George C. Prendergast, Ph.D.

Title
President and CEO
Department
Department of Pathology, Anatomy & Cell Biology
Institution
Lankenau Institute for Medical Research
Address
Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University
100 E. Lancaster Avenue
City, State, Zip
Wynnewood, PA 19096
Phone
(610) 645-8475
E-mail
prendergast[at]limr.org
Website
http://limr.org/lmr/Page.asp?out=html&perPage=999&searchType=Faculty&PageID=LMR000109
Research Field
Genetics
Award Year
1995

Research

Our laboratory is interested in cancer suppression genes, cancer immunology, and molecular therapeutics. We use transgenic mouse models to study cancer suppression, focusing on the long-term goal of improving strategies for cancer prognosis and treatment. We hypothesize that cancer modifier genes, especially those that influence the immune microenvironment of tumor cells, might offer better targets for drug development based on the idea that they may strongly influence clinical course. Accordingly, a new therapy we are developing is based on blocking an enzyme regulated by the Bin1 tumor suppressor gene we have studied, called IDO,that limits the ability of T immune cells to destroy cancer cells. RhoB studies derive from our previous work on the cellular targets of farnesyl transferase inhibitors (FTIs), an early class of signal transduction inhibitors to enter clinical development. Bin1 studies led us to discover a radically new strategy to treat cancer using small molecule inhibitors of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), along with a newly discovered enzyme called IDO2 which like IDO may also modulate immunity. This exciting line of work has translated rapidly to clinical trials with the help of a biopharmaceutical company that acquired our start-up company to develop this technology.