Advancing Leukemia Research

By Jessica Alvarez

Advancing Leukemia Research

By Jessica Alvarez
Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Human Genetics Mina Masoumeh Tayari explains how her passion for RNA has taken her to new scientific heights.

Mina Masoumeh Tayari has a long-standing passion for RNA biology. Within the walls of the Department of Human Genetics at the Miller School of Medicine, we find Mina working on a new clinical trial for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow with excess immature white blood cells. This novel treatment combines all-trans retinoic acid, a nutrient composed with vitamin A that the body needs in order to function also known as ATRA, and tranylcypromine, an antidepressant also known as TCP.

Mina’s hope is that impairing LSD1, Lysine-specific histone demethylase which is a protein in the body, and its function will enhance the expression of retinoic acid responsive genes and that targeted inhibition will extend the activity of ATRA in AML patients. If successful, there will be potential for larger clinical trials. Researchers like Mina are at the cutting edge of innovation, working on treatments that may provide more optimal and effective care options for patients during our lifetime. When presented with the question of what Mina enjoys most about her research, she responded, “The best part of my research is that every new concept that comes into play or new result can occupy my mind for hours to understand and be able to put the puzzle together.”