Alex Kentsis: Overview

Currently, our work is focused on refractory leukemias and solid tumors. We are interested in understanding the principles by which the genomes and proteomes of these tumors are disorganized, and in determining the molecular mechanisms of response and adaptation of tumor cells to targeted therapies.

To answer these questions, we are developing functional genomics and mass spectrometry proteomics approaches to decipher the mechanisms of genomic plasticity and adaptive signaling. Using protein engineering techniques, we rationally design and develop precisely targeted cancer therapeutic agents.

This research program leverages proteomics to develop improved biologic therapies, computational modeling to define oncogenic mechanisms, and faithful mouse models to determine biological functions and guide clinical trials of improved treatments, particularly for children with refractory cancers. Research in the lab is organized into three related areas:

  • Genomic plasticity and endogenous DNA transposases in solid tumors
  • Epigenetic signaling and its therapeutic blockade in acute leukemias
  • High-accuracy mass spectrometry for the discovery and drugging of cancer cell proteomes

Please visit for more information about our research.