James Labelle

Assistant Professor
Websites
Research Summary
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.
Keywords
bcl-2 Genes, Regulatory T Cells, Graft Versus Host Disease, Immunomodulatory Therapies
Education
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/BCH, Boston, MA, Postdoctoral fellowship, Walensky Lab Cancer Chemical Biology 06/2012
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/BCH, Boston, MA, Clinical Fellow Pediatric Hematology/Oncology 06/2009
  • Boston Children's Hospital (BCH), Boston, MA, Intern/Resident Pediatrics 06/2006
  • Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, MD/PhD Medicine/Immunology 06/2003
  • Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, BA Biology 06/1994
Biosciences Graduate Program Association
Awards & Honors
  • 1992 - Engstrom Scholars Award
  • 1994 - Botanical Society of America Merit Award
  • 1994 - Phi Sigma Award in Biology
  • 2001 - First Place, Research Trainee Award
  • 2004 - Proctor and Gamble Teaching and Tomorrow Award
  • 2006 - Senior Resident Teaching Award
  • 2007 - Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation Research Award
  • 2010 - Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Special Fellow Award
  • 2011 - AACR-Aflac Scholar-in-Training Award
  • 2012 - Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator's Award
  • 2013 - James B. Nachman Fellow
  • 2014 - Hyundai Hope on Wheels Scholar Award
  • 2014 - United-4a Cure Research Award
  • 2015 - Comer Children's Hospital Development Board Award
  • 2016 - AbbVie-UChicago Collaboration in Oncology Award
  • 2016 - Hoogland Lymphoma Pilot Project Award
  • 2018 - Hyundai Hope on Wheels Scholar Award
Publications
  1. 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. View in: PubMed

  2. 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. View in: PubMed

  3. 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. View in: PubMed

  4. 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. View in: PubMed

  5. 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. View in: PubMed

  6. 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. View in: PubMed

  7. 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. View in: PubMed

  8. Nassin ML, Vergilio JA, Heeney MM, LaBelle JL. Neonatal anemia: Revisiting the enigmatic pyknocyte. Am J Hematol. 2017 Jul; 92(7):717-721. View in: PubMed

  9. 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. View in: PubMed

  10. 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. View in: PubMed

  11. 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. View in: PubMed

  12. 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. View in: PubMed

  13. 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. View in: PubMed

  14. 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. View in: PubMed

  15. 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. View in: PubMed

  16. 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. View in: PubMed

  17. LaBelle JL, Cunningham JM. Stem cell transplant as an immunomodulatory tool for children with hematologic malignancies. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2013. View in: PubMed

  18. 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. View in: PubMed

  19. 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. View in: PubMed

  20. 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. View in: PubMed

  21. 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. View in: PubMed

  22. 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. View in: PubMed

  23. 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. View in: PubMed

  24. 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. View in: PubMed

  25. 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. View in: PubMed