In June 2019, we bid a farewell to one of our Research Techs, Jessica Hampton. Jessica will be leaving to attend Med school at Stanford University. The Massague Lab wishes her well in all of her future endeavors
March - Paper published
During metastasis, cancer cells spread to distant organs where they divide to form microscopic clusters, or micrometastases, that can grow into new tumors. Identification of genes activated in micrometastases can reveal therapeutic targets that can kill cancer cells before they grow into larger tumors that are harder to treat. Basnet et al. have developed a new tool called Flura-seq that documents which genes are active in small clusters of cells in the tissues of living animals. Application of Flura-seq revealed that lung and brain micrometastases have different patterns of gene activity. In particular, the authors found that cancer cells in the lungs turn on specific sets of antioxidant genes that counteract oxidative stress observed in cancer cells residing in the lungs, but not in the brain, that ultimately promote survival of metastatic cancer cells in the lungs during early stages of metastasis.
December 2018 - Lab fun
The lab upped its culinary game with a cooking class at Taste Buds Kitchen in Midtown Manhattan. We learned how to make traditional Asian dumplings and sushi.
August 2018 - Staff note
This month we said farewell to research tech Saloni Agrawal and grad student Yun-Han (Hannah) Huang. Both will attend medical school in the fall. Fortunately, they won’t be going far. Saloni will be at Mount Sinai. Hannah, who is part of the Tri-I MD/PhD Program, will be just across the street, at Weill Cornell. We thank them for their hard work, and wish them all the best with their studies!
July 2018 - Paper published
Ekrem Er was first author on “Pericyte-like spreading by disseminated cancer cells activates YAP and MRTF for metastatic colonization,” published in Nature Cell Biology. As part of this work, our team identified a molecule that metastasis-initiating cancer cells need in order to start growing in a new location. If we deprive the cells of this molecule, they can still infiltrate distant organs, but they fail to grow into a new tumor.
July 2018 - Thesis defense
Congratulations to Yun-Han (Hannah) Huang on her successful thesis defense. The title of her thesis was ““Escape form TGFβ Tumor Suppression in Pancreatic Cancer.” In investigating the molecular mechanism by which TGF-beta is tumor suppressive, her thesis identifies a transcriptional network that is important for the development of pancreatic cancer and proposes a new potential therapeutic strategy for this cancer type.
June 2018 - Staff note
We’re very pleased to welcome research tech George Lampe to the lab! He is a recent graduate of Middlebury College, in Vermont. Previously, he spent time working at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and CU Anschutz, in Denver. He has a passion for genetics, and hopes to attend graduate school in the near future.
June 2018 - Staff note
We’re pleased to announce that we have a new lab member joining us this month, postdoctoral fellow Fei Chen. Fei completed his PhD training in epigenetics, chromatin, and transcription at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. His work has provided novel mechanistic insights into basic transcription regulation in mammals. Welcome!
May 2018 - Birth Announcement
Congrats to Ashley Laughney on the birth of her daughter, Sophia Violette. We wish you all the best!
April 2018 - Paper published
Karuna Ganesh and Joan Massagué authored the review “TGF- β Inhibition and immunotherapy: checkmate”, published in Immunity. In two papers published in Nature, genetic or pharmacological inhibition of TGF-beta signaling induces T cell infiltration into immunologically ‘cold’ tumors, sensitizing such tumors to PD1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint therapy. These results suggest a promising strategy for expanding the efficacy of immunotherapy to currently immune insensitive tumors.
April 2018 - Lab fun!
We celebrated Joan Massagué’s birthday in April with a lab favorite: cake in the conference room! Watch the video to see how we celebrated another of Joan’s birthdays.
2017 News and Events
December 2017 - Lab fun!
The lab got creative for this year’s holiday party. We chose to paint “Son of Man” by René Magritte. Of the apple obscuring the man’s face, Magritte once said, “Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” Not a bad metaphor for doing science either!
December 2017 - Thesis defense
Congratulations to Dan Macalinao on his successful thesis defense. The title of his thesis was “Mechanisms of Metastatic Latency and Outgrowth in HER2+ Breast Cancer.”
December 2017 - Paper published
Qiong Wang was published in Nature Communications, on the paper “Structural basis for genome wide recognition of 5-bp GC motifs by SMAD transcription factors.”
December 2017 - Staff note
Congratulations to former lab member and postdoctoral fellow Charles David. He has accepted an assistant professorship at Tsinghua University, in Beijing.
October 2017 - Birth announcements
Two of our lab members welcomed beautiful new babies into the world. In August, we got to meet Ekrem Er’s daughter, Adalet. In October, we were introduced to Jie Su’s son, Charles. Congratulations to the happy families!
July 2017 - Staff note
Well done, Adrienne! Adrienne Boire, MD-PhD Fellow, is starting her own lab in MSK’s Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program. Adrienne is also a neuro-oncologist as well as a superb scientist. The focus of her lab is central nervous system metastasis.
March 2017 - Paper published
Adrienne Boire, MD-PhD Fellow, was published as first author in Cell on the paper “Complement component 3 Adapts the Cerebrospinal Fluid for Leptomenigeal Metastasis.”
January 2017 - Paper published
Congrats to Qiong Wang for being first author on “The p53 Family coordinates Wnt and Nodal Inputs in Mesendodermal Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells,” published in Stem Cell Stem.