Molecular Pharmacology Program
The Karuna Ganesh Lab
Metastasis causes >90% of cancer death. The emergence, persistence, therapy resistance and lethality of metastatic cancer is driven by dynamic and tenacious metastasis stem cells (MetScs). The Ganesh lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the emergence of regenerative plasticity during metastasis. We employ cutting edge patient-derived organoid and mouse models of colorectal cancer, transcriptomic, epigenomic and single cell approaches, and mechanistic studies to: (1) elucidate how tumor invasion and dissemination induce phenotypic plasticity enabling the emergence of pro-metastatic regenerative traits (2) dissect the role of stromal cells, including immune cells, in promoting and constraining MetSC plasticity (3) define key signaling nodes that drive MetSC plasticity and develop therapeutic strategies for targeting such vulnerabilities and (4) collaborate with clinicians to understand mechanisms of therapy resistance in metastasis.
Massagué J, Ganesh K. Metastasis-Initiating Cells and Ecosystems. Cancer Discov. 2021 Apr;11(4):971-994. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-21-0010. PMCID: PMC8030695.
Ganesh K. The joys and challenges of being a physician-scientist. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Mar 24:1. doi: 10.1038/s41575-021-00443-3. Epub ahead of print. PMCID: PMC7988383.
Segal NH, Cercek A, Ku G, Wu AJ, Rimner A, Khalil DN, Reidy-Lagunes D, Cuaron J, Yang TJ, Weiser MR, Romesser PB, Stadler ZK, Varghese AM, Ganesh K, Yaeger R, Connell LC, Faleck D, Abou-Alfa GK, Mcauliffe KC, Vaiskauskas P, Solter ML, Ogle M, Adamow MJ, Holland A, Vedantam P, Wong P, Merghoub T, Vakiani E, Hollmann TJ, Juluru K, Chou JF, Capanu M, Erinjeri J, Solomon S, Yamada Y, Kemeny N, Crane CH, Saltz LB. Phase II Single-arm Study of Durvalumab and Tremelimumab with Concurrent Radiotherapy in Patients with Mismatch Repair-proficient Metastatic Colorectal Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Apr 15;27(8):2200-2208. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2474. Epub 2021 Jan 27.
Ganesh K, Massagué J. Targeting metastatic cancer. Nat Med. 2021 Jan;27(1):34-44. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-01195-4. Epub 2021 Jan 13. PMCID: PMC7895475.
Latham A, Shia J, Patel Z, Reidy-Lagunes DL, Segal NH, Yaeger R, Ganesh K, Connell L, Kemeny NE, Kelsen DP, Hechtman JF, Nash GM, Paty PB, Zehir A, Tkachuk KA, Sheikh R, Markowitz AJ, Mandelker D, Offit K, Berger MF, Cercek A, Garcia- Aguilar J, Saltz LB, Weiser MR, Stadler ZK. Characterization and Clinical Outcomes of DNA Mismatch Repair-deficient Small Bowel Adenocarcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2021 Mar 1;27(5):1429-1437. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2892. Epub 2020 Nov 16. PMCID: PMC7925361.
Karuna Ganesh, MD, PhD
- Physician-scientist Karuna Ganesh studies stem cell plasticity in metastasis, therapy resistance and tissue regeneration.
- MD, PhD, University of Cambridge (UK)
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- PhD in Molecular and Genetics biology, Tsinghua University, China, 2018
- BS in life science, Xiamen University, China, 2012
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- MSc Translational Medical Research, University of Heidelberg, Germany 2019
- BTech Biotechnology, NIT Warangal, India 2018
- PhD in Biochemistry at University of Naples Federico II
- Post Doc University of Alberta/Canada
- Post Doc Columbia University
- Josie Robertson Investigator (2019-2024)
- Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award (2019)
- Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists (2019)
- NIH/NCI K08 Clinician Scientist Career Development Award (2018)
- Investigator, Stand Up to Cancer Colorectal Cancer Dream Team (2017)
- American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017)
- Shulamit Katzman Endowed Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017)
- Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award (2016)
- AACR Basic Cancer Research Fellowship (2016)
- MRC-LMB PhD Scholarship (2006)
- Gates Cambridge Scholarship (2004)
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Karuna Ganesh discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
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