Aaron D. Schimmer
Department: Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto
The Schimmer lab is focused on developing novel therapeutic strategies that target leukemia and leukemia stem cells. Using chemical and genetic approaches, the laboratory investigates targeting protein synthesis and degradation pathways in the mitochondria and cytoplasm. Mechanistic studies are coupled with preclinical evaluation to understand the biology of leukemia stem cells and the highlight therapeutic strategies with potential therapeutic windows. In addition to acting as biological tools, these molecules also serve as leads for potential new treatment strategies. To rapidlyidentify and test new therapeutic strategies in early proof-of-principle clinical trials, the Schimmer lab has compiled and screened libraries of known drugs for compounds with previously unrecognized ability to kill leukemia cells and leukemia stem cells. Byleveraging their prior toxicology and pharmacologythree such drugs have already been advanced them into clinical trial for this new indication.