SCI Spotlight

Adrian John Rodrigues

We sat down with medical student Adrian John Rodrigues to learn more about his work with the Gephart Lab.

Why did you decide to transition from teaching to medicine? 

I loved my experience as a high school math teacher, but it had always been my dream to pursue medicine. I love the team-based approach to inpatient medical care, and I thoroughly enjoy the research opportunities afforded in academic practice.

How did you first become interested in brain tumor research?

I entered medical school with an interest in oncological research after being inspired by the development of novel treatments, including immune- and cell-based therapies. I was drawn into neuro-oncology as it represented an opportunity to leverage these advances against CNS [central nervous system]  malignancies, and through the mentorship of amazing PIs like Dr. Hayden-Gephart. Their dedication to both patient care and basic science inspired me to follow in their footsteps. My goal is to become an academic brain tumor neurosurgeon.

Please let us know about current cancer research projects.

As a member of Dr. Hayden-Gephart’s lab, I study a type of primary brain cancer called glioblastoma (GBM). Unfortunately, GBM is invariably fatal, and current treatment strategies are limited. Our group is focused on modifying the brain’s resident immune cells, called microglia, to better fight GBM cells and slow tumor cell migration.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I love to play tennis, hike, and cook! 

We are always looking for ways to highlight the accomplishments of our faculty, trainees, and staff. Please reach out to if you have any awards or publications you would like us to amplify.