I am a clinician-scientist committed to the direct care of brain cancer patients and the improvement of treatment outcomes through translational and basic research. I have been committed to a career in academic medicine and biomedical research since entering the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program at University of California at San Diego. My dissertation research was conducted at the Salk Institute with the late Ian Trowbridge. After completing both Neurology Residency and Neuro-oncology Fellowship (with Tim Cloughesy) training at UCLA, I joined the UCLA Neurology faculty in 2005. Through funding from the American Brain Tumor Association (Basic Research Fellowship), Art of the Brain, Cancer Center of Santa Barbara and NIH (K08), I have been able to establish a translational brain cancer research laboratory that focuses on correlating molecular analysis of glioma patient tumor tissues with clinical phenotype. In particular, my laboratory has developed expertise with methylation profiling of patient tissues. Complementing my laboratory research, I am an active clinician with a practice that focuses on primary brain tumors. As a clinician/scientist interested in improving treatment outcomes for patients with malignant gliomas, I approach each patient as an opportunity to correlate clinical observations with molecular tumor characterization. Because of the molecular diversity and the wide variation of clinical response in malignant glioma patients, this approach has tremendous importance and immediacy in the development of biomarkers and personalized therapeutics.
Tie Li, MD PhD
Senior Lab Technician
Inner Mongolia Medical College, M.D.
Beijing Medical University, Ph.D. - Physiology
Sean Thomas Pianka
UCLA Interdepartmental PhD Program for Neuroscience since 2017
UCLA Medical Scientist Training Program since 2015
Graduated Pomona College with honors in 2014
Graduated from UCLA Undergraduate with Major in Neuroscience and Minor in Biomedical Research in 2019
Biochemisty, Class of 2021
Computer Science and Computational and Systems Biology, Class of 2022