André S. Bachmann, associate professor and chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, studies polyamine inhibitors that affect the proliferation of cancer. Much of his research is providing new insights into neuroblastoma and other pediatric forms of cancer.
He has been studying ODC, a protein that often is over-expressed in cancer. He has shown that this protein promotes neuroblastoma tumor growth, while a specific inhibitor of ODC called DFMO promotes cancer cell death.
Bachmann’s UH Hilo lab also is studying the molecular mechanisms of cell death in neuroblastoma, with the goal of trying to identify novel, natural product-derived drugs that inhibit these processes. Bachmann has advanced his laboratory research with DFMO to the clinic and a phase I clinical trial with relapsed neuroblastoma patients is underway, in collaboration with Giselle Sholler of the University of Vermont.
Bachman received his master of science in microbiology and doctor of philosophy in biology at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
Read about Bachmann’s research in the April 2010 issue of Mālamalama.