Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Irina Balyasnikova Lab

Our Mission

Our laboratory is dedicated to the advancement and development of translational, cell-based targeted therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma and other brain malignancies. We also aim to develop imaging techniques for the tracking of stem cells in the central nervous system, improving our understanding of therapeutic mechanisms. Finally, as we look towards the future of brain cancer treatment, we are committed to the training of aspiring research professionals.

News and Events

April 21, 2017
Congratulations to Katarzyna Pituch for being awarded a two year fellowship from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. Her research is titled “Combination of IL13Ralpha2 CAR T-Cell Therapy with PD-1 Immune Checkpoint Blockade for Treatment of Glioblastoma”.

December 14, 2016
Our proposal, Investigating CAR T cells for Glioblastoma Immunotherapy, has been selected for a Translational Bridge Award from the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. The postdoctoral scholar, Katarzyna C. Pituch, PhD will be supported by the funding from this award.

December 16, 2016
We are grateful to the Nora Redman Endowment Fund from the Community Foundation of Louisville for their generous gift, which will support work of postdoctoral scholar Michael I. Chastkofsky, PhD on a stem cells-based approach for the treatment of pediatric tumor DIPG.

    Selected Publications

    Dey M, Yu D, Kanojia D, Li G, Sukhanova M, Spencer DA, Pituch KC, Zhang L, Han Y, Ahmed AU, Aboody KS, Lesniak MS, Balyasnikova IV. Intranasal Oncolytic Virotherapy with CXCR4-Enhanced Stem Cells Extends Survival in Mouse Model of Glioma. Stem Cell Reports. 2016 Sep 13;7(3):471-82. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2016.07.024. PMID:27594591

    Cheng Y, Muroski ME, Petit DC, Mansell R, Vemulkar T, Morshed RA, Han Y, Balyasnikova IV, Horbinski CM, Huang X, Zhang L, Cowburn RP, Lesniak MS. Rotating magnetic field induced oscillation of magnetic particles for in vivo mechanical destruction of malignant glioma. J Control Release 223:75-84, 2016.

    Cheng SH, Yu D, Tsai HM, Morshed RA, Kanojia D, Lo LW, Leoni L, Govind Y, Zhang L, Aboody KS, Lesniak MS, Chen CT, Balyasnikova IV. Dynamic In Vivo SPECT Imaging of Neural Stem Cells Functionalized with Radiolabeled Nanoparticles for Tracking of Glioblastoma. J Nucl Med 57(2):279-84, 2016.

    Krenciute G, Krebs S, Torres D, Wu MF, Liu H, Dotti G, Li XN, Lesniak MS, Balyasnikova IV, Gottschalk S. Characterization and Functional Analysis of scFv-based Chimeric Antigen Receptors to Redirect T Cells to IL13Rα2-positive Glioma. Mol Ther 24(2):354-63, 2016.

    Kim JW, Young JS, Solomaha E, Kanojia D, Lesniak MS, Balyasnikova IV. A novel single-chain antibody redirects adenovirus to IL13Rα2-expressing brain tumors. Sci Rep 5:18133, 2015.

    Kanojia D, Balyasnikova IV, Morshed RA, Frank RT, Yu D, Zhang L, Spencer DA, Kim JW, Han Y, Yu D, Ahmed AU, Aboody KS, Lesniak MS. Neural Stem Cells Secreting Anti-HER2 Antibody Improve Survival in a Preclinical Model of HER2 Overexpressing Breast Cancer Brain Metastases. Stem Cells 33(10):2985-94, 2015.

    Kim JW, Kane JR, Young JS, Chang AL, Kanojia D, Morshed RA, Miska J, Ahmed AU, Balyasnikova IV, Han Y, Zhang L, Curiel DT, Lesniak MS. A Genetically Modified Adenoviral Vector with a Phage Display-Derived Peptide Incorporated into Fiber Fibritin Chimera Prolongs Survival in Experimental Glioma. Hum Gene Ther 26(9):635-46, 2015.

    Irina V Balyasnikova, PhD

    Irina V Balyasnikova, PhD
    Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery

    irinabal@northwestern.edu