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 leads the Cancer Metabolism Research Program at the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB). She 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 and metabolomics, 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.

Explore the NOB's Research Programs >

Areas of Expertise

IDH1-Mutated Gliomas
Raman Spectroscopy
Metabolomics and Lipidomics


Selected Publications

Advances in measuring cancer cell metabolism with subcellular resolution

Ruiz-Rodado V, Lita A, Larion M
Nature Methods. 19(9): 1048-1063, 2022. [ Journal Article ]

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 ]

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

Ruiz-Rodado V, Malta TM, 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 JB, Sabedot TS, Munasinghe J, Yang C, Herold-Mende C, Gilbert MR, Krishna Cherukuri M, Noushmehr H, Larion M
Neuro-Oncology. 22(4): 480-492, 2020. [ Journal Article ]

Toward Single-Organelle Lipidomics in Live Cells.

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

Job Vacancies

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Laboratory Technician
Tyrone M. Dowdy
Research Fellow
Adrian Lita, Ph.D.
Lumin Zhang, Ph.D.
Visiting Fellow
Helena Muley Vilamú, Ph.D.


A triptych of brain tissue under optical microscope and a Raman imaging microscope

Building a Toolkit to Examine How Cancer Cells Redirect Their Energy

November 28, 2022

A technique called Raman spectroscopy has revolutionized the way Dr. Mioara Larion’s lab understands tumor cell metabolism—and may ultimately help researchers design more effective cancer drugs. Read more >

Dr. Larion and colleague in the lab

Targeting Cancer Metabolism to Improve Care and Treatment for People with Brain and Spine Tumors

March 25, 2021

How can we be innovative in our approach to research in order to improve outcomes for central nervous system tumors? That is the driving question behind Dr. Larion's Cancer Metabolism Research Program. Read more >

Scientist in lab working at computer

Neuro-Oncology Branch 2020 Year in Review

January 22, 2021

Together, our clinical team, research laboratories, and staff have made meaningful advancements to improve outcomes for patients and their families impacted by brain and spine tumors. Read more >

Dr. Miora Larion and Dr. Victor Ruiz-Rodado

Celebrating National Mentoring Month

January 31, 2020

We celebrate our impactful mentors in the Neuro-Oncology Branch for National Mentoring Month. Our postdoctoral fellows share their love for science and how their mentors have made their experience at NIH more rewarding. Read more >