Thanh U. Barbie, MD, Awarded a $2M National Institutes of Health Grant

Thanh U. Barbie, MD, has been awarded a five-year $2M R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for the study, “Optimizing therapeutic STING agonism in triple negative breast cancer.”

Preliminary research has identified STING (stimulator of interferon genes) agonists as a potential therapy for triple negative breast cancer, which is a highly aggressive disease that results in a disproportionate number of metastatic cases and breast cancer deaths. The goals of the study are to identify the best clinical context for STING agonist use, amplify its cellular response and retain it in the tumor microenvironment. At the completion of the proposed project, it is anticipated that the findings will result in a presurgical window trial for patients with triple negative breast cancer, who have had a limited response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Thanh U. Barbie, MD
Associate Surgeon, Division of Breast Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Barbie is an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and a breast cancer surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Faber Cancer Institute. Dr. Barbie’s research focuses primarily on elucidating pathways in triple negative breast cancers to develop novel targeted therapies. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, among others. Dr. Barbie received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her medical degree from the University of Vermont Medical School. She completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital. She completed her fellowship in breast surgery at the Siteman Cancer Center of Washington University in St. Louis.

Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, Awarded a $250K American Cancer Society/Pfizer Inc., Grant

Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD, has been awarded a $250K American Cancer Society/Pfizer Inc., grant for the study, “Understanding the drivers of unequal receipt of definitive therapy for Black men with prostate cancer.”

Preliminary research has identified significant racial disparities in receipt of definitive therapy for men in Massachusetts who are diagnosed with intermediate and high-risk localized prostate cancer. The overall goal of the study is to use a comparative case study approach to identify factors, processes, programs and practices associated with receipt of definitive therapy and develop interventions to encourage appropriate care for Black men with prostate cancer.

Quoc-Dien Trinh, MD
Associate Surgeon, Division of Urology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Director, Ambulatory Clinical Operations, Division of Urology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Co-Director, Prostate Cancer Center, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center
Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Trinh is an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, director of Ambulatory Clinical Operations in the Division of Urology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and co-director of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Prostate Cancer Center. He is also a core faculty member at the Center for Surgery and Public Health. Dr. Trinh’s research focuses primarily on inequity and outcomes of cancer care. His publications include over 500 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and videos. His research has been funded by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF), among others. Dr. Trinh received his medical degree from the Université de Montréal in Canada, where he also completed his residency training in urology.  He completed his fellowship in minimally invasive urologic oncology at the Vattikuti Urology Institute.

Eric Sheu, MD, PhD, Awarded a $3.3M National Institutes of Health Grant

Eric Sheu, MD, PhD, has been awarded a $3.3M NIH R01 grant for the study, “A microbiome-dependent bile acid metabolite improves type 2 diabetes.”

Dr. Sheu’s group has identified a bile acid metabolite, CA7S, that is generated by bariatric surgery and has anti-diabetic properties. This study’s goals are to evaluate the CA7S metabolite as a novel therapy for type 2 diabetes; uncover how CA7S production is regulated by the gut microbiome; and determine the contribution of CA7S to type 2 diabetes remission, following bariatric surgery. The study is funded by the NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), whose mission is to conduct and support medical research and research training and to disseminate science-based information on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutritional disorders, and obesity; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases, to improve people’s health and quality of life.

Eric Sheu, MD, PhD
Associate Surgeon, Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Associate Program Director, Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Sheu is a bariatric and minimally invasive surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and associate program director of the advanced minimally invasive surgery fellowship at the Brigham. Dr. Sheu graduated from Harvard College, obtained his doctorate in immunology as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University and completed medical school at Harvard Medical School. He trained in general surgery at the Brigham, followed by a fellowship in advanced laparoscopy and bariatric surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Dr. Sheu’s clinical practice focuses on bariatric, foregut and hernia surgery.  He directs an NIH R01-funded laboratory that investigates how changes in immunology and metabolism triggered by bariatric surgery lead to resolution of type 2 diabetes. His research has been supported by numerous societies and philanthropic institutions, including the American Surgical Association (ASA), the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator, the Quadrangle Fund for Advancing and Seeding Translational Research (Q-FASTR) and Harvard Catalyst.