About Our Research
The Guo laboratory seeks to understand the role of aberrant tumor splicing alterations and post transcriptional changes in head and neck cancer. Our previous work has shown that aberrant splicing alterations contribute to oncogenesis in both HPV-positive and HPV-negative head and neck tumors. We work in collaboration with bioinformatics experts to develop novel algorithms for quantification and detection of these novel aberrant splicing events and post transcriptional genomic alterations that are not readily apparent through sequencing alone.
Understanding how splicing variants interact with the immune system in head and neck cancer is another major focus. HNSCC tumors harbor few recurrent mutations, there is a paucity of clear neoantigen targets for tumor vaccine development to improve response rates to immunotherapy. Alternative splicing events, which are present and functionally active in HNSCC represent an understudied source of tumor-specific protein diversity and potential neoantigens. Alternatively spliced isoforms can generate proteins that harbor more significant “foreign” sequences that can lead to highly immunogenic peptides, that may be ideal targets for tumor vaccines that enhance anti-tumoral immunity.