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  • Cancer Metabolism

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  • Drug Discovery

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Dr. Vlashi earned her PhD from the Department of Chemistry at Purdue University with a focus on the characterization of in vivo trafficking and dynamic accumulation of anti-cancer drugs targeted via high-affinity ligands to solid tumors. During her post-doctoral training she expanded her expertise on cancer stem cells and radiation oncology and made important discoveries that led to the development of tools for identification, tracking and targeted elimination of cancer stem cells. Employing the unique tools for cancer stem cell identification and isolation she made the discovery that cancer stem cells reside in a metabolic state distinct from the rest of the bulk tumor cell population.


Currently, the Vlashi Lab is building on the prior seminal discoveries on cancer stem cell metabolism and is interested in investigating metabolic changes induced by radiation therapy, how these changes dictate response to therapy, and how such changes can be exploited with the goal of further enhancing benefit from radiation therapy for cancer patients. Our ultimate goal is to develop novel agents against breast cancer and glioblastoma, and their response to radiotherapy and chemotherapy are prime targets for novel anticancer therapies. In collaboration with other labs in the department Dr. Vlashi’s lab is also interested in investigating radiation mitigators for the purpose of limiting radiation toxicity to normal tissue during radiation therapy, with the ultimate goal of maximizing the therapeutic index of this powerful anti-cancer treatment modality.

Lab Team

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Erina Vlashi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

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Le Zhang, MD

Graduate Student

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Garret Yu

Undergraduate Student

Reserach Opportunities at the Vlashi Lab

We perform cutting-edge research in the field of cancer stem cells metabolics and drug development.

Dr. Vlashi is a member of the Interdepartmental Physics and Biology in Medicine Graduate program. The lab offers research oportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Research Topics


Stem Cells





Current projects

The Vlashi Lab is developing novel agents against breast cancer and glioblastoma. Our seminal discoveries on the metabolic state of cancer stem cells, their response to radiotherapy and chemotherapy are prime targets for novel anticancer therapies.
  • Cancer stem Cells  90%
  • Cancer Metabolism 80%
  • Cancer Stem cell Imaging  75%
  • Drug development 65%

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