The CSHL Cancer Center is a basic research facility committed to exploring the fundamental biology of human cancer. With support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since 1987, our researchers have used a focused, multi-disciplinary approach to break new ground in basic tumor biology and develop innovative, advanced technologies. Research covers a broad range of cancer types, including breast, prostate, leukemia, glioma, pancreatic, sarcoma, lung, and melanoma.
Three Scientific Programs provide focus in Gene Regulation & Cell Proliferation; Signal Transduction; and Cancer Genetics. In addition, nine Shared Resources offer essential access to technologies, services, and expertise that enhance productivity. With a strong collaborative environment and open communication, the CSHL Cancer Center is able to make breakthroughs in cancer biology that are translating into real progress in cancer diagnostics and treatment.
Members of the CSHL Cancer Center apply a multi-pronged approach—from genomic biology to animal models to detailed biochemistry—to interrogate the molecular mechanisms that drive tumor growth and metastasis. Building on this basic research, scientists at the Lab are translating their findings into novel therapeutics for many of the most intractable cancers. Much of this research is made possible through numerous collaborations with clinical partners, including a strategic alliance with the nearby Northwell Health System that connects CSHL scientists with clinicians and more than 16,000 cancer patients each year.
Deputy Director, Administration
Denise Roberts, Ph.D.
Cancer Center External Advisory Board
Stephen Burakoff, M.D.
Director of the Mt. Sinai Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Lewis Cantley, Ph.D.
Director, Meyer Cancer Center
Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Walter Eckhart, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular & Cell Biology, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Chad Ellis, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, Research Administration, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center
Richard Hynes, Ph.D.
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Richard Marais, Ph.D.
Director, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute
Elaine Mardis, Ph.D.
Co-Executive Director, The Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Nationwide Foundation Endowed Chair of Genomic Medicine
Larry Norton, M.D.
Deputy Physician-in-Chief, Breast Cancer Programs
Medical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Dana Pe’er, Ph.D.
Scientific Director, The Alan and Sandra Gerry Metastasis and Tumor Ecosystems Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Kornelia Polyak, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Medicine, Medical Oncology, Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Martine Roussel, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Genetics and Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Reuben Shaw, Ph.D.
Director, Salk Institute Cancer Center
Dr. James Watson
1987 – 1988
Dr. Richard Roberts
1988 – 1992
Dr. Bruce Stillman
1992 – 2016
How a lab and its model animals changed science
August 13, 2019
The natural history of science at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory through the lens of animal research.
Understanding pregnancy’s effects on breast cancer risk
August 13, 2019
CSHL researchers authored a review in the journal Cell covering the landscape of breast cancer research.
Of mice and model organisms
July 31, 2019
An in-depth look at how veterinarians at CSHL help take care of the various organisms that help researchers answer fundamental biological questions.
Sheltzer wins Presidential Early Career Award
July 9, 2019
CSHL Fellow Jason Sheltzer is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for his work in cancer research.
Cancer cell’s “self eating” tactic may be its weakness
July 1, 2019
Pancreatic cancer cells are eating their own mitochondria to survive and spread. New research reveals how, hinting at a possible new drug target.
Sugars that coat proteins are a possible drug target for pancreatitis
June 20, 2019
CA19-9, a complex sugar structure coating proteins, represents a possible drug target for treatment of pancreatitis and prevention of pancreatic cancer.
Special fibroblasts help pancreatic cancer cells evade immune detection
June 13, 2019
Researchers found a specific type of cancer-associated fibroblast interacts with the immune system to help pancreatic cancer cells stay under the radar.
Fighting cancer in 3D
June 7, 2019
David Tuveson, Director of the CSHL Cancer Center, shares insights about his work on organoid technology.
Enzyme PHLPP2 could be a viable drug target for treating prostate cancer
May 15, 2019
Researchers have identified an enzyme called Phlpp2 as an attractive drug target for treating prostate cancer.
CSHL President elected as AACR Academy Fellow
March 25, 2019
CSHL President and CEO Dr. Bruce Stillman has been elected to the AACR Academy as part of the 2019 Fellows class.
What does sight mean to a cancer researcher?
February 26, 2019
Postdoc Leah Banks discusses vision’s role in cancer research, and how nearly losing her sight gave her a new perspective on her work.
Christina Renna Foundation gives $35k for pediatric cancer research
February 7, 2019
The Christina Renna Foundation donated $35,000 to CSHL for continued work on Sarcoma Research Project and research into RMS.
CSHL Scientific Advisory Council member wins Vilcek Prize
February 7, 2019
Dr. Angelika Amon, a member of the CSHL Scientific Advisory Council, wins the Vilcek Foundation Prize for her important work in cell biology.
CSHL Fellow Jason Sheltzer wins innovation award
January 25, 2019
CSHL Fellow Jason Sheltzer wins the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award for his work on cancer.
The year of CRISPR
December 26, 2018
A look at the various labs across CSHL that utilize CRISPR in their research, and the groundbreaking discoveries they help uncover.
Three Strohm Sisters funds ongoing cancer research
December 19, 2018
The Three Strohm Sisters Family Foundation donated $5,000 to Associate Professor Mikala Egeblad’s for her continued research.
Katie Oppo fund donates $75k to ovarian cancer research
December 11, 2018
The Katie Oppo Research Fund gave $75,000 to Mikala Egeblad's lab for ovarian cancer research.
Taking uncertainty out of cancer prognosis
December 11, 2018
CSHL Fellow Jason Sheltzer has analyzed nearly 20,000 cancer patient histories and genetic data to take the guesswork out of prognosis.
Women’s coalition donates $100k to breast cancer research
December 6, 2018
Members of the Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer supported research through a donation from the Ladies Night Out fundraiser.
Yacht race raises $6,500 for cancer research
November 29, 2018
The Masthead Cove Yacht Club raised $6,500 from their annual race, which will fund cancer research.
Inconspicuous protein key to deadly blood cancer
November 29, 2018
Associate Professor Chris Vakoc and his team find that an aggressive type of leukemia is heavily-dependent on a common protein.
Pancreatic cancer’s addiction could be its end
November 13, 2018
Researchers may have found a link between improper protein production and the spread of pancreatic cancer.
Turning cells against pancreatic cancer
October 26, 2018
Researchers have found a way to turn cancer-supporting cells into cells that restrict the cancerous growth in the pancreas.
Cancer research from a different perspective
October 3, 2018
CSHL Assistant Professor Tobias Janowitz discusses his patient-centric approach to studying cancer
How a sleeping cancer awakens and metastasizes
September 27, 2018
Chronic inflammation can reawaken dormant cancer cells and spur metastasis. It may be preventable
Massive genome havoc in breast cancer is revealed
July 12, 2018
Researchers have made a highly detailed map of 20,000 structural variations in a cancer cell’s genome
Researchers discover new type of lung cancer
June 25, 2018
Researchers have discovered a new form of lung cancer.
Nation’s cancer centers endorse HPV vaccination
June 8, 2018
Dr. Stillman and Dr. Tuveson joined with the leaders of other institutions nationwide in endorsing a statement regarding the HPV vaccine
Organoid profiling personalizes treatments for pancreatic cancer
May 31, 2018
Pancreatic organoids grown from patients' tumors make precision medicine possible
How pancreatic cancer spreads after surgery
May 17, 2018
Researchers have solved a mystery about how pancreatic cancer spreads
Bringing immune cells back into the cancer fight
May 4, 2018
Doug Fearon used a mouse model to discover how pancreatic cancer hides from the immune system
Study reveals a way to make prostate cancer cells run out of energy and die
April 3, 2018
In lethal prostate cancer, the gene PTEN is often missing. In such cases, one effective treatment may be to administer drugs that inhibit mitochondria
The cancer answer that wasn’t
March 15, 2018
We look at the "reproducibility crisis" in science, with a cancer researcher discovering something he didn't expect while experimenting with MELK
CRISPR-based system identifies important new drug targets in a deadly leukemia
March 8, 2018
CRISPR was used to find 2 new druggable targets in a deadly leukemia
New method identifies splicing biomarkers for liver cancer
March 2, 2018
Researchers have developed a method for identifying splicing-based biomarkers for liver cancer
One experiment: When cancer is hiding in plain sight
March 1, 2018
Douglas Fearon's team is figuring out how to get immune cells to recognize—and kill—pancreatic cancer cells
Science self-corrects: cancer gene does not pass reproducibility test
February 13, 2018
CSHL Fellow Jason Sheltzer and his research team use CRISPR to discover that MELK is not actually involved in cancer.
Christina Renna Foundation raises $30,000 for continuing pediatric cancer research at CSHL
January 22, 2018
The Christina Renna Foundation donates over $30,000 for rhabdomyosarcoma research, and honors Associate Professor Chris Vakoc with its research award
Molecular decoy helps researchers halt and reverse acute leukemia in mice
January 8, 2018
By throwing a molecular wrench into the gears of a machine that sets genes into motion, researchers were able to get leukemias to 'melt away.'
New method to determine before surgery which prostate tumors pose a lethal threat
December 1, 2017
The news about prostate cancer can be confusing. It’s the third most common cancer type among Americans.
Next-gen cancer test
November 24, 2017
Knowing that cancers become lethal when they spread, investigators at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory seek a way of detecting tumors much earlier
A transformative partnership
November 22, 2017
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to break ground on the new $75 million Center for Therapeutics Research.
One experiment: Bacteria-trapping DNA webs are repurposed by cancer cells
October 19, 2017
Associate Professor Mikala Egeblad discovers that neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) help cancer by creating holes in the tissue.
Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $6000 for CSHL research at annual race
October 18, 2017
Members of the Masthead Cove Yacht Club (MCYC) raised $6,700 from their annual Masthead Race on August 13.
Governor Cuomo breaks ground on $75 million Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Center for Therapeutics Research
October 12, 2017
NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) this morning to break ground on the new $75 million Center for Therapeutics.
Long-sought mechanism of metastasis is discovered in pancreatic cancer
July 27, 2017
An epigenetic factor reprograms gene enhancers, enabling cancer cells to “remember” an earlier developmental state and causing metastasis.
Freeze-frames of enzymes in action have implications for a new cancer treatment concept
July 3, 2017
TUTase enzymes interact with let-7, a regulator of development; targeting them could help control certain cancers.
A protein that stem cells require could be a target in killing breast cancer cells
June 1, 2017
Cancer cells, like stem cells, have the ability to multiply indefinitely but epigenetic factor BPTF may be a shared weakness.
Hanging with Heroes and Friends Who Care raise over $17,000 to support Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s breast cancer research
May 29, 2017
On Saturday, April 22, 2017, 245 people attended the 4th annual Hanging with Heroes fundraiser held at Driftwood Camp in Melville.
CSHL to lead international team developing next-generation organoid cancer research
May 11, 2017
CSHL awarded a research subcontract by Leidos Biomedical Research to lead Cancer Model Development Center for upper-gastrointestinal cancers.
Newly discovered mutations impair key cell pathways in pancreatic cancer
May 8, 2017
Researchers have found important new clues to the development of pancreatic cancer.
New research explains why even targeted therapies eventually fail in lung cancer
March 29, 2017
Dr. Sordella and her team propose a novel theory of how some cancers circumvent the killing power of targeted therapies.
What a real-life science test looks like
March 24, 2017
By revealing evidence that contradicts the rationale for a new cancer drug, a pair of student scientists learns firsthand that when you do science.
Discovery of distinct cell subtypes around tumors helps explain why pancreatic cancer is so hard to treat
February 23, 2017
Researchers finds that stroma,“wound”-like tissue that surrounds the tumors, helps explain why pancreatic cancer is so resistant to treatment.
Researchers identify “Achilles’ heel” of PTEN that helps drive prostate cancer progression
February 13, 2017
Researchers at CSHL have discovered that a protein called Importin-11 protects the anti-cancer protein PTEN from destruction by transporting it.
Cancer research biobank formed by Northwell Health and Indivumed will enhance CSHL-Northwell alliance
January 17, 2017
Northwell Health and Indivumed collaborate to greatly expand cancer biobanking activities within Northwell Health to develop medical approaches.
CSHL joins NCI-designated cancer centers in endorsing updated HPV vaccination recommendations
January 11, 2017
Dr. Stillman and Dr. Tuveson joined with the leaders of other institutions nationwide in endorsing a statement regarding the HPV vaccine.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory sarcoma research update
January 4, 2017
CSHL has applied its excellence in basic research and innovative technology development to understanding the rare but intractable sarcoma cancers.
MWCABC donates $65,000 to breast cancer research at CSHL
December 14, 2016
The Manhasset Women's Coalition Against Breast Cancer presented a check to support Dr. Camila dos Santos' breast cancer research.
Cold Spring Harbor HS football player donates CSHL’s breast cancer research
December 13, 2016
Eli Gordon, kicker for the Cold Spring Harbor football team, presented a check today for $1,000.00 for breast cancer research.
Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
December 9, 2016
Truncated p53 proteins, presumed unimportant, now point to new drug targets for some of "the hardest cancers"
When antioxidants are pro-cancer
November 15, 2016
For Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, Base Pairs looks at the science of antioxidants and cancer.
Our most common infection-fighting white blood cells can be hijacked to support cancer spread
October 19, 2016
Neutrophils, the most common type of white blood cell, can be taken over by cancer cells and used as an aid in metastasis.
Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $7000 for CSHL research at annual race
October 19, 2016
Members of the Masthead Cove Yacht Club (MCYC) raised $7,007 from their annual Masthead Race on August 14, 2016.
Three words I heard from my pediatric oncologist that still haunt me
September 26, 2016
Kayla Funk, a childhood cancer survivor, on her experiences with pediatric cancer and the push for more funding for research.
LI2Day Walk supports Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s breast cancer research
September 19, 2016
LI2Day donated $2,000 to CSHL, having donated nearly $300,000 to support breast cancer research at the CSHL since 2004.
Stand Up for Suzanne donates $10,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
September 19, 2016
Regina Caliendo and Doris Jelinek presented a $10,000 check to Dr. Sarah Diermeier for breast cancer research.
Novel drug therapy kills pancreatic cancer cells by reducing levels of antioxidants
July 28, 2016
Researchers demonstrate that in the specific context of pancreatic cells leading to cancer, raisin antioxidant levels should not be raised.
Discovery of new ovarian cancer signaling hub points to target for limiting metastasis
July 10, 2016
A team of researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory discovers new insights into signaling events that underlie metastasis in ovarian cancer cells.
Academic-industry collaboration generates elegant way of pinpointing how a new drug exerts beneficial effects
July 5, 2016
Researchers identify a new drug target in leukemia and creation of a candidate drug that hits the target.
The WTFC Foundation supports breast cancer research at CSHL
June 6, 2016
The WTFC Foundation held its 10th Annual "The Breast of Everything" fundraiser, raising over $40,000 to support breast cancer research.
How healthy cells might help cancer survive
February 4, 2016
A story on Mikala Egeblad's breast cancer research and the importance of the tumor microenvironment.
Stand Up for Suzanne’s annual luncheon will support breast cancer research at CSHL
February 3, 2016
Stand Up for Suzanne, a Long Island-based group founded to support cutting edge research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory held their annual luncheon.
Christina Renna Foundation Raises $35,000 for pediatric cancer research at CSHL
January 29, 2016
The Christina Renna Foundation presented $35,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) at its 9th annual Angel's Wish Gala.
Clark Gillies Foundation gives $50,000 for sarcoma research at CSHL
December 30, 2015
The Clark Gillies Foundation presented $50,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in support of the Sarcoma Research Project
Unusual drug target and drug generate exciting preclinical results in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer
December 22, 2015
Researchers publish preclinical data suggesting the promise of a novel drug directed against a novel target n malignant mammary tumors.
Unassuming “Swiss Army knife”-like protein proves lynchpin in a new cancer drug’s therapeutic action
November 30, 2015
Researchers report a surprising mechanism through which an important new candidate drug against leukemia exerts its therapeutic effect.
Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $7000 for CSHL cancer research at annual race
November 25, 2015
Members of the Masthead Cove Yacht Club (MCYC) raised $7,124 from their annual Masthead Race.
Finding huge promise in a single cell with student Robert Aboukhalil
November 2, 2015
Robert Aboukhalil use his skills as a computational biologist to make single-cell genomic data easy for scientists and clinicians to access and use.
Long Island man continues the fight against breast cancer in memory of his fiancé
October 20, 2015
Michael Maringo established the Carissa Maringo Fund to support breast cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) research bolstered by $50,000 gift from Friends of TJ
October 20, 2015
The Friends of TJ Foundation presented a check for $50,000 to CSHL Associate Professor Chris Vakoc
Research connects specific variations in RNA splicing with breast cancer causation
October 1, 2015
Researchers have identified cellular changes that may play a role in converting normal breast cells into tumors.
Research bench to writing desk with alum Darren Burgess
September 17, 2015
A look at the career of an editor at a prestigious scientific journal.
Swim Across America fundraiser supports lung cancer research at CSHL
August 12, 2015
Swim Across America held its annual "Cove to Sound" swim at Morgan's Park in Glen Cove, NY on August 8, 2015.
Third-year student Abram Handly Santana explores the pancreatic tumor microenvironment
August 1, 2015
Abram Handly Santana wants to understand how the tumor microenvironment contributes to pancreas cancer.
Joni Gladowsky Breast Cancer Foundation donates $80,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
July 24, 2015
These proceeds will support breast cancer research in the laboratory of CSHL Professor Nicholas Tonks.
Alumna Elizabeth Murchison follows the evolutionary path of contagious cancer
July 15, 2015
Watson School of Biological Science ‘07 alumna Dr. Elizabeth Murchison studies cancers in domestic dogs, soft-shell clams and Tasmanian devils.
Third-year student Tyler Garvin brings together engineering and medicine to help save lives
June 22, 2015
Student researches non-coding mutations responsible for changes in human gene expression.
Joni Gladowsky Breast Cancer Foundation donates $20,000 to CSHL
June 18, 2015
The event was held at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park and included a Junior Outdoor Hockey Game, an Adult Outdoor Hockey Game and 2 Family Open Skates
Tumor surroundings are shown to affect progression of different cancer subtypes
May 27, 2015
Researchers discover that cancer progress differently based on characteristics of the tumor microenvironment.
Scientists discover how a promising anti-leukemia drug harms cancer cells
May 14, 2015
Inhibiting a protein called BRD4 critical to the survival of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells has shown to be an effective therapeutic strategy.
Using CRISPR, biologists find a way to comprehensively identify anti-cancer drug targets
May 11, 2015
Researchers use CRISPR to find binding pockets inside cancer cells, that when blocked, prevent the cells from proliferating and cause them to die.
Study revises standard theory of how PTEN, a critical tumor suppressor, shuts off growth signals
April 9, 2015
Scientists discover new evidence explaining precisely how the protein encoded by PTEN (called PTEN) works
Tumor cells that mimic blood vessels could help breast cancer spread to other sites
April 8, 2015
“Vascular mimicry” observed in mice could be helping tumors evade anti-angiogenesis drugs
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and North Shore-LIJ announce strategic affiliation to accelerate benefits of cancer research to patients
April 2, 2015
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the North Shore-LIJ Health System announced a strategic affiliation.
Local business raises over $10,000 for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory breast cancer research
March 31, 2015
Aboff’s presented a check this month for $10,107 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for breast cancer research.
Cancer metabolism and country music with first-year student Jackie Giovanniello
March 9, 2015
Student Jackie Giovanniello works to develop better treatment options for patients.
Stand Up for Suzanne holds breast cancer fundraiser for CSHL
February 23, 2015
Stand Up for Suzanne held its 2nd annual fundraiser at The Milleridge Cottage.
Joni Gladowsky Breast Cancer Foundation donates $60,000 to CSHL
February 11, 2015
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is the proud recipient of proceeds from the Joni Gladowsky Breast Cancer Foundation's Tenth Annual Golf Outing.
Christina Renna Foundation raises $30,000 for pediatric cancer research at CSHL
January 26, 2015
The Christina Renna Foundation presented $30,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) at their 8th annual Angel's Wish Gala
|New Method Offers Earlier Detection for Lethal Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is common and largely nonlethal. But for some 21,000 men—a small percentage of the total, but a nonetheless substantial number—the disease is fatal. For earlier and more accurate detection, the Krasnitz and Wigler labs have devised a new method to analyze tumor biopsies to identify the most lethal forms of prostate cancer.
|Crystal Structures Reveal Cancer Enzymes in Action
Tutases are a class of enzymes that regulate the microRNA let-7—a gene that is commonly downregulated in cancers. The Joshua-Tor lab used x-ray crystallography to capture images of the enzyme in action, offering insight into how these potential cancer targets function.
|Algorithm Finds Novel Recurrent Mutations in Cancer Patients
The Tuveson lab, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Schatz, (now at Johns Hopkins University) has developed an algorithm to identify novel mutations in patient tumor samples. The research team applied the method, called GECCO, to pancreatic cancer samples and discovered multiple mutations, many of which were associated with a significant risk of poor prognosis for patients.
|High-Resolution View of the Complex that Initiates DNA Replication
The Stillman and Joshua-Tor labs collaborated to obtain the structure of the active human Origin Recognition Complex (ORC), the proteins that control the initiation of DNA replication. Using both cyro-EM and x-ray crystallography, the labs obtained a high-resolution image of the ORC proteins bound to DNA, providing insights into the most fundamental process in cell proliferation.
|Novel Insights into the Regulation of PTEN in Prostate Cancer
New research from the Trotman lab has revealed that, in prostate cancer, a protein known as Importin-11 is the ‘Achilles’ heel’ that is required for the stability of the PTEN tumor suppressor. In fact, loss of Importin-11 predicted relapse and metastasis in patients who had had their prostate removed.
|Extra Chromosome Has Surprising Effect on Cell Growth and Tumorigenesis
Copy number variation is a hallmark of most cancers, and it often serves as a driver of cell proliferation. Surprisingly, new research from the Sheltzer lab suggests that an extra chromosome alone is not enough to initially spur tumor growth. Rather, prolonged changes in chromosome number lead to genetic instability that ultimately causes uncontrolled cell proliferation.
|Muscle-Wasting Disease Reveals Links Between Metabolism and Immune Evasion
Many cancer patients suffer from extreme weight loss in a condition known as cachexia. The Fearon lab has found that this calorie deprivation can have profound implications for tumor immunology, allowing tumor cells to become resistant to immunotherapy.
|The Role of RNAi in Quiescence
Cancer forms when quiescent cells begin dividing and proliferating. New research from the Martienssen lab demonstrates that the RNAi machinery—which is often mutated in cancers—plays a key role in this transition, holding cells in quiescence.
|Tumors Hijack the Immune System to Promote Metastasis
The Egeblad lab made the surprising discovery that tumors take advantage of an immune defense to enhance metastasis. Breast cancer cells can induce the immune system to release webs of DNA and enzymes, known as NETs. These webs directly stimulate the cancer cell’s ability to invade, promoting metastasis.
|Feedback Loop Controls the Decision to Proliferate
New research from the Stillman lab has revealed that key components of the DNA replication machinery participate in a feedback loop to control cell proliferation. The proteins—which are often mutated in cancer—provide a direct link between replication and proliferation.
|Research Identifies Signaling Pathway that Drives Metastasis in Ovarian Cancer
The Tonks lab has identified a role for the non-receptor tyrosine kinase, FER, in the invasion and movement of ovarian cancer cells—two traits that are required for metastasis. The work points to a potential drug target that could limit the most aggressive form of the disease.
|New Method Rapidly Assays Copy Number Variation
Copy number variation is well known as a driver of tumorigenesis and metastasis. The Levy lab has developed a protocol, called SMASH, that combines wet lab techniques with a new computational algorithm to quickly and efficiently analyze copy number variation in cancer cells.
Director, David Tuveson, M.D., Ph.D.
Cancer researchers at CSHL are using cutting-edge technology in innovative and collaborative studies to explore the basic biology underlying the disease. Our research can be divided into three main focus areas:
|Cancer Genetics Program|
|Gene Regulation & Cell Proliferation Program|
|Signal Transduction Program|
The CSHL Cancer Center has long been a leader in basic research, exploring the fundamental pathways and molecules that enable life. Now, Cancer Center researchers are applying these groundbreaking discoveries to the development of new treatments and better diagnostics for cancer.
While maintaining its focus on exceptional basic science, the CSHL Cancer Center is also expanding translational research. The Lab has partnered with leading hospitals and research organizations to increase preclinical research at the Lab and facilitate clinical trials based on basic science discoveries. At the same time, the next generation of doctors can experience basic research firsthand through translational training opportunities in the CSHL Cancer Center that are designed to bridge the gap between the lab and the clinic.
The biological landscape is made up of millions of variables that interact in complex and often seemingly random ways. I am applying principles from physical and computational sciences to the study of biology to find patterns in these interactions, to obtain insight into population genetics, human evolution, and diseases including cancer.
Are you really what you eat? Our goal is to uncover the precise mechanisms that link nutrition to organismal health and disease states at the cellular and molecular level. A particular focus in our lab is to understand how dietary perturbations affect the immune system and contribute to the risk of diseases that are associated with immune dysfunction such as cancer.
Currently the Director of the Functional Genomics Shared Resource at CSHL. His studies focus on shRNA, microRNA, RNA interference, and siRNA. The lab has studied cancer proliferation gene discovery through functional genomics.
Among the changes that occur during pregnancy, those affecting the breasts have been found to subsequently modify breast cancer risk. My laboratory investigates how the signals present during pregnancy permanently alter the way gene expression is controlled and how these changes affect normal and malignant mammary development.
Cancer cells are surrounded by immune cells, blood vessels, chemical signals and a support matrix—collectively, the tumor microenvironment. Most microenvironments help tumors grow and metastasize, but some can restrict tumors. My lab studies how to target the bad microenvironments and support the good ones to combat cancer.
I’m studying how to harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer. Our underlying premise is that the microenvironment within a tumor suppresses the immune system. We have found a way to eliminate this suppression in the mouse model of pancreatic cancer, which has led to development of a drug for human pancreatic cancer that will enter phase 1 clinical trials in 2015.
Of the tens of thousand of protein-coding genes in the human genome, only a small portion have an experimentally defined function. For the rest, how can we determine what they do? My lab develops computational predictions based on co-expression networks. We are applying our predictions to understand neuropsychiatric disorders.
Only a small portion of the RNAs encoded in any genome are used to make proteins. My lab investigates what these noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) do within and outside of cells, where regulators of their expression are located in the genome, and how perturbations of ncRNAs and their regulators contribute to disease.
As organisms develop, genes turn on and off with a precise order and timing, much like the order and duration of notes in a song. My group uses model organisms to understand the molecules that control the tempo of development. We also study how changes in the timing of gene expression contribute to diseases like cancer.
To ensure that cells function normally, tens of thousands of genes must be turned on or off together. To do this, regulatory molecules - transcription factors and non-coding RNAs – simultaneously control hundreds of genes. My group studies how the resulting gene networks function and how they can be compromised in human disease.
Cancer is a systemic disease. Using both laboratory and clinical research, my group investigates the connections between metabolism, endocrinology, and immunology to discover how the body’s response to a tumor can be used to improve treatment for patients with cancer.
Our cells depend on thousands of proteins and nucleic acids that function as tiny machines: molecules that build, fold, cut, destroy, and transport all of the molecules essential for life. My group is discovering how these molecular machines work, looking at interactions between individual atoms to understand how they activate gene expression, DNA replication, and small RNA biology.
From regulating gene expression to fighting off pathogens, biology uses DNA sequence information in many different ways. My research combines theory, computation, and experiment in an effort to better understand the quantitative relationships between DNA sequence and biological function. Much of my work is devoted to developing new methods in statistics and machine learning.
Our DNA carries the instructions to manufacture all the molecules needed by a cell. After each gene is copied from DNA into RNA, the RNA message is "spliced" - an editing process involving precise cutting and pasting. I am interested in how splicing normally works, how it is altered in genetic diseases and cancer, and how we can correct these defects for therapy.
Many types of cancer display bewildering intra-tumor heterogeneity on a cellular and molecular level, with aggressive malignant cell populations found alongside normal tissue and infiltrating immune cells. I am developing mathematical and statistical tools to disentangle tumor cell population structure, enabling an earlier and more accurate diagnosis of the disease and better-informed clinical decisions.
Cells are amazingly complex, with the ability to sense, and remember timing, location and history. I am exploring how cells store this information, and how their surroundings influence their communication with other cells. I am also developing various imaging and molecular sequencing methods for tracking genes, molecules, and cells to understand how cancer cells arise and evolve.
We have recently come to appreciate that many unrelated diseases, such as autism, congenital heart disease and cancer, are derived from rare and unique mutations, many of which are not inherited but instead occur spontaneously. I am generating algorithms to analyze massive datasets comprising thousands of affected families to identify disease-causing mutations.
Applies non-invasive imaging methods and develops new imaging reagents to facilitate the use of genetically engineered mouse models of cancer in pre-clinical and basic cancer research. As Director of Animal Imaging, he provides collaborative research support to investigators at both CSHL and neighboring institutions and will an important role in the pre-clinical research facility at CSHL.
With joint appointments at CSHL and Northwell Health, I am working to expand clinical cancer research at our institutions to provide new treatments for patients as well as greater insight into the biology of this complex set of diseases. In my own research, I am collaborating on research in soft-tissue and bone sarcomas to better understand the cancer microenvironment and epigenetics, targeting molecular weaknesses to halt cancer growth.
Chromosomes are covered with chemical modifications that help control gene expression. I study this secondary genetic code - the epigenome - and how it is guided by small mobile RNAs in plants and fission yeast. Our discoveries impact plant breeding and human health, and we use this and other genomic information to improve aquatic plants as a source of bioenergy.
Over the last two decades, revolutionary improvements in DNA sequencing technology have made it faster, more accurate, and much cheaper. We are now able to sequence up to 10 trillion DNA letters in just one month. I harness these technological advancements to assemble genomes for a variety of organisms and probe the genetic basis of neurological disorders, including autism and schizophrenia, better understand cancer progression and understand the complex structures of the genomes of higher plants.
Cells employ stringent controls to ensure that genes are turned on and off at the correct time and place. Accurate gene expression relies on several levels of regulation, including how DNA and its associated molecules are packed together. I study the diseases arising from defects in these control systems, such as aging and cancer.
Our genome can encode hundreds of thousands of different proteins, the molecular machines that do the work that is the basis of life. I use proteomics, a combination of protein chemistry, mass spectrometry and informatics, to identify precisely which proteins are present in cells - cells from different tissues, developmental stages, and disease states.
Unlike animals, plants neither have specific organs that see or hear various stimuli, yet, plants are sensitive to their surrounding environment and modify their development according to various external signals. My lab studies how the environment of a plant modulates its growth and development. Understanding environmental control of growth will have far-reaching implications for agriculture, energy production, and many other human activities.
Developing single-cell genomics technologies for applications related to cancer progression, immune surveillance, and discovery of rare novel cell types and transcriptional programs.
Transposable elements make up half of our DNA. They control gene expression and have been a major evolutionary force in all organisms. The Schorn lab investigates how small RNAs identify and silence transposable elements when they become active during development and disease.
Nearly all tumors exhibit a condition known as aneuploidy – their cells contain the wrong number of chromosomes. We’re working to understand how aneuploidy impacts cancer progression, in hopes of developing therapies that can specifically eliminate aneuploid cancers while leaving normal cells unharmed.
I am a computer scientist who is fascinated by the challenge of making sense of vast quantities of genetic data. My research group focuses in particular on questions involving human evolution and transcriptional regulation.
Two challenges in cancer biology guide my work: first, how do tumors become addicted to certain gene products, and second, how do tumors develop resistance to anti-cancer drugs. I focus on the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is both addictive when mutated and a common source of drug resistance. We are also identifying new targets for the treatment of lung cancer.
The immense amount of DNA, RNA and proteins that contribute to our genetic programs are precisely organized inside the cell's nucleus. My group studies how nuclear organization impacts gene regulation, and how misregulation of non-coding RNAs contributes to human diseases such as cancer.
Despite the development of preventive vaccines, human papillomaviruses (HPVs) still infect more than five million women each year, significantly increasing their risk of cervical cancer. I am working to identify how HPV multiplies so that we may develop drugs that can defeat the virus once it has infected an individual.
Every time a cell divides, it must accurately copy its DNA. With 3 billion “letters” in the human genome, this is no small task. My studies reveal the many steps and molecular actors involved, as well as how errors in DNA replication are involved in diseases that range from cancer to rare genetic disorders.
Cells must constantly react to what is happening around them, adapting to changes in neighboring cells or the environment. I study the signals that cells use to exchange information with their surroundings. Our group is finding drugs that target these signals and thus can treat diabetes, obesity, cancer, and autism spectrum disorders.
We have recently developed the first genetic mouse model for therapy and analysis of metastatic prostate cancer. Now we can test if and how modern concepts of cancer evolution can outperform the 80-year-old standard of care - hormone deprivation therapy - and turn lethal prostate cancer into a curable disease.
Pancreatic cancer is an extremely lethal malignancy. On average, patients who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer succumb to the disease within 6 months. Research is the only way to defeat pancreatic cancer. My lab is making progress toward finding a cure by detecting the disease earlier and designing novel therapeutic approaches.
Cancer cells achieve their pathogenicity by changing which genes are on and off. To maintain these changes in gene expression, cancer cells rely on proteins that interact with DNA or modify chromatin. My group investigates how such factors sustain the aberrant capabilities of cancer cells, thereby identifying new therapeutic targets.
Normal cell function relies on coordinated communication between all the different parts of the cell. These communication signals control what a cell does, what shape it takes, and how it interacts with other cells. I study these signaling networks to understand how they guard against cancer and neurological disorders.
Devastating diseases like cancer and autism can be caused by spontaneous changes to our DNA—mutations first appearing in the child, or in our tissues as we age. We are developing methods to discover these changes in individuals, tumors, and even single cells, to promote early detection and treatments
Studies the creation of engineered biologics such as antibodies, proteins and peptides, for therapeutics and translational medicine. The lab employs protein engineering and chemical biology approaches to develop therapeutic biologics acting on cell signaling machineries in order to abrogate pathological cellular behavior. He is currently the Director of CSHL Cancer Center Antibody Shared Resource- a collaborative resource for high quality antibody development.
The research in my laboratory addresses a central question in hematopoiesis — which is how self-renewal and differentiation are properly balanced in the hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell population. We utilize both CRISPR/Cas functional genomic and chemical genomic approaches to identify novel regulators of self-renewal and aim to develop novel therapeutic strategies for hematopoietic diseases and malignancies.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is an NCI-designated Cancer Center. As a basic research institution, CSHL does not treat patients. Information about individual cancers is available at the NCI CancerNet. Questions about CSHL’s cancer research program should be directed to our Public Affairs Department.