Nathalie Agar, PhD, director of the Surgical Molecular Imaging Laboratory in the Department of Neurosurgery, is part of a collaboration that was recently awarded a five-year, $9.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support a Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (PS-OC).
Mayo Clinic, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the University of Minnesota and the Agar Lab are all collaborating on the grant. Collectively, they are among the 10 PS-OCs chosen to be part of the NCI Physical Sciences-Oncology Network, which seeks to improve our understanding of cancer biology and oncology.
Agar and her collaborators will focus on drug distribution and drug efficacy in brain tumors. Agar's work involves using mass spectrometry for several different research applications, including mapping metabolites to guide brain tumor surgery, analyzing breast cancer margins and evaluating pituitary adenomas for real-time tumor delineation. She also works alongside surgeons in the Operating Room, providing tissue analysis during surgery.