Lydie Debaize, PhD
Targeting the Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells in Follicular Lymphomas
Follicular lymphoma is a cancer that affects white blood cells called lymphocytes that help the body fight infections. While most patients achieve remission after treatment, many will experience cancer recurrence due to rare drug-tolerant persister cells that remain in the body after treatment and cause cancer to regrow. My research aims to identify the vulnerabilities of persister cells and identify new treatment combinations that can kill them.
This project will use follicular lymphoma cells from human patients before treatment, during treatment, and after treatment. With collaborators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, we will implement innovative approaches to detect and characterize persister cells and identify potentially targetable features. This work will allow us to nominate a candidate drug and validate it in a preclinical study. The ultimate impact of this work is to transform the way we approach lymphoma therapy by targeting the few remaining cancer cells and thereby convert remissions into cures.
I am deeply honored to receive a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Drug Discovery from the PhRMA Foundation at this crucial stage in my career. This opportunity will provide me with the support, training, and mentorship necessary to become a leading independent investigator in the coming years.