Researcher-of-the-year 2022 at the Institute for Cancer Research: Kushtrim Kryeziu
Kushtrim Kryeziu is 37 years and defended his PhD at the Medical University of Vienna in 2016. Kryeziu was recruited to the Lothe lab in 2016 via an EU financed fellowship and was included in the Scientia Fellows postdoc program at the University of Oslo. His recruitment has proven highly beneficial for the development of the current project on functional oncology in advanced solid tumors. His competence in molecular cell biology and hands-on experience with anti-cancer drug development was instrumental to the development of our pre-clinical pharmacogenomics platform. Kryeziu has recently accepted a permanent position at the Institute for Cancer Research.
Kryeziu has been the main responsible for the experimental work in the establishment of our current living biobank, which consists of 200 organoid lineages from 97 cancer patients. This living biobank serves as a major research resource and as a reference panel for ex vivo drug sensitivities in an ongoing clinical trial of advanced colorectal cancers (EVIDENT; opened March 2022). His work with tumor organoid culturing and “co-clinical” studies of standard chemotherapies has confirmed that organoids can predict clinical treatment responses on a lesion-wise basis and at consecutive liver resections. He identified the pro-apoptotic SMAC mimetic LCL161 as a new potential treatment of a KRAS mutated and treatment refractory metastatic rectal cancer, corroborated by functional studies of the drug targets. Kryeziu was also responsible for the functional studies that discovered the mechanisms of response to PARP inhibition in colorectal cancer. He has confirmed that a small subgroup of patients show ex vivo sensitivity to PARP inhibition, and these patients are included in the EVIDENT trial and will receive PARP inhibition after progression on standard therapy. Kryeziu has further developed our custom drug library to include a larger number of drugs and drug combinations (n=70 in total) without compromising the turnaround time from receipt of samples to a completed patient report. This will strengthen the research potential in translational substudies of the EVIDENT trial.
News article from Dagens Medisin:
Kåret til årets forsker etter tarmkreft-funn (14.12.2022)
Kushtrim Kryeziu's publications
The Genetics Group, headed by Ragnhild A. Lothe
Department of Molecular Oncology
Previous news articles about Kryeziu from ous-research.no:
TP53 proficient colorectal cancer cells are sensitive to PARP inhibition
The cancer patient’s own drug sensitivity model