Research Investigator Profile

Dr. Christian Badr

Christian Badr, PhD

  • Assistant Professor in Neurology,
    Harvard Medical School
  • Assistant in Neuroscience,
    Massachusetts General Hospital



Research Description

Given the highly aggressive nature of high-grade brain tumors and the poor patient survival, there is an urgent need for new therapeutics.

The focus of my work is on novel imaging tools for cancer translational research as well as the development of new cancer therapies, mainly for brain tumors.

As part of our drug discovery platform, we use bioluminescence-based compound screenings to identify new cancer-targeting compounds. We have so far screened a few thousands of small-molecule compounds with several thousands more to go. This work has so far identified a few molecules that showed potent anti-cancer properties.  We are currently validating those compounds, and studying their killing mechanisms, and the signaling pathways they target. We are also working on testing such compounds on various tumor models.

Another arm of my research consists of studying cancer stem cells, particularly glioma stem cells. Those cells are notorious for their resistance to common, standard of care therapies. We are using a whole genome RNAi screening approach to identify new genes that could modulate the glioma stem cells fate and make them more susceptible to cancer therapy.

To learn more, visit the Experimental Therapeutics and Molecular Imaging Laboratory Lab.

Research interests Glioblastoma, brain tumors, Gaussia luciferase, assay development, drug screening
Research techniques Bioluminescence imaging, drug screening, mouse tumor models, drug development, pathway analysis
Diseases studied Brain tumors with a focus on gliomas
Selected publications
  1. Badr CE, Van Hoppe S, Dumbuya H, Tannous BA. Obtusaquinone, a small molecule targeting cancer cells through oxidative stress. JNCI 2013; in press
  2. Badr CE and Tannous BA. Bioluminescence imaging: progress and applications (Review). Trends in Biotechnology. 2011;29(12):624-33. Review
  3. Badr CE, Wurdinger T, Nilsson J, Niers J, Whalen M, Degterev A and Tannous BA. Lanatoside C sensitizes glioblastoma cells to TRAIL and induces an alternative cell death pathway. Neuro-Oncology. 2011;13:1213-24. PMCID: PMC3199161
  4. Wurdinger T, Badr CE, Pike L, de Klein R, Weissleder R, Breakefield XO, Tannous BA. A secreted luciferase for ex vivo monitoring of in vivo processes Nature Methods 2008;5:171-173 PMCID: PMC2699561  (Journal cover and highlighted in Nature SciBX)
  5. Badr CE, Hewett J, Breakefield X and Tannous BA. A highly sensitive assay for monitoring protein secretion and ER-stress. PLOS ONE 2007;2:e571,1-8 PMCID: PMC1892804
NCBI PubMed link NCBI PubMed publications
E-mail address
Lab mailing address

Massachusetts General Hospital
Room 6-6101
149 13th Street
Charlestown, MA 02129



Updated 4/22/2013

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