the strengths and resources of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, we have formed collaborations in Texas Children’s/Baylor College of Medicine as well as with multiple pharmaceutical companies to test the efficacy of novel therapeutic agents on pediatric sarcomas.

Laboratory Contact Information

1102 Bates Street, Suite 1070.06 Room 1025.20.06K Houston, TX