Dr. Abukhdeir and his research team focus on the molecular variants that lead or contribute to drug resistance in breast cancer. These molecular variants have the potential to serve as predictive biomarkers. His laboratory’s initial success was identifying a group of genes whose expression predict which patients will respond to trastuzumab therapy. More recently his team has repurposed drugs that block key growth signaling pathways for use in breast cancer.
As a Lynn Sage Scholar, Dr. Abukhdeir is investigating genetic mutations found in sub-types of breast cancer. His goal is to identify more effective treatments against those mutations and expedite the use in clinical practice, by focusing on FDA approved therapies. His ultimate goal is to improve treatment for those grappling with a breast cancer diagnosis.
Dr. Abukhdeir moved to Rush University Medical Center in 2012, where he is an assistant professor of Medicine and Pharmacology. After completing his PhD at Loyola University, he finished a postdoctoral fellowship at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University. Following his fellowship, he collaborated with the Stand Up to Cancer Epigenetic Dream Team to identify molecular predictors of response to epigenetic therapies.