The research efforts in the Sabaawy laboratory are focused onstudying normal stem cell development and CSCs utilizing patient-derived cells, 3D organogenesis cultures and humanized mouse xenografts. Recent studies focus on examining the roles of canonical polycomb-mediated transcriptional repression through BMI-1 signaling that regulates the cell cycle through modulation of cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor-2 (CDKN2). Utilizing our novel CDKN2 mutant zebrafish, knockout mice and cancer patient samples, our ongoing studies have revealed novel non-canonical BMI-1 signaling mediating the control of stem cell self-renewal that is of high cancer therapeutic relevance for targeting CSCs. Armed with deep knowledge of normal stem cell development and clinical applications, we developed novel 3D stem cell organoid cultures, and we are using these organoid models together with xenografts and conditional BMI-1 overexpression and INK4 mice to generate preclinical models for predicting resistance to therapy in prostate cancer and glioblastomas.
A parallel research effort in the Sabaawy lab is to study human mesenchymal stroma cell (MSC) based therapy and transplantation. Cell therapy using stem cells for regeneration of a failing organ or injury repair is a promising approach with multiple applications in regenerative medicine.
Dr. Sabaawy is a resident member of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Director of the Cell and Gene Therapy production GMP facility at RBHS-RWJMS, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at Rutgers Graduate school of Biomedical Sciences.
Clinical or Educational Responsibilities
Assistant Professor of Medicine
RBHS-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Director, Production GMP Facility for Cell and Gene Therapy
Resident Member, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey