The Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan Laboratory works with a variety of animal models to study cancer of comparative interest. Dr. Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan studies cancer biology and cancer genetics as well as novel drug and immunotherapies in an effort to establish treatments, diagnostics, and therapies for companion animals. Cancers in companion animals serve as excellent translational models for their human counterparts and are thus well aligned with the College's One Health mission. She works collaboratively across colleagues in the College, especially Drs. Paulo Vilar Saavedra and Sonia Honkis in Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Oncology Division, and throughout MSU, including key projects with Dr. Xuefei Huang and Dr. Jetze Tepe of Chemistry. In addition, with Dr. Cheryl Swenson, Dr. Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan is developing new approaches to decrease the burden of FeLV and prevent the development of FeLV associated lymphomas in cats.
Dr. Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan, PhD, researches cancer biology and cancer genetics, novel caner treatments, and cancer vaccines.
Dr. Paulo Vilar Saavedra, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Oncology), researches cancer and cancer vaccines, thrombelastography, inflammatory bowel disease, and lymphoma.
Dr. Sonia Honkisz, DVM, MS, researches canidae, urinary bladder neoplasms, transitional cell carcinoma, ultrasonography, and computed tomography.
These researchers work closely with Dr. Xuefei Huang, MSU Foundation professor and associate chair in Research for the Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering with the MSU Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering. He is the primary investigator on a new research grant awarded by the National Cancer Institute titled “Engineering bacteriophage Qβ conjugates with tumor associated carbohydrate antigens as multi-component anti-cancer vaccines.” This grant awards $2,409,326 from January 1, 2018–December 31, 2022. Huang, Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan, and Vilar Saavedra will focus on engineering Qβ to generate powerful anti-cancer immune responses.