UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Magazine Winter 2018 2018 Volume XXXIII Number 3 - Page 18

research update “I got interested in UAB because it was clear that the interaction of faculty across departments wasn’t just something that was talked about, but something that built the institution and moved it forward.” Alber t LoBuglio, M.D. 16 U A B Albert LoBuglio and M.B. Khazaeli. Photo courtesy UAB Archives. Seeking the magic bullet As basic scientists were developing monoclonal antibody (Mab) technology in the late 1970s and early 1980s in their labs, clinicians were searching for ways to bring Mabs to patients. Albert LoBuglio, M.D., who would become the UAB Cancer Center’s second director in 1983, was then director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology and the Simpson Memorial Research Center at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Albert LoBuglio: “In the early 1980s, a number of institutions had figured out how to use monoclonal antibodies in research. When I arrived at the University of Michigan there was a young basic scientist there in the pathology department named M.B. Khazaeli, who was making monoclonal antibodies for laboratory testing. We met and started to do joint research. Since I had all this antibody background it was sort of a natural transition to monoclonals. We used them to produce novel laboratory tests and animal models of cancer.” C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R LoBuglio’s excitement about Mabs caught the attention of Mansoor Saleh, M.D., a young resident at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Mansoor Saleh: “Dr. LoBuglio came to Henry Ford to give grand rounds, and he used the term ‘magic bullet’ — a targeted antibody therapy that would only kill cancer cells. I thought that was exactly what I wanted to do, so I applied to the fellowship program at Michigan and was accepted. Then I found out he had taken the job at UAB, and I said, ‘OK, I’ll go to Alabama instead.’” LoBuglio: “I got interested in UAB because it was clear that the interaction of faculty across departments wasn’t just something that was talked about, but something that built the institution and moved it forward. When we came here, it seemed like an ideal time to put a team together specifically for monoclonal antibody studies.”