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Thoracic Surgery Research Programs

UCLA Lung Cancer Research Program
Thoracic Surgery

Principal Investigator: Jay M. Lee, M.D.

Our laboratory effort is divided into three categories:

  • Inflammation and immunology in lung carcinogenesis – Intense investigation of dysregulated inflammation (COX-2 pathway) and immunosuppression in lung cancer development to identify potential targets for prevention and treatment of lung cancer.
  • Gene therapy / immunotherapy - The application of gene modified dendritic cell (DC) based vaccines to treat lung cancer.
  • Clinical trials - The translational application of new drugs and cell based immunotherapy in human clinical trials of lung cancer.
  • Biomarker Discovery – Identification of inflammatory protein profiles are applied to clinical prognostic endpoints as biomarkers of early lung cancer detection or recurrence.

Laboratory Location
UCLA Lung Cancer Research Program (UCLA / JCCC Factor Building and West Los Angeles VA). 

Laboratory Environment
The strength of our research program is in its collaborations with other disciplines.  The Thoracic Surgical Laboratory is an integral part of the UCLA Lung Cancer Research Program and has an extensive collaboration with Dr. Steven M. Dubinett, the lead investigator of the Lung Cancer SPORE program.  UCLA is designated as one of only seven national SPORE programs for lung cancer. There is a wide array of individuals including faculty members (clinical and basic science), post-doctoral and clinical fellows, graduate students, and research technicians in the Program.  This laboratory environment is rich in resources and is composed of individuals from multiple disciplines resulting in a situation conducive to maximal learning, collaborations, and productivity.

Laboratory Techniques
3-D tissue culture model of lung cancer
Murine lung cancer models
Development of targeted drugs, gene modified dendritic cell vaccines
GMP grade practice
Tissue culture
Molecular biology
Gene array


  • NIH/NCI K23
  • NIH/NCI K12
  • TSFRE Grant
  • STOP Cancer Grant
  • UCLA JCCC Grant
  • Ronald Binder Memorial Fund for Lung Cancer Research

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Thoracic Surgery

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