The Richard White Lab

Zebrafish models of cancer evolution and metastasis

Cancers evolve in both time and space, and depend upon interactions between the tumor cells themselves and the surrounding tumor microenvironment. Understanding how these interactions promote tumor progression and metastasis requires models which faithfully recapitulate the complex in vivo environment of the tumor. Our laboratory utilizes the zebrafish to model melanoma, building upon its remarkable strengths in genetic manipulation and in vivo imaging to understand that factors that promote metastatic success. 


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Pictured: Richard White

Richard White, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor

Research Focus

Cancer biologist and oncologist Richard White studies evolutionary mechanisms that promote tumor progression and metastasis, using the zebrafish as a model system.


  • Albany Medical College: M.D., Ph.D.
  • Yale New Haven Hospital: Internal Medicine Residency & Chief Residency
  • Dana Farber Cancer Institute & Massachusetts General Hospital: Medical Oncology Fellowship
  • Children’s Hospital Boston & Harvard Medical School: Postdoctoral Fellowship

Research Projects

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  • Kansler ER, Verma A, Langdon E, Simon-Vermot T, Yin A, Lee W, Attiyeh M, Elemento O, White RM. Cross-species oncogenomics identifies core mechanisms of melanoma evolution. In press, 2017
  • Kim IS, Heilmann S, Kansler ER, Zhang Y, Zimmer M, Ratnakumar K, Bowman RL, Simon-Vermot T, Fennell M, Garippa R, Lu L, Lee W, Hollmann, Xavier JB, White RM. Microenvironment-derived factors driving metastatic plasticity in melanoma. In press, 2017.
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Selected Achievements

  • NIH Directors New Innovator Award
  • Young Mentor Award, Melanoma Research Alliance
  • Young Investigator Award, American Association for Cancer Research/American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Young Mentor Award, Harvard Medical School
  • Outstanding Educator Award, Yale School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine