Headshot of Mioara Larion

Mioara Larion, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Neuro-Oncology Branch


Dr. Larion is a trained biochemist who is interested in the metabolic needs of cancer cells and how they process nutrients, in order to develop targeted approaches that delay tumor growth. She utilizes a set of technologies, including Raman imaging microscopy, to quantify patterns in proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids levels at subcellular resolution. This is a very important endeavor for glioma tumors, which are known to exhibit high heterogeneity.

Dr. Larion’s lab is specifically focused on identifying metabolic vulnerabilities in IDH1-mutated gliomas for clinical application, as well as developing technologies that enable these discoveries. Her lab has shown that lipid pathways are important for IDH1-mutant glioma growth, and that targeting specific enzymes from either fatty acid synthesis or sphingolipid pathway leads to specific cellular death in these cells. She is also interested in developing biomarkers to help image disease progression and monitor patients’ response to treatment.

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Areas of Expertise

1) Glioma 2) Metabolism 3) Raman spectroscopy 4) Lipids 5) Neuro-oncology


Selected Publications

IDH1 mutations induce organelle defects via dysregulated phospholipids.

Lita A, Pliss A, Kuzmin A, Yamasaki T, Zhang L, Dowdy T, Burks C, de Val N, Celiku O, Ruiz-Rodado V, Nicoli ER, Kruhlak M, Andresson T, Das S, Yang C, Schmitt R, Herold-Mende C, Gilbert MR, Prasad PN, Larion M.
Nature Communications. 12(1): 614, 2021. [ Journal Article ]

Toward Single-Organelle Lipidomics in Live Cells.

Lita, A., Kuzmin, A.N., Pliss, A., Baev, A., Rzhevskii, A., Gilbert, M.R., Larion, M.,
Analytical Chemistry. 91(17): 11380-87, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Sphingolipid Pathway as a Source of Vulnerability in IDH1mut Glioma.

Dowdy T, Zhang L, Celiku O, Movva S, Lita A, Ruiz-Rodado V, Gilbert MR, Larion M.
Cancers. 12(10): 2910, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Metabolic Reprogramming Associated with Aggressiveness Occurs in the G-CIMP-High Molecular Subtypes of IDH1mut Lower Grade Gliomas

Victor R.R., Malta T.M., Seki T., Lita A., Dowdy T., Celiku O., Cavazos-Saldana A., Li A., Liu Y., Han S., Zhang W., Song H., Davis D., Lee S., Trepel J.B., Sabedot T.S., Munasinghe J., Yang C., Herold-Mende C., Gilbert M.R., Krishna Cherukuri M., Noushmehr H., Larion M.
Neuro-Oncology. [epub ahead of print]: 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy for the study of CNS malignancies.

Ruiz-Rodado V, Brender JR, Cherukuri MK, Gilbert MR, Larion M.
Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. 122: 23-41, 2021. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

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Laboratory Technician (Contr.)
Tyrone M. Dowdy
Research Fellow
Adrian Lita, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Tomohiro Yamasaki, Ph.D.
Scientist (Contr.)
Lumin Zhang, Ph.D.