Research Menu

image of cancer cellsThe 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 ProliferationSignal 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.

Senior Leadership

Deputy Director, Shared Resources

Nicholas Tonks, Ph.D.

Deputy Director, Administration

Denise Roberts, Ph.D.

Program Leaders

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

Richard Hynes, Ph.D.
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Larry Norton, M.D.
Deputy Physician-in-Chief, Breast Cancer Programs
Medical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast 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

Cindy Quense, M.P.A.
Assistant Director of Administration, The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

Martine Roussel, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Genetics and Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Past Directors

Dr. Watson

Dr. James Watson
1987 – 1988

Richard Roberts

Dr. Richard Roberts
1988 – 1992

Bruce Stillman

Dr. Bruce Stillman
1992 – 2016

    Taking uncertainty out of cancer prognosis

    Taking uncertainty out of cancer prognosis

    December 11, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — A cancer diagnosis tells you that you have cancer, but how that cancer will progress is a terrifying uncertainty for most patients. Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have now identified a specific class of biomarkers that can tell a lot about how aggressive a patient’s cancer will be....


    Women’s coalition donates $100k to breast cancer research

    Women’s coalition donates $100k to breast cancer research

    December 6, 2018

    Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer (MWCABC) has donated $100,000 to support breast cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The donation supports the research of postdoctoral fellow Dr. Sonam Bhatia whose work focuses on developing new therapeutic targets for breast cancer using organoid technology. Members of the MWCABC’s Research Committee recently visited the Laboratory...


    An Angel’s Wish Gala Dinner-Dance

    An Angel’s Wish Gala Dinner-Dance

    December 4, 2018

    Join us in celebrating 12 years of Christina’s legacy. With your generous support, we continue to fund cutting-edge research into rare pediatric cancer. 2019 Christina Renna Foundation Research Award recipient for the Sarcoma Research Project: Dr. Christopher Vakoc, Associate Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory


    Yacht race raises $6,500 for cancer research

    Yacht race raises $6,500 for cancer research

    November 29, 2018

    Members of the Masthead Cove Yacht Club (MCYC) raised $6,500 from their annual Masthead Race on August 12, 2018. The money will go to fund research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). At this year’s race, Dr. Fieke Froeling, a translational fellow in CSHL Cancer Center Director David Tuveson’s lab, spoke about her work. Later,...


    Inconspicuous protein key to deadly blood cancer

    Inconspicuous protein key to deadly blood cancer

    November 29, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Five percent of acute leukemia cases are diagnosed as mixed lineage leukemia (MLL). MLL is an aggressive blood cancer that predominantly occurs in infants and has been difficult to treat. Now, researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have identified a very common protein as the single key to the...


    Pancreatic cancer’s addiction could be its end

    Pancreatic cancer’s addiction could be its end

    November 13, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Cancer cells are often described as cells “gone bad” or “renegade.” New research reveals that in some of the deadliest cases of pancreatic cancer, these rebellious cells have an unexpected addiction. Now, scientists are investigating if that addiction can be used to bring about a tumor’s end. Cold Spring Harbor...


    Turning cells against pancreatic cancer

    Turning cells against pancreatic cancer

    October 26, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Pancreatic cancer has a grim prognosis. It is usually detected after the disease has spread, and chemotherapy tends to do little to slow the cancer’s growth. Even with treatment, most patients live only about six months after they are diagnosed with the disease. Researchers in Professor David Tuveson’s laboratory at...


    Cancer research from a different perspective

    Cancer research from a different perspective

    October 3, 2018

    It’s typical to think about cancer in terms of specific tissue types or organs in which cancers can form; like leukemia, breast, brain, or prostate. Cancer researcher Tobias Janowitz, M.D., Ph.D. takes a different approach; one that looks at cancer as a systemic condition. The newest addition to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) faculty,...


    How a sleeping cancer awakens and metastasizes

    How a sleeping cancer awakens and metastasizes

    September 27, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have determined one of the ways in which cancers in remission can spring back into action. This knowledge has inspired a new treatment idea designed to prevent cancer recurrence and metastasis. Even after successful cancer treatment, dormant, non-dividing cancer cells that previously detached...


    Massive genome havoc in breast cancer is revealed

    Massive genome havoc in breast cancer is revealed

    July 12, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — In cancer cells, genetic errors wreak havoc. Misspelled genes, as well as structural variations—larger-scale rearrangements of DNA that can encompass large chunks of chromosomes—disturb carefully balanced mechanisms that have evolved to regulate cell growth. Genes that are normally silent are massively activated and mutant proteins are formed. These and other...


    Researchers discover new type of lung cancer

    Researchers discover new type of lung cancer

    June 25, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Researchers have discovered a new kind of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). The discovery paves the way for developing personalized medicine approaches to target this previously unnoticed form of the disease. “Cancer is not one thing, it’s actually hundreds of distinct diseases.” This common refrain helps explain the frustrating experience oncologists...


    Nation’s cancer centers endorse HPV vaccination

    Nation’s cancer centers endorse HPV vaccination

    June 8, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory joins NCI-designated cancer centers in endorsing the goal of eliminating HPV-related cancers Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., President and CEO of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and David Tuveson, M.D., Ph.D., Director of CSHL’s NCI-designated Cancer Center, today joined with the leaders of other institutions nationwide in endorsing the following statement regarding revised recommendations...


    Organoid profiling personalizes treatments for pancreatic cancer

    Organoid profiling personalizes treatments for pancreatic cancer

    May 31, 2018

    A new tool to select the treatments most likely to work in specific patients Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Patient-derived organoids, hollow spheres of cells cultured from tumors, can quickly and accurately predict how patients with pancreatic cancer respond to a variety of treatments, facilitating a precision-medicine approach to the deadly disease. The ability to...


    How pancreatic cancer spreads after surgery

    How pancreatic cancer spreads after surgery

    May 17, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have solved a mystery about how pancreatic cancer spreads following surgery in patients whose tumor is successfully removed. After surgery, patients typically experience a two-week period during which their immune system is depleted as a result of a surge in post-operative stress hormone...


    Bringing immune cells back into the cancer fight

    Bringing immune cells back into the cancer fight

    May 4, 2018

    The human immune system protects us so reliably against most bacterial infections and viruses. We owe our lives to it. So why doesn’t it just as reliably prevent us from getting cancer? Most experts agree that the immune system does indeed suppress the formation of cancers. Immune cells vanquish viruses that by some estimates cause...


    Study reveals a way to make prostate cancer cells run out of energy and die

    Study reveals a way to make prostate cancer cells run out of energy and die

    April 3, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have discovered that cells lacking the tumor-suppressor protein PTEN—a feature of many cancers—are particularly vulnerable to drugs that impair their energy-producing mitochondria. Such drugs induce them to literally eat themselves to death, the research shows. Unlike normal cells, cells without PTEN seem driven...


    The cancer answer that wasn’t

    The cancer answer that wasn’t

    March 15, 2018

    Base Pairs podcast Science is a process, something we learn in elementary school as we plan our papier-mâché volcanoes. First, a hypothesis is put forward. It is rigorously tested through observation and experimentation, and then the scientists put forth their results. But one step they overlooked at your fifth-grade science fair is absolutely crucial—the experiment...


    CRISPR-based system identifies important new drug targets in a deadly leukemia

    CRISPR-based system identifies important new drug targets in a deadly leukemia

    March 8, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have discovered a way to rein in an overactive protein that drives some aggressive leukemias. The renegade molecule, MEF2C, belongs to a class of proteins that is notoriously difficult to manipulate with drugs. But the new research suggests an opportunity to develop therapies...


    New method identifies splicing biomarkers for liver cancer

    New method identifies splicing biomarkers for liver cancer

    March 2, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Because liver cancer is particularly diverse, genetically, and prone to relapse, identifying biomarkers that can predict disease progression is a critical goal in the fight against it. Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), led by CSHL Professor Adrian Krainer, now report in Genome Research that they have developed a...


    One experiment: When cancer is hiding in plain sight

    One experiment: When cancer is hiding in plain sight

    March 1, 2018

    Everyone knows how important the immune system is—our lives utterly depend upon it. Its role in fighting bacteria and common viruses is something we take for granted. Few people know that its protection extends to viruses that can cause cancer. And yet cancer is so common. When it strikes, is the immune system letting us...


    Science self-corrects: cancer gene does not pass reproducibility test

    Science self-corrects: cancer gene does not pass reproducibility test

    February 13, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — About 10 years ago, several labs discovered that a gene called MELK is overexpressed, or turned on to a high degree, in many cancer cell types. This evidence has prompted multiple ongoing clinical trials to test whether drugs that inhibit MELK can treat cancer in patients. Now, Cold Spring Harbor...


    Christina Renna Foundation raises $30,000 for continuing pediatric cancer research at CSHL

    Christina Renna Foundation raises $30,000 for continuing pediatric cancer research at CSHL

    January 22, 2018

    The Christina Renna Foundation presented $30,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) at its 11th annual Angel’s Wish Gala held on January 20, 2018. These funds will support the Sarcoma Research Project, which focuses on a rare and often fatal cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Associate Professor Christopher Vakoc of CSHL was awarded the 2018 Christina Renna...


    Public lecture: METASTASIS & IMMUNITY How immune cells can help cancer spread, or stop it in its tracks

    Public lecture: METASTASIS & IMMUNITY How immune cells can help cancer spread, or stop it in its tracks

    January 12, 2018

    Please join us for a free public lecture… METASTASIS & IMMUNITY How immune cells can help cancer spread, or stop it in its tracks Speakers: MIKALA EGEBLAD, Ph.D. Associate Professor Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory SYLVIA ADAMS, M.D. Associate Professor, Department of Medicine Director of Clinical Research, Breast Cancer Disease Management Group New York University Medical...


    Molecular decoy helps researchers halt and reverse acute leukemia in mice

    Molecular decoy helps researchers halt and reverse acute leukemia in mice

    January 8, 2018

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Cancer researchers today announced they have developed a way of sidelining one of the most dangerous “bad actors” in leukemia. Their approach depends on throwing a molecular wrench into the gears of an important machine that sets genes into motion, enabling cancer cells to proliferate. In tests in mice, the...


    New method to determine <em>before</em> surgery which prostate tumors pose a lethal threat

    New method to determine before surgery which prostate tumors pose a lethal threat

    December 1, 2017

    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.


    Next-gen cancer test

    Next-gen cancer test

    November 24, 2017

    Knowing that cancers become lethal when they spread, investigators at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) seek a way of detecting tumors much earlier than now possible—when they’re more likely to be curable. Fleshing out an idea Professor Michael Wigler had years ago—before there was technology to act on it—research led by Associate Professor Alexander Krasnitz...


    A transformative partnership

    A transformative partnership

    November 22, 2017

    “We’re at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory today, which is hallowed ground for scientific research. You can almost feel when you walk on the grounds that you’re in a special place and great things have happened here,” said New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on October 12. “The potential we have on Long Island in this...


    One experiment: Bacteria-trapping DNA webs are repurposed by cancer cells

    One experiment: Bacteria-trapping DNA webs are repurposed by cancer cells

    October 19, 2017

    Cancer is infamous for repurposing molecules and mechanisms our body routinely uses to sustain itself. This remarkable 3D image, made by CSHL’s expert electron microscopist Stephen Hearn, dramatically captures one such mechanism, spider web-like structures made of DNA and studded with toxic enzymes. Normally, these webs are cast out into extracellular space by white blood...


    Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $6000 for CSHL research at annual race

    Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $6000 for CSHL research at annual race

    October 18, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. – Members of the Masthead Cove Yacht Club (MCYC) raised $6,700 from their annual Masthead Race on August 13. The proceeds were donated to support research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The event has raised over $76,000 since it was started in 2006 in memory of the MCYC’s former Commodore, Carol...


    Governor Cuomo breaks ground on $75 million Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Center for Therapeutics Research

    Governor Cuomo breaks ground on $75 million Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Center for Therapeutics Research

    October 12, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) this morning to break ground on the new $75 million Center for Therapeutics Research. The State of New York has invested $25 million in the new center, which will support advancements already under way in breast cancer, leukemia,...


    Long-sought mechanism of metastasis is discovered in pancreatic cancer

    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 Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Cells, just like people, have memories. They retain molecular markers that at the beginning of their existence helped guide their development. Cells that become cancerous may be making use of these early memories to power...


    Freeze-frames of enzymes in action have implications for a new cancer treatment concept

    Freeze-frames of enzymes in action have implications for a new cancer treatment concept

    July 3, 2017

    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.


    A protein that stem cells require could be a target in killing breast cancer cells

    A protein that stem cells require could be a target in killing breast cancer cells

    June 1, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — For years, cancer experts have realized that cancerous cells behave in certain ways like stem cells, unspecialized cells that when exposed to certain signals, can “differentiate.” When a stem cell differentiates, it starts down a one-way path that will result in its specialization and eventually its death. For instance, a...


    Hanging with Heroes and Friends Who Care raise over $17,000 to support Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s Breast Cancer Research

    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. The event, which was held in conjunction with Friends who Care, a local fundraising grouped formed in memory of Sandy Aranoff a Commack woman who recently died of breast cancer, was filled with great...


    CSHL to lead international team developing next-generation organoid cancer research

    CSHL to lead international team developing next-generation organoid cancer research

    May 11, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has been awarded a research subcontract by Leidos Biomedical Research to lead a Cancer Model Development Center


    Newly discovered mutations impair key cell pathways in pancreatic cancer

    Newly discovered mutations impair key cell pathways in pancreatic cancer

    May 8, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — By closely studying a part of the human genome that has not yet been carefully scrutinized in studies of cancer, researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have found important new clues to the development of pancreatic cancer. The researchers looked exclusively at small segments of DNA called promoters in...


    New research explains why even targeted therapies eventually fail in lung cancer

    New research explains why even targeted therapies eventually fail in lung cancer

    March 29, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Nearly 50 years into the “war” on cancer, doctors possess weapons that once would have seemed magical in their tumor-killing specificity. The drug Tarceva (erlotinib), for example, can virtually erase all traces of aggressive lung cancer tumors in a subset of patients who bear a particular disease-driving mutation in a...


    What a real-life science test looks like

    What a real-life science test looks like

    March 24, 2017

    LabDish blog By revealing evidence that contradicts the rationale for a new cancer drug, a pair of student scientists learns firsthand that when you do science, you must ultimately treat everything as a hypothesis. At first, Ann Lin and Chris Giuliano thought, “we must have done something wrong.” The two Stony Brook undergrads are cancer...


    Discovery of distinct cell subtypes around tumors helps explain why pancreatic cancer is so hard to treat

    Discovery of distinct cell subtypes around tumors helps explain why pancreatic cancer is so hard to treat

    February 23, 2017

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Researchers have moved an important step closer to understanding why pancreatic cancer is so hard to treat. With a median survival of only 6 months and a 5-year survival rate of about 8%, patients tend to be diagnosed when the disease has already spread to other parts of the body—this...


    Researchers identify “Achilles’ heel” of PTEN that helps drive prostate cancer progression

    Researchers identify “Achilles’ heel” of PTEN that helps drive prostate cancer progression

    February 13, 2017

    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.


    Cancer research biobank formed by Northwell Health and Indivumed will enhance CSHL-Northwell alliance

    Cancer research biobank formed by Northwell Health and Indivumed will enhance CSHL-Northwell alliance

    January 17, 2017

    Manhasset and Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Northwell Health today announced a collaboration with Indivumed to speed the advance of precision cancer research. As New York State’s largest health care provider, Northwell Health diagnoses and treats 19,000 new cancer patients each year. Indivumed, GmbH is a Germany-based oncology research company working to individualize anti-cancer medical...


    CSHL joins NCI-designated cancer centers in endorsing updated HPV vaccination recommendations

    CSHL joins NCI-designated cancer centers in endorsing updated HPV vaccination recommendations

    January 11, 2017

    Bruce Stillman, Ph.D., President and CEO of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and David Tuveson, M.D., Ph.D., Director of CSHL’s NCI-designated Cancer Center, today joined with the leaders of other institutions nationwide in endorsing the following statement regarding revised recommendations concerning the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine: Recognizing low rates of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations as a...


    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Sarcoma Research Update

    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Sarcoma Research Update

    January 4, 2017

    Over the last two years, 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

    MWCABC donates $65,000 to breast cancer research at CSHL

    December 14, 2016

    Members of the Research Committee of Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer (MWCABC) presented a $65,000 check to support Dr. Camila dos Santos’ breast cancer research.  Since 1999, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has received nearly $500,000 in funding for breast cancer research from MWCABC.


    Cold Spring Harbor HS Football Player donates CSHL’s 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 Seahawks Varsity Football Team, presented a check today for $1,000.00 for breast cancer research, as part of his “Kick Cancer” fundraising initiative, to Dr. David Spector, Director of Research and Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Labs. Gordon pledged $25 for every extra point he made this season;...


    Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

    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’ Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Discovered in the 1970s, tumor suppressors are among the most important proteins in the body. A master regulator of growth—“the guardian of the genome”—the p53 protein monitors cell growth for errors. We rely...


    When antioxidants are pro-cancer

    When antioxidants are pro-cancer

    November 15, 2016

    Base Pairs podcast Fighting cancer is so difficult in part because the healthy cells we want to support often end up casualties in the crossfire of toxic treatments. This episode of Base Pairs is about how we might overcome this obstacle even in some of the most difficult cases: patients with pancreatic cancer. Of all...


    Our most common infection-fighting white blood cells can be hijacked to support cancer spread

    Our most common infection-fighting white blood cells can be hijacked to support cancer spread

    October 19, 2016

    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.


    Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $7000 for CSHL research at annual race

    Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $7000 for CSHL research at annual race

    October 19, 2016

    Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. — Members of the Masthead Cove Yacht Club (MCYC) raised $7,007 from their annual Masthead Race on August 14. The proceeds were donated to support research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The event has raised over $65,000 since it was started in 2006 in memory of the MCYC’s former Commodore, Carol...


    LI2Day Walk supports Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s breast cancer research

    LI2Day Walk supports Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s breast cancer research

    September 19, 2016

    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was included in LI2Day Walk’s Special Grant Program with a $2,000 donation. LI2Day has donated nearly $300,000 to support breast cancer research at the Laboratory since 2004. The fundraising group holds a 13.1 mile walk in June and a 5K in August as well as other fundraising events throughout the year.  For...


    Stand Up for Suzanne donates $10,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

    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 at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Friday, September 16. The group based in Huntington was founded in memory of Suzanne Shea a local resident who died in 2013 after a 6 1/2 year battle with breast cancer. The foundation raises money to...


    Novel drug therapy kills pancreatic cancer cells by reducing levels of antioxidants

    Novel drug therapy kills pancreatic cancer cells by reducing levels of antioxidants

    July 28, 2016

    A strategy based on mimicking the suppression of antioxidant-promoting NRF2 Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Reducing levels of antioxidants in pancreatic cancer cells can help kill them, newly published research reveals, suggesting an entirely new treatment strategy for the notoriously lethal illness, in which less than 5 percent of patients survive 5 years. Although it...


    Discovery of new ovarian cancer signaling hub points to target for limiting metastasis

    Discovery of new ovarian cancer signaling hub points to target for limiting metastasis

    July 10, 2016

    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.


    Academic-industry collaboration generates elegant way of pinpointing how a new drug exerts beneficial effects

    Academic-industry collaboration generates elegant way of pinpointing how a new drug exerts beneficial effects

    July 5, 2016

    Tested on a newly discovered target and candidate drug for leukemia, the method has broader application Cold Spring Harbor, NY — A collaborative effort by cancer researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and chemists at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), a pharmaceutical firm, has resulted in the identification of a new drug target in leukemia and...


    The WTFC Foundation supports breast cancer research at CSHL

    The WTFC Foundation supports breast cancer research at CSHL

    June 6, 2016

    On May 13, The WTFC Foundation held its 10th Annual “The Breast of Everything” fundraiser, raising over $40,000 to support breast cancer research at top institutions across the country.  Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory was selected as one of the recipients of these funds, and on June 2 the group’s founder and President Shari Goldsmith, visited...


    How healthy cells might help cancer survive

    How healthy cells might help cancer survive

    February 4, 2016

    LabDish blog Cancer researcher Mikala Egeblad aims to make cancer-fighting drugs more effective by preventing healthy cells from helping the enemy survive. The battlegrounds of the war on cancer—the landscape of healthy cells and molecules that make up the tumor’s “microenvironment”—sometimes fade to the background in cancer research. But CSHL Associate Professor Mikala Egeblad and...


    Stand Up for Suzanne’s annual luncheon will support breast cancer research at CSHL

    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 will hold their annual luncheon on March 12 at the Milleridge Cottage.  This year’s honorees are  Miana Jun and Rebecca Pine—The Breast and the Sea project (www.thebreastandthesea.com). “The Breast and the Sea project is a written and photographic compilation capturing the...


    Christina Renna Foundation Raises $35,000 for pediatric cancer research at CSHL

    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 held on January 16, 2016. These funds will be used to support the Sarcoma Research Project that is looking into a rare and often fatal cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). CSHL Associate Professor Christopher Vakoc, M.D., Ph.D., is leading the research. Accepting the...


    Clark Gillies Foundation gives $50,000 for sarcoma research at CSHL

    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 on December 22, 2015. These funds will be used to support research in the lab of CSHL Associate Professor Chris Vakoc, that will look into a rare and often fatal cancer, Rhabdomosarcoma (RMS). Ice hockey legend Clark Gillies, a star of the...


    Unusual drug target and drug generate exciting preclinical results in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer

    Unusual drug target and drug generate exciting preclinical results in mouse models of metastatic breast cancer

    December 22, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY – A doctor treating a patient with a potentially fatal metastatic breast tumor would be very pleased to find, after administering a round of treatment, that the primary tumor had undergone a change in character—from aggressive to static, and no longer shedding cells that can colonize distant organs of the body....


    Unassuming “Swiss Army knife”-like protein proves lynchpin in a new cancer drug’s therapeutic action

    Unassuming “Swiss Army knife”-like protein proves lynchpin in a new cancer drug’s therapeutic action

    November 30, 2015

    Adaptor protein NSD3-short helps researchers explain anti-leukemia drug’s powerful effects Cold Spring Harbor, NY — When preliminary tests show that a new drug has remarkable effectiveness against a lethal illness, everyone wants to know how it works. Often, a mechanism of action is hard to pin down, but when it can be, a candidate drug’s...


    Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $7000 for CSHL cancer research at annual race

    Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises over $7000 for CSHL cancer research at annual race

    November 25, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. — Members of the Masthead Cove Yacht Club (MCYC) raised $7,124 from their annual Masthead Race on August 16. The proceeds were donated to support cancer research conducted by CSHL Professor Nicholas Tonks. The event has raised over $50,000 since it was started in 2006 in memory of the MCYC’s former...


    Long Island man continues the fight against breast cancer in memory of his fiancé

    Long Island man continues the fight against breast cancer in memory of his fiancé

    October 20, 2015

    Just shy of her 32nd birthday, Carissa Maringo of Mastic, NY lost her valiant battle against breast cancer. It was April 2009, and she and her fiancé Michael Focazio had planned to participate in the John T. Mather Hospital’s “Family Walk for Hope” which was scheduled for May. Carissa did not make it but Michael...


    Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) research bolstered by $50,000 gift from Friends of TJ

    Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) research bolstered by $50,000 gift from Friends of TJ

    October 20, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. — On October 14th, The Friends of TJ Foundation presented a check for $50,000 to CSHL Associate Professor Chris Vakoc. Dr. Vakoc is heading the RMS research initiative at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The Friends of TJ Foundation is one of a group of local funders dedicated to find better treatments...


    Research connects specific variations in RNA splicing with breast cancer causation

    Research connects specific variations in RNA splicing with breast cancer causation

    October 1, 2015

    SRSF1, a splicing factor, is a known oncogene and is overexpressed in many cancers. The Krainer lab has identified hundreds of splicing events that are regulated by SRSF1 and pinpointed at least one of the critical targets that helps to drive breast cancer.


    Research bench to writing desk with alum Darren Burgess

    Research bench to writing desk with alum Darren Burgess

    September 17, 2015

    As a high school student in England, Watson School of Biological Sciences alum Darren Burgess favored math and science to the arts and humanities. Likely, he said, this preference stemmed from his interest in how things work, a lack of worldly experience and the pathological academic weariness that seems to inflict almost every teenager. Worst...


    Swim Across America fundraiser supports lung cancer research at CSHL

    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. The event raises important funds to support lung cancer research in Dr. Raffaella Sordella’s laboratory at CSHL. Nitin Shirole and Paola Pisterzi from Raffaella’s lab participated in the event by swimming and Debjani Pal...


    Third-year student Abram Handly Santana explores the pancreatic tumor microenvironment

    Third-year student Abram Handly Santana explores the pancreatic tumor microenvironment

    August 1, 2015

    Most people don’t think about their pancreas very often. Buried deep inside the abdomen, wedged between the stomach and the spine, we can’t even feel it. But there it is, day in and day out, working away to make the enzymes that digest our food and the hormones that control our blood sugar. Having a...


    Joni Gladowsky Breast Cancer Foundation donates $80,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

    Joni Gladowsky Breast Cancer Foundation donates $80,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

    July 24, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — On Monday, July 20, 2015, the Joni Gladowsky Breast Cancer Foundation held its 11th annual Play for the Cure Golf Outing at The Cold Spring Harbor Country Club in Huntington, NY. Surrounded by family and friends, Alison Gladowsky-Deblinger, Jason Gladowsky and Elliot Gladowsky presented a check for $80,000 to Cold...


    Alumna Elizabeth Murchison follows the evolutionary path of contagious cancer

    Alumna Elizabeth Murchison follows the evolutionary path of contagious cancer

    July 15, 2015

    When you hear the term “contagious disease,” what tends to come to mind? Perhaps it’s images of red-faced, watery-eyed people coughing, sneezing and rasping around in a public space when they should be home, resting in bed. Or maybe it’s the unpleasant memories of a firsthand experience with a bout of whooping cough, chickenpox or...


    Third-year student Tyler Garvin brings together engineering and medicine to help save lives

    Third-year student Tyler Garvin brings together engineering and medicine to help save lives

    June 22, 2015

    In the human body, it is neatly tucked between the stomach and spine, surrounded by other vital organs on all sides. Named by ancient Greek scientist Ruphos, its moniker, meaning “all flesh,” gives a decent description of what it looks like but not necessarily what it does: about six inches in length and shaped like...


    Tumor surroundings are shown to affect progression of different cancer subtypes

    Tumor surroundings are shown to affect progression of different cancer subtypes

    May 27, 2015

    Treatments may need to be tailored not just to specific cancer types but also to factors distinguishing the environments in which they develop Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Our environment can have a major impact on how we develop, and it turns out it’s no different for cancer cells. In work published today in Neoplasia,...


    Scientists discover how a promising anti-leukemia drug harms cancer cells

    Scientists discover how a promising anti-leukemia drug harms cancer cells

    May 14, 2015

    Brd4 is a validated drug target for AML with an inhibitor in clinical trials, yet its precise function has remained unclear. In this study, the Vakoc lab defined how the protein cooperates with hematopoietic transcription factors to create a chromatin signaling cascade that offers additional potential drug targets.


    Using CRISPR, biologists find a way to comprehensively identify anti-cancer drug targets

    Using CRISPR, biologists find a way to comprehensively identify anti-cancer drug targets

    May 11, 2015

    The Vakoc lab collaborated with Justin Kinney to develop a new screening method using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. The method targets protein domains, rather than the traditional 5’ exon of the gene, to reveal cancer dependencies and identify new drug targets.


    Study revises standard theory of how PTEN, a critical tumor suppressor, shuts off growth signals

    Study revises standard theory of how PTEN, a critical tumor suppressor, shuts off growth signals

    April 9, 2015

    The Trotman lab, in collaboration with the Pappin and Joshua-Tor labs, has found that the tumor suppressor PTEN uses microtubules to travel around the cell. The work challenges previous models for how the protein moves and provides new understanding that may be useful for targeted drug development.


    Tumor cells that mimic blood vessels could help breast cancer spread to other sites

    Tumor cells that mimic blood vessels could help breast cancer spread to other sites

    April 8, 2015

    The Hannon lab developed a novel mouse model for breast cancer heterogeneity and used it to identify clones that were highly metastatic. The team found that these cells formed tube-like structures that mimic blood vessels, and identified two genes that drive vascular mimicry, which is likely promote growth of the primary tumor as well as metastasis.


    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and North Shore-LIJ announce strategic affiliation to accelerate benefits of cancer research to patients

    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, NY — Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and the North Shore-LIJ Health System today announced a strategic affiliation to align CSHL’s world-class cancer research with North Shore-LIJ’s growing network of clinical services encompassing more than 16,000 new cancer cases annually across the New York metropolitan area. “This is a transformative affiliation for...


    Local business raises over $10,000 for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory breast cancer research

    Local business raises over $10,000 for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory breast cancer research

    March 31, 2015

    Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. — Aboff’s presented a check this month for $10,107 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). The funds will support breast cancer research at the Laboratory. During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October of 2014, Aboff’s, the family-owned Long Island business, donated a portion of proceeds from paint sales at all...


    Cancer metabolism and country music with first-year student Jackie Giovanniello

    Cancer metabolism and country music with first-year student Jackie Giovanniello

    March 9, 2015

    First-year Watson School student Jackie Giovanniello loves country music.  We’ve learned this not so much from Jackie but from her classmates who either now love country music too, or who refuse to ride in her car because of her strict country-only radio policy.  Jackie comes from Brooklyn, not an area considered by many to be...


    Stand Up for Suzanne holds breast cancer fundraiser for CSHL

    Stand Up for Suzanne holds breast cancer fundraiser for CSHL

    February 23, 2015

    On March 21, Stand Up for Suzanne held its 2nd annual fundraiser at The Milleridge Cottage. Over 150 people attended the luncheon and heard a presentation by CSHL’s Dr. Sarah Diermeier on her breast cancer research.  Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit breast cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.  Pictured below are members of Stand Up for...


    Joni Gladowsky Breast Cancer Foundation donates $60,000 to CSHL

    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 Play for the Cure Golf Outing. For more information, visit their website www.jonisfund.org.


    Christina Renna Foundation Raises $30,000 for pediatric cancer research at CSHL

    Christina Renna Foundation Raises $30,000 for pediatric cancer research at CSHL

    January 26, 2015

    Funds will be used to support Sarcoma Research Project The Christina Renna Foundation presented $30,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) at their 8th annual Angel’s Wish Gala held on January 16, 2015. These funds will be used to support a new Sarcoma Research Project that will look into a rare and often fatal cancer, Rhabdomosarcoma...


    Fighting pediatric cancer

    Fighting pediatric cancer

    January 20, 2015

    LabDish blog Written by Phil Renna Today we welcome guest blogger Phil Renna, Director of Operations for CSHL Public Affairs. Phil is also the Director of the Christina Renna Foundation, dedicated to raising awareness and finding a cure for pediatric cancers. This weekend CRF hosted its annual Angel’s Wish gala to support their ongoing efforts....


    3D culture system for pancreatic cancer has potential to change therapeutic approaches

    3D culture system for pancreatic cancer has potential to change therapeutic approaches

    January 15, 2015

    In collaboration with Hans Celvers at the University of Utrecht as well as Darryl Pappin and Molly Hammell, the Tuveson lab established the first organoid models of both normal and cancerous ductal pancreatic cells.


    A novel biomarker for mutant p53 could help pathologists assessing tumors during surgery

    A novel biomarker for mutant p53 could help pathologists assessing tumors during surgery

    January 5, 2015

    The Trotman, Pappin and Tuveson labs collaborated to develop a high-throughput mass spectrometry method that identifies and quantifies twenty different cellular phosphatidylinositol lipid acyl chains. The method enabled them to discover that the anchoring tails of lipid second messengers form an additional layer of PIP signaling in cancer that is linked to p53.


    Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer raises $100,000 to support breast cancer research at CSHL

    Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer raises $100,000 to support breast cancer research at CSHL

    December 30, 2014

    Since 1999, CSHL has received over $400,000 in funding for breast cancer research from MWCABC. Cold Spring Harbor, NY — On December 22, the Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer (MWCABC) donated $100,000 to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) to support breast cancer research. Barbara Buckley, Vice President of Research at MWCABC, presented the check...


    Pink Ribbon Bagels bring nearly $8,500 for breast cancer research at CSHL

    Pink Ribbon Bagels bring nearly $8,500 for breast cancer research at CSHL

    December 29, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — The Breast Cancer Research Program at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where innovative breast cancer research is being performed, was among the beneficiaries of this year’s annual Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign run by Panera Bread. The campaign raised more than $28,000 to benefit local breast cancer organizations during Breast Cancer Awareness Month....


    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory faces off against a rare cancer with launch of Sarcoma Research Project

    Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory faces off against a rare cancer with launch of Sarcoma Research Project

    October 30, 2014

    Initial funding from LI  groups: Friends of T.J. Foundation, the Christina Renna Foundation, the Michelle Paternoster Foundation for Sarcoma Research and The Clark Gillies Foundation Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) was joined on October 30 by the Friends of T.J. Foundation, the Christina Renna Foundation, the Michelle Paternoster Foundation for...


    Experts convene at CSHL to scrutinize, assess low-dose CT screening for lung cancer

    Experts convene at CSHL to scrutinize, assess low-dose CT screening for lung cancer

    October 17, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — At the first annual Lung Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Workshop held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) in late September, nearly two dozen physicians, research scientists and hospital administrators took a close scientific view of rapid advances made in recent years to identify lung cancer at its earliest stages....


    Rally for medical research Capitol Hill Day

    Rally for medical research Capitol Hill Day

    September 30, 2014

    LabDish blog Written by Cristina Aguirre-Chen, Postdoctoral Researcher Today we welcome guest blogger Cristina Aguirre-Chen, Ph.D., a postdoc in Assistant Professor Chris Hammell’s lab. Cristina recently participated in the American Association for Cancer Research’s Rally for Medical Research, asking Congress to increase funding for biomedical research. September 18th, 2014 marked the second annual Rally for...


    Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises $9,500 for CSHL cancer research at annual race

    Masthead Cove Yacht Club raises $9,500 for CSHL cancer research at annual race

    September 24, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Members of the Masthead Cove Yacht Club (MCYC) raised $9,500 from their annual Masthead Race on August 17. The proceeds were donated to support cancer research conducted by CSHL Professor Nicholas Tonks. The event, held at the Wyncote Yacht Club in Huntington, has raised over $50,000 since it was started in 2006...


    11th annual LI2DAY Walk raises over $525,000 for breast cancer

    11th annual LI2DAY Walk raises over $525,000 for breast cancer

    August 29, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — At a recent luncheon, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and 17 other breast cancer beneficiary groups received over $525,000 in funding raised at the 11th annual Long Island 2 Day Walk to Fight Breast Cancer, which took place on June 7, 2014. The event supports breast cancer research and essential...


    Research may explain how the body’s foremost anti-cancer ‘guardian’ protein learned to switch sides

    Research may explain how the body’s foremost anti-cancer ‘guardian’ protein learned to switch sides

    July 29, 2014

    The Sordella lab, in collaboration with the Krainer lab, identified a major new isoform of the tumor suppressor p53, called p53Ψ and showed that it induces expression of markers of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and enhances the motility and invasive capacity of cells.


    Scientists propose how antioxidants can accelerate cancers and why they don’t protect against them

    Scientists propose how antioxidants can accelerate cancers and why they don’t protect against them

    July 10, 2014

    Cold Spring Harbor, NY — For decades, health-conscious people around the globe have taken antioxidant supplements and eaten foods rich in antioxidants, figuring this was one of the paths to good health and a long life. Yet clinical trials of antioxidant supplements have repeatedly dashed the hopes of consumers who take them hoping to reduce...


    High school students learn the fascinating story of Henrietta Lacks

    High school students learn the fascinating story of Henrietta Lacks

    June 5, 2014

    LabDish blog Written by David L. Spector, Professor and CSHL Director of Research This week we welcome CSHL Director of Research, Professor David Spector. Here, he describes his recent visit to the Horace Mann School where he discussed the story of Henrietta Lacks. A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in...


    Team reports validation of potentially powerful new way to treat HER2-positive breast cancer

    Team reports validation of potentially powerful new way to treat HER2-positive breast cancer

    May 21, 2014

    Nick Tonks’ lab identified a novel allosteric inhibitor of PTP1B, a small molecule natural product, which is now being investigated as a treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer patients.


    A bad neighborhood for cancer

    A bad neighborhood for cancer

    May 14, 2014

    LabDish blog Written by Stony Brook University graduate student Miriam Fein In honor of National Cancer Research Month, we welcome guest blogger Miriam Fein, a Stony Brook University graduate student who is working in Assistant Professor Mikala Egeblad’s Lab here at CSHL. When you are looking for a place to live, the neighborhood matters a...


    Lloyd Trotman receives Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Cancer Research

    Lloyd Trotman receives Pershing Square Sohn Prize for Cancer Research

    May 5, 2014

    Associate Professor Award encourages young investigators to take risks in search of a cure Cold Spring Harbor, NY — The Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance is honoring Lloyd Trotman, Associate Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). Trotman will receive one of six prizes for Young Investigators in Cancer Research, which seeks to fuel...


    Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation gives $500,000 for cancer research at CSHL

    Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation gives $500,000 for cancer research at CSHL

    March 28, 2014

    Caroline Monti Saladino, President of the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation presented Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) President & CEO Dr. Bruce Stillman with a donation of $500,000 on March 25, 2014. Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. – Caroline Monti Saladino, President of the Don Monti Memorial Research Foundation presented Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) President...


    What makes a great scientist tick?

    What makes a great scientist tick?

    March 4, 2014

    LabDish blog Written by Skyler Palatnick Professor David Spector, a cancer biologist, is Director of Research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He and his lab team are explorers of the nucleus, the compartment in every cell that holds DNA, the genetic material. Dr. Spector has discovered new structures inside the nucleus, demonstrating that it is...


2018

How a sleeping cancer awakens and metastasizes
Chronic inflammation can reawaken dormant cancer cells and spur metastasis. It may be preventable.
            
Researchers discover new type of lung cancer
Researchers have discovered a new form of lung cancer.
            
Organoid profiling personalizes treatments for pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic organoids grown from patients’ tumors make precision medicine possible.
            
How pancreatic cancer spreads after surgery
Researchers have solved a mystery about how pancreatic cancer spreads.
            
Study reveals a way to make prostate cancer cells run out of energy and die
In lethal prostate cancer, the gene PTEN is often missing. In such cases, one effective treatment may be to administer drugs that inhibit mitochondria.
            

2017

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.
            

2016

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.

2015

Novel isoform of the tumor suppressor p53 associated with EMTs and metastasis
Camila dos Santos, as a postdoctoral researcher in the Hannon lab, identified the epigenetic changes that occur after pregnancy in the mouse mammary gland. The work offers insight into how pregnancy early in life may protect against breast cancer later.
            
An interactive tool for the analysis of single-cell copy-number variation
The Schatz lab, in collaboration with the Wigler and Atwal labs, has developed a new interactive, open-source analysis program called Gingko that can be used to reduce the uncertainty of single-cell analysis and visualize patterns in copy number mutations across populations of cells.
           
Research reveals how Brd4, known AML drug target, promotes leukemia maintenance
Brd4 is a validated drug target for AML with an inhibitor in clinical trials, yet its precise function has remained unclear. In this study, the Vakoc lab defined how the protein cooperates with hematopoietic transcription factors to create a chromatin signaling cascade that offers additional potential drug targets.
           
Discovery of cancer drug targets using high content CRISPR screening
The Vakoc lab collaborated with Justin Kinney to develop a new screening method using CRISPR-Cas9 technology. The method targets protein domains, rather than the traditional 5’ exon of the gene, to reveal cancer dependencies and identify new drug targets.
           
Tumor cells mimic blood vessels to help cancer spread
The Hannon lab developed a novel mouse model for breast cancer heterogeneity and used it to identify clones that were highly metastatic. The team found that these cells formed tube-like structures that mimic blood vessels, and identified two genes that drive vascular mimicry, which is likely promote growth of the primary tumor as well as metastasis.
            
DOCK4 mediates TGF-β’s pro-metastatic effects in lung cancer
The Van Aelst lab, in collaboration with Molly Hammell and Chris Vakoc, has found that TGF-β promotes metastasis at least in part by inducing the intracellular signaling molecule DOCK4 in lung adenocarcinoma cells. In human patients, elevated DOCK4 levels correlates with poor prognosis, making this pathway an attractive target for future drug discovery.
New signaling pathway in HER2-positive breast cancer cells suggests potential drug targets
The Tonks lab, in collaboration with Senthil Muthuswamy, has identified a novel signaling pathway, including at protein tyrosine phosphatase, that is required for highly aggressive HER2-positive tumor cells to grow. His work suggests two new drug targets for the disease, which might have a dramatic effect on the disease when inhibited in combination.
           
RNA splicing defects spur growth in breast cancer
SRSF1, a splicing factor, is a known oncogene and is overexpressed in many cancers. The Krainer lab has identified hundreds of splicing events that are regulated by SRSF1 and pinpointed at least one of the critical targets that helps to drive breast cancer.
           
New insights into how tumor suppressor PTEN turns off cell growth
The Trotman lab, in collaboration with the Pappin and Joshua-Tor labs, has found that the tumor suppressor PTEN uses microtubules to travel around the cell. The work challenges previous models for how the protein moves and provides new understanding that may be useful for targeted drug development.
           

2014

Novel isoform of the tumor suppressor p53 associated with EMTs and metastasis
The Sordella lab, in collaboration with the Krainer lab, identified a major new isoform of the tumor suppressor p53, called p53Ψ and showed that it induces expression of markers of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and enhances the motility and invasive capacity of cells.
           
Development of Organoid Models of Pancreatic Cancer
In collaboration with Hans Celvers at the University of Utrecht as well as Darryl Pappin and Molly Hammell, the Tuveson lab established the first organoid models of both normal and cancerous ductal pancreatic cells.
           
Evaluation of Circulating Tumor Cells
James Hicks and Michael Wigler have developed methods to perform copy number analysis and whole genome amplification from circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Their latest data for melanoma and prostate cancer patients demonstrate the potential for this type of analysis to guide personalized therapies, and to monitor tumor evolution in response to therapy.
           
Role of PTP1B in Ras-induced Senescence
The Tonks lab, in collaboration with the Pappin and Hannon labs found that premature senescence in H-RAS(V12)-transformed primary cells is a consequence of oxidative inactivation of PTP1B and inhibition of miRNA-mediated gene silencing.
           
DOCK4 in lung adenocarcinoma metastasis
The Van Aelst lab has identified the atypical Rac1 activator DOCK4 as a novel, key component of the TGF-β/Smad pathway that promotes lung adenocarcinoma cell extravasation and metastasis.
P53 Mutations Change Phosphatidylinositol Acyl Chain Composition
The Trotman, Pappin and Tuveson labs collaborated to develop a high-throughput mass spectrometry method that identifies and quantifies twenty different cellular phosphatidylinositol lipid acyl chains. The method enabled them to discover that the anchoring tails of lipid second messengers form an additional layer of PIP signaling in cancer that is linked to p53.
           
Role of Dicer in Maintaining Genome Stability
The Martienssen lab found that Dicer, a canonical RNAi protein, facilitates the release of transcription machinery from DNA during replication, thereby preventing collisions and protecting the genome from damage.
           
Identification of functional protein domains using CRISPR/Cas-9
The Vakoc lab collaborated with Justin Kinney to develop a high-performance CRISPR strategy for cancer drug target discovery. The method involves targeting CRISPR-Cas9 mutations to functional protein domains rather than 5’ exons of candidate genes.
           
Improved strategy for analysis of large biomedical datasets
Justin Kinney and Gurinder Atwal collaborated to show how a fundamental mathematical quantity called “mutual information” can be used to detect and quantify relationships between variables in large, noisy datasets.
           

2013

Complex interactions between a tumor and nearby normal cells are essential for tumorigenicty.
The Egeblad and Powers labs identified multiple fibroblast-secreted factors that promote tumorigenicity using parallel pathways.
          
Structural characterization of key step in DNA replication
In collaboration with scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Stillman lab established the architecture of an essential component of eukaryotic DNA replication.
         
High resolution structure of human Argonaute proteins bound to RNA
The Joshua-Tor and Hannon labs collaborated to solve the structure of two human Argonaute proteins in complex with physiologically relevant guide RNAs.
                                    
Clusters of cooperating tumor-suppressor genes are found in large regions deleted in common cancers
Michael Wigler, in collaboration with Alexander Krasnitz, James Hicks and Scott Powers, used a new computational method called CORES to propose an alternative to the “two-hit” hypothesis to explain how cancers arise.
                                    
Identification of a PTP1B inhibitor as potential treatment for breast cancer
Nick Tonks’ lab identified a novel allosteric inhibitor of PTP1B, a small molecule natural product, which is now being investigated as a treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer patients.
         
Novel mechanism for induction of cellular senescence 
Adrian Krainer’s lab identified a novel oncogene-induced senescence mechanism that implicates spliceosomal and ribosomal components in non-canonical roles as regulators of a pathway critical for maintenance of cellular homeostasis.
         
Discovery of potential treatment for AML
The Vakoc lab identified a role for Rnf20 in the pathogenesis of MLL-fusion leukemia.  As other small-molecule drugs targeting other E3 ligase proteins exist, RNF20 could be a new druggable target for AML therapy.
         
The noncoding RNA MALAT1 is a critical regulator of the metastasis phenotype of lung cancer cells
The Spector lab, along with Sven Diederichs lab at the University of Heidelberg, showed that the long noncoding RNA MALAT1 is not only a prognostic biomarker for metastasis but also plays an active role in disease progression.
Characterization of mechanism of the Chd5 Tumor Suppressor
The Mills lab found that the major tumor suppressor Chd5 binds to histone H3, offering insight into how this protein regulates a diverse set of cancers.
          

2012

Tumor suppressor activity for protein tyrosine phosphatase
The Tonks lab collaborated with the Muthuswamy lab to reveal that PTPRO acts as a tumor suppressor and can act as a prognostic marker for HER2-positive breast cancers.
Potential antisense methods for cancer therapy
The Krainer lab has developed antisense oligonucleotides as a potential therapeutic for cancer, targeting the pyruvate kinase M (PK-M2) gene which is crucial for aerobic glycolysis and proliferation in tumor cells.
         
Potential targeted therapy for breast cancer
The Stillman lab demonstrated that the protein DDX5 regulates DNA replication and may be a viable drug target for cancers with the DDX5 gene locus overexpressed or amplified.
Improved assembly method for single molecule sequencing data
Michael Schatz and colleagues devised a method to correct errors in single molecule sequences, by combining long PacBio reads with shorter read sequencing data for > 99.9 percent base-call accuracy.
         
Functional analysis of the protein phosphatase activity of PTEN
The Tonks and Van Aelst labs collaborated on functional analysis of the protein phosphatase activity of the tumor suppressor PTEN, finding that autoregulation is a critical component of PTEN control.
Single cell sequencing demonstrates how tumors progress
Michael Wigler, in collaboration with W. Richard McCombie, Alex Krasnitz and James Hicks, applied single cell sequencing to individual cells from a primary breast tumor, which revealed marked genetic heterogeneity within a single tumor, and shed new light on how a tumor evolves.
Contribution of the tumor environment to resistance to chemotherapy
The Egeblad lab demonstrated that the microenvironment contributes critically to drug response by regulating the permeability of blood vessels around the tumor, and affecting the local recruitment of inflammatory cells.
         

2011

Comprehensive genomic DNA analysis of mast cell leukemia uncovers clues that could improve therapy
Mona Spector, working with Ivan Iossifov, Scott Lowe and collaborators at Northwell Health, identified two novel mutations from a patient with mast cell leukemia, an extremely aggressive subtype of acute myeloid leukemia, offering new possibilities for diagnosis and treatment.
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Novel regulatory role of hydrogen sulfide in cell response to protein misfolding
The Tonks and Pappin labs collaborated to discover how the inactivation and reactivation of PTP1B serves as a novel mechanism to regulate protein synthesis machinery.
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Structure of RITS complex explains its role in heterochromatin assembly and gene silencing
The Joshua-Tor lab and colleagues determined how the three components of the RNA-Induced Initiation of Transcriptional gene Silencing (RITS) interact with each other, offering insight into the establishment of heterochromatin and gene silencing.
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Study reveals details of alternative splicing circuitry that promote cancer’s Warburg effect
The Krainer lab, along with colleagues from Harvard Medical School, showed that the splicing factor SRSF3 is a key determinant in regulating which isoform of pyruvate kinase is expressed in cancer cells, providing mechanistic insights into the complex regulation the Warburg effect.
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New role for RNAi during chromosomal replication
The Martienssen lab found that transcription and replication machinery are coordinated during DNA replication, demonstrating that an RNAi mediated mechanism removes RNA pol II from replicating DNA to allow the replication fork to progress.
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Gene bookmarking accelerates the kinetics of post-mitotic transcriptional re-activation
The Spector lab demonstrated that genes “bookmarked” by an acetylated histone (H4K5Ac) during interphase, which accelerates transcriptional activation after mitosis through recruitment of the bromodomain protein BRD4.
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Discovery of a new prostate tumor suppressor gene
The Trotman lab and colleagues showed that phosphatase PHLPP1 is a prostate tumor suppressor, and loss in combination with PTEN is associated with metastatic disease.
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Discovery of potential treatment for AML
The Vakoc lab, in collaboration with the Lowe lab, found that the protein Brd4 is essential for acute myeloid leukemia. The results establish small-molecule inhibition of Brd4 as a promising therapeutic strategy for the disease.
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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

Nick Tonks, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Cancer Center Shared Resources

The CSHL Cancer Center has nine shared resources that facilitate cancer research with state-of-the-art technology and integral services. With the support of world-class staff, these core facilities ensure that Cancer Center researchers have all the necessary tools to make breakthrough discoveries.

Animal Facility Animal and Genetic Engineering  Flow Cytometry
Animal Tissue Imaging Animal & Tissue Imaging   Functional Genomics
  Antibody & Phage Display   Mass Spectrometry
  Bioinformatics   Microscopy
  Next Generation Genomics

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.

Gurinder Atwal

Gurinder Atwal

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.

Semir Beyaz

Semir Beyaz

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.

Kenneth Chang

Kenneth Chang

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.

Camila dos Santos

Camila dos Santos

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.

Mikala Egeblad

Mikala Egeblad

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.

Douglas Fearon

Douglas Fearon

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.

Thomas Gingeras

Thomas Gingeras

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.

Christopher Hammell

Christopher Hammell

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.

Molly Hammell

Molly Hammell

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.

Tobias Janowitz

Tobias Janowitz

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.

Leemor Joshua-Tor

Leemor Joshua-Tor

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.

Justin Kinney

Justin Kinney

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.

Adrian R. Krainer

Adrian R. Krainer

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.

Alexander Krasnitz

Alexander Krasnitz

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.

Je H. Lee

Je H. Lee

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.

Dan Levy

Dan Levy

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.

Scott Lyons

Scott Lyons

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.

Robert Maki

Robert Maki

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.

Rob Martienssen

Rob Martienssen

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.

W. Richard McCombie

W. Richard McCombie

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.

Alea A. Mills

Alea A. Mills

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.

Darryl Pappin

Darryl Pappin

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.

Jon Preall

Jon Preall

Developing single-cell genomics technologies for applications related to cancer progression, immune surveillance, and discovery of rare novel cell types and transcriptional programs.

Jason Sheltzer

Jason Sheltzer

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.

Adam Siepel

Adam Siepel

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.

Raffaella Sordella

Raffaella Sordella

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.

David L. Spector

David L. Spector

The immense amount of DNA, RNA and proteins that contribute to our genetic programs are precisely organized inside the cell¹s nucleus. My group studies how nuclear organization impacts gene regulation, and how misregulation of non-coding RNAs contributes to human diseases such as cancer.

Arne Stenlund

Arne Stenlund

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.

Bruce Stillman

Bruce Stillman

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.

Nicholas Tonks

Nicholas Tonks

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.

Lloyd Trotman

Lloyd Trotman

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.

David Tuveson

David Tuveson

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.

Chris Vakoc

Chris Vakoc

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.

Linda Van Aelst

Linda Van Aelst

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.

James D. Watson

James D. Watson

Dr. James D. Watson, co-discoverer of DNA’s double helix, is a Nobel laureate, past president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and generous philanthropist.

Michael Wigler

Michael Wigler

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

Johannes Yeh

Johannes Yeh

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.

Lingbo Zhang

Lingbo Zhang

The research of my lab focuses on normal and malignant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, specifically early erythroid progenitors and leukemic cells. We utilize both CRISPR/Cas functional genomic and forward chemical genomic approaches to uncover critical genes and small chemical compounds regulating the self-renewal of normal and malignant hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. The ultimate goal of our research is to identify novel therapeutics for treatment-resistant hematopoietic malignancies including myelodysplastic syndrome and acute leukemia through targeting of novel self-renewal pathways and metabolic vulnerabilities.


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.