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James L. LaBelle

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentPediatrics-Hematology and Oncology
AddressChicago IL 60637
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    The major goal of the laboratory is to dissect and pharmacologically target intracellular proteins to induce cancer cell death and manipulate the immune response. We are currently applying new research tools and prototype therapeutics that we, and others, have developed to target the BCL-2 family of proteins and other cell signaling proteins in immune cells.

    A large part of our lab focuses on using portions of the actual proteins, or peptides, as drugs and biological tools to uncover specific molecular pathways in diseased and normal cells. Peptide-based therapeutics have enormous potential for immune modulation and direct cancer treatment but have traditionally lacked efficient stabilization and delivery within patients, and thereby, have had limited clinical applications. To are working to overcome these barriers within the lab and through collaboration with nanotechnologists and chemical engineers.

    Overall, we are committed to translation of our findings to pediatric and adult patients with cancer and immune system disease. While performing research at the University of Chicago, we are in close proximity to scientists, clinicians, and patients and are deeply committed to working collaboratively with these groups to make significant inroads in treating those suffering from refractory disease.
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/BCH, Boston, MAPostdoctoral fellowship, Walensky Lab06/2012Cancer Chemical Biology
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/BCH, Boston, MAClinical Fellow06/2009Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
    Boston Children's Hospital (BCH), Boston, MAIntern/Resident06/2006Pediatrics
    Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WIMD/PhD06/2003Medicine/Immunology
    Lawrence University, Appleton, WIBA06/1994Biology
    Collapse awards and honors
    1992Engstrom Scholars Award
    1994Botanical Society of America Merit Award
    1994Phi Sigma Award in Biology
    2001First Place, Research Trainee Award
    2004Proctor and Gamble Teaching and Tomorrow Award
    2006Senior Resident Teaching Award
    2007Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation Research Award
    2010Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Special Fellow Award
    2011AACR-Aflac Scholar-in-Training Award
    2012Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator's Award
    2013James B. Nachman Fellow
    2014United-4a Cure Research Award
    2014Hyundai Hope on Wheels Scholar Award
    2015Comer Children's Hospital Development Board Award
    2016Hoogland Lymphoma Pilot Project Award
    2016AbbVie-UChicago Collaboration in Oncology Award
    2018Hyundai Hope on Wheels Scholar Award

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    Newest   |   Oldest   |   Most Cited   |   Most Discussed   |   Timeline   |   Field Summary   |   Plain Text
    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Schnorenberg MR, Hawley KM, Thomas-Toth AT, Watkins EA, Tian Y, Ting JM, Leak LB, Kucera IM, Raczy MM, Kung AL, Hubbell JA, Tirrell MV, LaBelle JL. Targeted Polymersome Delivery of a Stapled Peptide for Drugging the Tumor Protein p53:BCL-2-Family Axis in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. ACS Nano. 2023 Dec 12; 17(23):23374-23390. PMID: 37688780; PMCID: PMC10722602.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    2. Sharma A, Boelens JJ, Cancio M, Hankins JS, Bhad P, Azizy M, Lewandowski A, Zhao X, Chitnis S, Peddinti R, Zheng Y, Kapoor N, Ciceri F, Maclachlan T, Yang Y, Liu Y, Yuan J, Naumann U, Yu VWC, Stevenson SC, De Vita S, LaBelle JL. CRISPR-Cas9 Editing of the HBG1 and HBG2 Promoters to Treat Sickle Cell Disease. N Engl J Med. 2023 Aug 31; 389(9):820-832. PMID: 37646679; PMCID: PMC10947132.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCellsCTClinical Trials
    3. Saygin C, Giordano G, Shimamoto K, Eisfelder B, Thomas-Toth A, Venkataraman G, Ananthanarayanan V, Vincent TL, DuVall A, Patel AA, Chen Y, Tan F, Anthony SP, Chen Y, Shen Y, Odenike O, Teachey DT, Kee BL, LaBelle J, Stock W. Dual Targeting of Apoptotic and Signaling Pathways in T-Lineage Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Clin Cancer Res. 2023 08 15; 29(16):3151-3161. PMID: 37363966; PMCID: PMC10425730.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    4. LaBelle JL. Small but mighty: T-replete cords for myeloid disease. Blood Adv. 2023 05 23; 7(10):2153-2154. PMID: 37171829; PMCID: PMC10206421.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    5. Tran MC, Hasan Y, Wang A, Yenice K, Partouche J, Stock W, Larson RA, Kosuri S, LaBelle JL, Kline J, Riedell PA, Artz AS, Weichselbaum R, Bishop MR, Aydogan B, Liu H. A phase 1 trial utilizing TMI with fludarabine-melphalan in patients with hematologic malignancies undergoing second allo-SCT. Blood Adv. 2023 02 14; 7(3):285-292. PMID: 35851593; PMCID: PMC9898602.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    6. Hawley KM, Eclov RJ, Schnorenberg MR, Tian Y, Shah RN, Thomas-Toth AT, Fefferman M, Bird GH, Walensky LD, Tirrell MV, LaBelle JL. Inhibition of FOXP3 by stapled alpha-helical peptides dampens regulatory T cell function. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 10 18; 119(42):e2209044119. PMID: 36227917; PMCID: PMC9586281.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    7. Desai AV, Applebaum MA, Karrison TG, Oppong A, Yuan C, Berg KR, MacQuarrie K, Sokol E, Hall AG, Pinto N, Wolfe I, Mody R, Shusterman S, Smith V, Foster JH, Nassin M, LaBelle JL, Bagatell R, Cohn SL. Efficacy of post-induction therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma patients with end-induction residual disease. Cancer. 2022 08 01; 128(15):2967-2977. PMID: 35665495; PMCID: PMC10764281.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Tian Y, Tirrell MV, LaBelle JL. Harnessing the Therapeutic Potential of Biomacromolecules through Intracellular Delivery of Nucleic Acids, Peptides, and Proteins. Adv Healthc Mater. 2022 06; 11(12):e2102600. PMID: 35285167; PMCID: PMC9232950.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    
    9. McKee MN, Palama BK, Hall M, LaBelle JL, Bohr NL, Hoehn KS. Racial and Ethnic Differences in Inpatient Palliative Care for Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Patients. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2022 06 01; 23(6):417-424. PMID: 35190500; PMCID: PMC9203872.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Khanna S, Mackin AG, Dao DT, Komati R, Morocco PC, LaBelle JL, Shah HA, Blair MP. Exudative Retinal Detachment Following Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy in Relapsed B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2022 02; 53(2):113-115. PMID: 35148216.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. Ludwig LM, Hawley KM, Banks DB, Thomas-Toth AT, Blazar BR, McNerney ME, Leverson JD, LaBelle JL. Venetoclax imparts distinct cell death sensitivity and adaptivity patterns in T cells. Cell Death Dis. 2021 10 27; 12(11):1005. PMID: 34707089; PMCID: PMC8551340.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    12. Volpatti LR, Wallace RP, Cao S, Raczy MM, Wang R, Gray LT, Alpar AT, Briquez PS, Mitrousis N, Marchell TM, Sasso MS, Nguyen M, Mansurov A, Budina E, Solanki A, Watkins EA, Schnorenberg MR, Tremain AC, Reda JW, Nicolaescu V, Furlong K, Dvorkin S, Yu SS, Manicassamy B, LaBelle JL, Tirrell MV, Randall G, Kwissa M, Swartz MA, Hubbell JA. Polymersomes Decorated with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Receptor-Binding Domain Elicit Robust Humoral and Cellular Immunity. ACS Cent Sci. 2021 Aug 25; 7(8):1368-1380. PMID: 34466656; PMCID: PMC8315245.
      Citations: 13     
    13. Harris K, LaBelle JL, Bishop MR. Current Status of CAR T Cell Therapy for Leukemias. Curr Treat Options Oncol. 2021 06 07; 22(7):62. PMID: 34097135.
      Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    14. Volpatti LR, Wallace RP, Cao S, Raczy MM, Wang R, Gray LT, Alpar AT, Briquez PS, Mitrousis N, Marchell TM, Sasso MS, Nguyen M, Mansurov A, Budina E, Solanki A, Watkins EA, Schnorenberg MR, Tremain AC, Reda JW, Nicolaescu V, Furlong K, Dvorkin S, Yu SS, Manicassamy B, LaBelle JL, Tirrell MV, Randall G, Kwissa M, Swartz MA, Hubbell JA. Polymersomes decorated with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain elicit robust humoral and cellular immunity. bioRxiv. 2021 Apr 08. PMID: 33851166; PMCID: PMC8043456.
    15. Siddiqui A, Pinto N, Applebaum MA, Mak GZ, Cunningham JM, LaBelle JL, Nassin ML. The addition of autologous stem cell transplantation to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, radiation, and HIPEC for patients with unresectable desmoplastic small round cell tumor: a single center case series. Int J Surg Oncol (N Y). 2020 Dec; 5(6). PMID: 35321405; PMCID: PMC8939842.
      Citations: 2     
    16. Ludwig LM, Roach LE, Katz SG, LaBelle JL. Loss of BIM in T cells results in BCL-2 family BH3-member compensation but incomplete cell death sensitivity normalization. Apoptosis. 2020 04; 25(3-4):247-260. PMID: 31993851; PMCID: PMC8265391.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    17. Kothari S, Artz AS, Lee SM, Fulton N, Park JH, Stock W, Larson RA, Odenike O, Kline J, LaBelle J, Kosuri S, Riedell P, Nakamura Y, Bishop MR, Liu H. Dose escalation prophylactic donor lymphocyte infusion after T-cell depleted matched related donor allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is feasible and results in higher donor chimerism, faster immune re-constitution, and prolonged progression-free survival. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2020 06; 55(6):1161-1168. PMID: 31992847.
      Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansCellsCTClinical Trials
    18. Hadji A, Schmitt GK, Schnorenberg MR, Roach L, Hickey CM, Leak LB, Tirrell MV, LaBelle JL. Preferential targeting of MCL-1 by a hydrocarbon-stapled BIM BH3 peptide. Oncotarget. 2019 Oct 22; 10(58):6219-6233. PMID: 31692812; PMCID: PMC6817437.
      Citations: 10     Fields:    
    19. Schnorenberg MR, Bellairs JA, Samaeekia R, Acar H, Tirrell MV, LaBelle JL. Activating the Intrinsic Pathway of Apoptosis Using BIM BH3 Peptides Delivered by Peptide Amphiphiles with Endosomal Release. Materials (Basel). 2019 Aug 12; 12(16). PMID: 31408950; PMCID: PMC6719084.
      Citations: 4     
    20. Fan Y, Artz AS, van Besien K, Stock W, Larson RA, Odenike O, Godley LA, Kline J, Cunningham JM, LaBelle JL, Bishop MR, Liu H. Outcomes following second allogeneic stem cell transplant for disease relapse after T cell depleted transplant correlate with remission status and remission duration after the first transplant. Exp Hematol Oncol. 2019; 8:1. PMID: 30622841; PMCID: PMC6317199.
      Citations: 6     
    21. Ludwig LM, Maxcy KL, LaBelle JL. Flow Cytometry-Based Detection and Analysis of BCL-2 Family Proteins and Mitochondrial Outer Membrane Permeabilization (MOMP). Methods Mol Biol. 2019; 1877:77-91. PMID: 30535999; PMCID: PMC6704474.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    22. Schnorenberg MR, Yoo SP, Tirrell MV, LaBelle JL. Synthesis and Purification of Homogeneous Lipid-Based Peptide Nanocarriers by Overcoming Phospholipid Ester Hydrolysis. ACS Omega. 2018 Oct 31; 3(10):14144-14150. PMID: 30411059; PMCID: PMC6210079.
      Citations: 6     
    23. Nassin ML, Nicolaou E, Gurbuxani S, Cohn SL, Cunningham JM, LaBelle JL. Immune Reconstitution Following Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Patients with High-Risk Neuroblastoma at the Time of Immunotherapy. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2018 03; 24(3):452-459. PMID: 29191664.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. Acar H, Ting JM, Srivastava S, LaBelle JL, Tirrell MV. Molecular engineering solutions for therapeutic peptide delivery. Chem Soc Rev. 2017 Oct 30; 46(21):6553-6569. PMID: 28902203.
      Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    25. Acar H, Samaeekia R, Schnorenberg MR, Sasmal DK, Huang J, Tirrell MV, LaBelle JL. Cathepsin-Mediated Cleavage of Peptides from Peptide Amphiphiles Leads to Enhanced Intracellular Peptide Accumulation. Bioconjug Chem. 2017 09 20; 28(9):2316-2326. PMID: 28771332; PMCID: PMC5937119.
      Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    26. Pu J, Dewey JA, Hadji A, LaBelle JL, Dickinson BC. RNA Polymerase Tags To Monitor Multidimensional Protein-Protein Interactions Reveal Pharmacological Engagement of Bcl-2 Proteins. J Am Chem Soc. 2017 08 30; 139(34):11964-11972. PMID: 28767232; PMCID: PMC5828006.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    27. Nassin ML, Vergilio JA, Heeney MM, LaBelle JL. Neonatal anemia: Revisiting the enigmatic pyknocyte. Am J Hematol. 2017 Jul; 92(7):717-721. PMID: 28335086.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. Ludwig LM, Nassin ML, Hadji A, LaBelle JL. Killing Two Cells with One Stone: Pharmacologic BCL-2 Family Targeting for Cancer Cell Death and Immune Modulation. Front Pediatr. 2016; 4:135. PMID: 28066751; PMCID: PMC5174130.
      Citations: 15     
    29. Acar H, Srivastava S, Chung EJ, Schnorenberg MR, Barrett JC, LaBelle JL, Tirrell M. Self-assembling peptide-based building blocks in medical applications. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2017 02; 110-111:65-79. PMID: 27535485; PMCID: PMC5922461.
      Citations: 72     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    30. Darlington WS, Pinto N, Hecktman HM, Cohn SL, LaBelle JL. Stem Cell Transplant-Associated Wernicke Encephalopathy in a Patient with High-Risk Neuroblastoma. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Dec; 62(12):2232-4. PMID: 26174546.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    31. Reynolds C, Roderick JE, LaBelle JL, Bird G, Mathieu R, Bodaar K, Colon D, Pyati U, Stevenson KE, Qi J, Harris M, Silverman LB, Sallan SE, Bradner JE, Neuberg DS, Look AT, Walensky LD, Kelliher MA, Gutierrez A. Repression of BIM mediates survival signaling by MYC and AKT in high-risk T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia. 2014 Sep; 28(9):1819-27. PMID: 24552990; PMCID: PMC4139485.
      Citations: 32     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    32. Bird GH, Gavathiotis E, LaBelle JL, Katz SG, Walensky LD. Distinct BimBH3 (BimSAHB) stapled peptides for structural and cellular studies. ACS Chem Biol. 2014 Mar 21; 9(3):831-7. PMID: 24358963; PMCID: PMC4131438.
      Citations: 39     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    33. Katz SG, Labelle JL, Meng H, Valeriano RP, Fisher JK, Sun H, Rodig SJ, Kleinstein SH, Walensky LD. Mantle cell lymphoma in cyclin D1 transgenic mice with Bim-deficient B cells. Blood. 2014 Feb 06; 123(6):884-93. PMID: 24352880; PMCID: PMC3916879.
      Citations: 22     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    34. Meserve EE, Lehmann LE, Perez-Atayde AR, Labelle JL. Cyclophosphamide-associated cardiotoxicity in a child after stem cell transplantation for ß-thalassemia major: case report and review of the literature. Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2014 Jan-Feb; 17(1):50-4. PMID: 24144431.
      Citations: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Edwards AL, Gavathiotis E, LaBelle JL, Braun CR, Opoku-Nsiah KA, Bird GH, Walensky LD. Multimodal interaction with BCL-2 family proteins underlies the proapoptotic activity of PUMA BH3. Chem Biol. 2013 Jul 25; 20(7):888-902. PMID: 23890007; PMCID: PMC3781208.
      Citations: 44     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    36. LaBelle JL, Cunningham JM. Stem cell transplant as an immunomodulatory tool for children with hematologic malignancies. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2013. PMID: 23714543.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    37. LaBelle JL, Katz SG, Bird GH, Gavathiotis E, Stewart ML, Lawrence C, Fisher JK, Godes M, Pitter K, Kung AL, Walensky LD. A stapled BIM peptide overcomes apoptotic resistance in hematologic cancers. J Clin Invest. 2012 Jun; 122(6):2018-31. PMID: 22622039; PMCID: PMC3366394.
      Citations: 100     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    38. Gutweiler JR, Labelle J, Suh MY, Misra MV, Ahmed M, Lee EY, Vargas SO, Kim HB, Weldon CB. A familial case of pleuropulmonary blastoma. Eur J Pediatr Surg. 2008 Jun; 18(3):192-4. PMID: 18493897.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    39. Pitter K, Bernal F, Labelle J, Walensky LD. Dissection of the BCL-2 family signaling network with stabilized alpha-helices of BCL-2 domains. Methods Enzymol. 2008; 446:387-408. PMID: 18603135; PMCID: PMC6317341.
      Citations: 31     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    40. Fishman DS, Manfredi MA, LaBelle JL, Levine JE, Shamberger RC, Rufo PA. Pancreatitis as the initial manifestation of stage IV neuroblastoma. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007 Jan; 44(1):146-8. PMID: 17204969.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    41. Rosenblum MD, LaBelle JL, Chang CC, Margolis DA, Schauer DW, Vesole DH. Efficacy of alemtuzumab treatment for refractory T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia. Blood. 2004 Mar 01; 103(5):1969-71. PMID: 14976065.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    42. LaBelle JL, Truitt RL, LaBelle JL, Truitt RL. Characterization of a murine NKT cell tumor previously described as an acute myelogenous leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma. 2002 Aug; 43(8):1637-44. PMID: 12400607.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    43. LaBelle JL, Hanke CA, Blazar BR, Truitt RL. Negative effect of CTLA-4 on induction of T-cell immunity in vivo to B7-1+, but not B7-2+, murine myelogenous leukemia. Blood. 2002 Mar 15; 99(6):2146-53. PMID: 11877291.
      Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    44. Johnson BD, Becker EE, LaBelle JL, Truitt RL. Role of immunoregulatory donor T cells in suppression of graft-versus-host disease following donor leukocyte infusion therapy. J Immunol. 1999 Dec 15; 163(12):6479-87. PMID: 10586039.
      Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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