Quiescent cancer cells in tumorigenesis and drug resistance

The Kabraji lab uses bench-to-bedside approaches to map, track, and attack quiescent cancer cells (QCCs) that drive drug resistance and metastasis in solid tumors.

Lab Research

Focus: Tracking and targeting QCCs

Cancer is thought to be predominantly a disease of proliferating cells. However, we and others have found that cancer cells that stop proliferating temporarily, called quiescent cancer cells, play a critical role in the development, spread, and drug resistance of tumors.   

The Kabraji lab aims to understand the role of quiescent cancer cells in cancer drug resistance, with a focus on residual disease after treatment. Our goal is to develop strategies to track and target quiescent cancer cells to improve outcomes for patients. 

Cell slides from a microscope

In addition, we aim to understand how heterogeneity within quiescent cancer cells can be targeted to improve outcomes to cancer therapy. We develop new experimental and computational approaches to integrate data from tumor models and patient samples to develop next-generation biomarkers that can predict treatment response and resistance. 

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Our collaborators

Grants & awards

Susan G Komen

Susan G. Komen

  • Award: 2023 Career Catalyst Research Grant
  • Focus: Biomarkers of racially disparate drug response in triple negative breast cancer
Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Breast Cancer Research Foundation & American Association for Cancer Research

  • Award: 2020 BCRF-AACR Career Development Award
  • Focus: Overcoming residual disease in HER2+ breast cancer
Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation

Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation

  • Award: 2020 Research Grant
  • Focus: Potentiating anti-tumor immunity to overcome minimal residual disease in HER2-positive breast cancer

METAvivor Research and Support Inc.

  • Award: 2019 Grant Award for Metastatic Breast Cancer Research
  • Focus: Targeting drug-resistant quiescent cancer cells in breast cancer brain metastases
Contact Information

Contact the Kabraji Lab 

Email: Sheheryar.Kabraji@RoswellPark.org  
Office phone: 716-845-3429 
Admin fax: 716-845-4620 
Office location: Medical Research Complex - Room 458 

Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology 
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center 
Elm and Carlton Streets 
Buffalo, NY 14263