The Tuveson Lab commemorates World Pancreatic Cancer Day

November 15, 2018

Today, the Tuveson Lab gathered with the Lustgarten Foundation to commemorate World Pancreatic Cancer Day. This day seeks to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and to promote progress towards curing this cancer.

Congrats to Giulia Biffi on the publication of her paper!

October 26, 2018

Dr. Biffi’s new paper is online today at Cancer Discovery! Following from the lab’s previous discovery that two different types of cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) co-exist in the pancreatic cancer microenvironment, Giulia sought to better understand the signaling cascades that specify each type of fibroblast’s fate. Her research has uncovered a role for IL-1 signaling in promoting the inflammatory CAF state found in stroma more distal to the cancer cells. In contrast, CAFs close to the cancer cells are exposed to cancer-secreted TGFβ which promotes downregulation of the IL-1 receptor, antagonizing IL1 signaling and promoting a myofibroblastic-CAF state. This study suggests new strategies to treat pancreatic tumors by targeting the inflammatory CAFs, which may prove more successful than treatments that target cancer cells alone.

See the recent CSHL press release for more information.

Tuveson Lab participates in research walk

October 9, 2018

Last weekend, the Tuveson Lab joined together to participate in the Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk. We worked together to raise money and awareness for this deadly cancer. At the walk, we also set up a research booth to talk to other walk participants about the research we do to find ways to diagnose pancreatic cancer sooner and identify better ways to target pancreas tumors.

Tuveson Lab goes fishing

August 9, 2018

Members of the Tuveson Lab put down their pipettes to go fishing today. The team went out east to Orient Point and boarded the vessel Brooklyn Girl. Sandra caught the biggest fish of the day, but many other lab members had good fishing luck, netting enough fish for a fish fry the next day.

Tuveson Lab hosts Junior Cancer Academy

July 19, 2018

Today, the first ever Tuveson Lab Junior Cancer Academy wrapped up. Six high school students joined us to learn about pancreatic cancer, basic biology, cancer research, and careers in science. Led by graduate student Georgi Yordanov, students learned to clone plasmids and perform immunohistochemical staining. Students presented their work to the lab during our weekly lab meeting. Summer undergrad Emily Ashkin also worked with Georgi to research the factors that drive expression of the transcription factor Spdef in pancreatic cancer cells. We wish our students all the best as they return to school this fall!

Best Wishes to Dr. Chang-Il Hwang and Eunjung Lee in Their New Lab!

June 29, 2018

Professor Hwang will be starting his own lab at U.C. Davis, and Eun will take a position as a Research Associate the Hwang Lab.

Stay tuned to the Hwang Lab Twitter Account for new developments!

Dr. Hervé Tiriac published his research showing organoids can be used to predict treatment response for pancreatic cancer patients

May 31, 2018

The lab’s newest paper is hot off the presses at Cancer Discovery. Hervé and other members of the Tuveson Lab generated and characterized a panel of organoid cultures from patients with pancreatic cancer. Organoids were treated with standard chemotherapies and targeted agents to determine the therapeutic response profile for each patient-derived organoid culture. By comparing drug sensitivities of the organoids to gene expression data, they were able to identify an organoid gene expression signature that predicts a response to chemotherapy.

See the recent CSHL press release for more information.

Congrats to Dr. Brinda Alagesan on her successful thesis defense!

April 25, 2018

Brinda successfully defended her thesis. Her research explored mitochondrial dynamics in pancreatic cancer cells. Dr. Alagesan will now return to medical school to complete her medical training.

Dr. Christine Chio starts her own lab as an Assistant Professor at Columbia University

November 1, 2017

Congrats to Professor Chio on her new position!

Dr. Michael Feigin published his work on recurrent non-coding mutations in PDAC

Large-scale exome sequencing efforts have revealed genes and pathways important for cancer progression. However, the exome comprises less than 2% of the human genome and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analyses have revealed tumors often carry thousands of somatic mutations per genome, the vast majority of which are located in noncoding regions and are completely uncharacterized. To detect somatic noncoding mutations (NCMs) in pancreatic cancer (PDA), I co-developed a computational pipeline to analyze WGS data of 308 PDA tumors. To discriminate amongst the thousands of identified NCMs, we developed GECCO (Genomic Enrichment Computational Clustering Operation) to identify candidate NCMs that drive differential gene expression. Using GECCO, we identified novel recurrent mutations and interrogated expression data from matched tumors to find several variants associated with changes in mRNA levels. We found significant differential expression of 16 genes associated with NCMs, and reveal two (PTPRN2, SLC12A8) with previously unidentified clinical relevance in PDA. Pathway analysis of the genes associated with recurrent NCMs identified known and novel PDA pathways. Furthermore, we found enrichment for mutations in specific regulatory regions, suggesting that NCMs may be acted upon by selection during tumor formation. Our analysis provides a model for tumor evolution via the formation and selection for alterations in noncoding regulatory elements of specific genes as a means of control over specific biological pathways.

Tuveson lab at the NYC Science March

Sat, Apr 22, 2017

Dr. Abram Handly-Santana successfully defended his PhD thesis

Abram Handly-Santana was the first graduate student to join the Tuveson lab soon after our arrival at Cold Spring Harbor lab. Abram was part of the Watson School of Biological Sciences program – CSHL’s own graduate school. His work focused on the heterogeneity of the non-cancerous fibroblasts in pancreatic cancer and their role in supporting and restraining the growth of tumor cells. You can find out more about his exciting work in his paper or the recent CSHL press release.

NRF2 Promotes Tumor Maintenance by Modulating mRNA Translation in Pancreatic Cancer

Chio et al., Cell. 2016 Aug 11;166(4):963-76. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.06.056. Epub 2016 Jul 28.

Christine Chio recently published her paper in Cell on the role of the transcription factor NRF2 in regulating protein translation in pancreatic cancer.

Link to Christine’s paper

You can find out more about her work and the field of redox here: