Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Our areas of expertise include signal transduction, immunology, cancer biology, pathogen infection, auto-immunity, retroviral design, bioinformatics and genetics. Our laboratory's recent interests include studying signaling alterations at the single cell level in leukemia and lymphomas, cancer stem cells, and determining which of these signaling attributes correlate with patient outcome, drug reactivity and mechanism of disease progressions.
His areas of research include hematopoiesis, cancer and leukemia, autoimmunity and inflammation, and computational approaches for network and systems immunology. Dr. Nolan’s recent efforts are focused on a single cell analysis advance using a mass spectrometry-flow cytometry hybrid device, the so- call “CyTOF” and the “Multiparameter Ion Beam Imager” (MIBI) developed by Dr. Mike Angelo in his lab (Dr. Angelo is now an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Pathology at Stanford). The approaches uses an advanced ion plasma source to determine the levels of tagged reagents bound to cells—enabling a vast increase in the number of parameters that can be measured per cell—either as flow cytometry devices (CyTOF) or imaging platforms for cancer (MIBI). Further efforts are being develop with another imaging platform terms CODEX that inexpensively converts fluorescence scopes to high dimensional imaging platforms.
The lab puts substantial effort into bioinformatics approaches to mine the datasets we collect and to automate the production of network models of the signaling pathways affected. For this, we have collaborations with statisticians, engineering departments, and computer design specialists to extend our efforts to make the program in the laboratory extremely cross-disciplinary.
Dr. Nolan has published over 230 papers, most in top tier journals, has over 20 issued patents, has been cited as one of the top inventors at Stanford, and has a strong record of translating technology and inventions for the public good. Dr. Nolan is the first recipient of the Teal Innovator Award (2012) from the Department of Defense (a $3.3 million grant for advanced studies in ovarian cancer), the first recipient of an FDA BAAA, for “Bio-agent protection” grant, $3million, from the FDA for a “Cross-Species Immune System Reference”, a recent grant for Ebola studies in Africa (FDA BAAA for $3.5 million) and received the award for “Outstanding Research Achievement in 2011” from the Nature Publishing Group for his development of CyTOF applications in the immune system. As noted, Dr. Nolan has new efforts in the study of Ebola, having developed instrument platforms to deploy in the field in Africa to study Ebola samples safely with the need to transport them to overseas labs (funded by a new $3.5 million grant from the FDA).