Cancer Faculty

Yashi Ahmed, M.D., Ph.D.


Yashi Ahmed

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 613 Vail

Phone: 603-646-5240

The evolutionarily conserved Wnt signal transduction pathway directs cell proliferation and differentiation during animal development and tissue homeostasis. Despite the fact that deregulation of Wnt signaling underlies numerous developmental disorders and cancers, including nearly all colorectal cancers, many of these mechanisms remain poorly understood. The long-term goal of research in the Ahmed Lab is to elucidate the mechanisms that activate Wnt signaling during animal development using a Drosophila model and to use this knowledge to identify control points in the pathway susceptible to therapeutic targeting in Wnt-driven diseases.

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Giovanni Bosco, Ph.D.


Giovanni Bosco

Oscar M. Cohn Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 609A Vail

Phone: 646-5241

We are interested in understanding how nuclear architecture, chromosome morphology and chromatin structure are modified in response to developmental cues and environmental factors. We are also interested in elucidating the molecular mechanisms through which these modifications function and effect specialized cellular processes.

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Zi Chen, Ph.D.


Z. Chen
Assistant Professor of Engineering, and Biological Sciences

Office: MacLean 302

Phone: 603-646-6475

Dr. Chen's research interests range from biomechanics and mechanobiology to solid mechanics and material science, covering such diverse topics as mechanics of morphogenesis in biological systems, cell biomechanics, fast motion of plants, mechanics of DNA structures, mechanical instabilities of materials, energy harvesting, stretchable electronics, biomimetic materials/devices, nanofabrication, and modeling of 2D materials.

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Brock Christensen

Professor of Epidemiology, and Molecular Systems Biology

Office:  660 Williamson Building

Phone:  603-650-1827

Dr. Christensen's research is focused on combining advances in molecular biology, genomics and bioinformatics with the powerful techniques of modern epidemiology and statistics to characterize epigenetic states in human health and disease. His interests include understanding relationships between epigenetic states and exposures in the context of disease susceptibility, occurrence, and progression. By investigating complex interactions between the environment and somatic epigenetic alterations in target tissues, as well as epigenetic susceptibility traits in surrogate tissues, he hopes to develop their potential translational utility for diagnostic, prognostic, and/or treatment purposes.


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Michael D. Cole, Ph.D.


Michael Cole

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

633 Rubin

Phone: 603-653-9975 

Our studies that focus on the genetic events involved in the induction of cancer provide an opportunity to define the molecular basis of the disease and to study the regulation and function of important eukaryotic genes that control cell proliferation.

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Duane A. Compton, Ph.D.


Duane Compton

Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Dean of Geisel School of Medicine

Office: 413 Remsen

Phone: 603-646-5190

We investigate the mechanisms that regulate accurate chromosome segregation in human cells and the causes of chromosomal instability in tumors.

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Steven N. Fiering, Ph.D.


Steven N. Fiering

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 622 Rubin

Phone: 603-646-5365

My lab is working on novel approaches to detection and treatment of cancer. These approaches center on developing antitumor immune responses using nanoparticles and microorganisms. We are also generating novel mouse models of cancer and other diseases using genetically engineering mice.

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Arti Gaur

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Office:  6th Floor of Rubin

Phone:  603-653-9940

Dr. Gaur's laboratory research can be broadly divided into the following three areas:

Basic Research: Understanding the critical contribution of microRNAs and their targets to various pathologies of the nervous system.

Translational Research: Running clinical trials to establish the role of microRNAs as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic agents in gliomas as well as biomarkers of treatment efficacy and toxicity in glioma patients.

Biomedical Engineering: Developing innovative, in vivo wireless, nano scale devices for early detection of disease as well as regulated and targeted drug delivery.

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Scott A. Gerber, Ph.D.


Scott Gerber

Kenneth E. and Carol L. Weg Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology, and Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Associate Director of QBS Program

Office: 734 Rubin

Phone: 603-653-3679 

Research in the Gerber Lab is focused on developing and using modernproteomics methods to understand the mechanisms by which dysregulated mitotic kinases, such as Aurora kinase A, contribute to the onset and maintenance of cancers.

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Matthew Havrda

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office:   751 Rubin

Phone:   653-9933

Dr. Havrda lab is interested in characterizing neurodegenerative and neoplastic disorders of the central nervous system. Work in the laboratory is focused on two main themes: The characterization of inflammasomes and pyroptotic processes impacting the health of the aging brain and the study of how the neuronal microenvironment impacts the initiation and progress of gliomas in adults and children.

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Claudia Jakubzick, Ph.D.


Claudia Jakubzick

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Office:  628W Borwell

Phone:  603-646-5376

My lab primarily focuses on understanding the functional role of mononuclear phagocytes (i.e., macrophages, monocytes, and dendritic cells) in homeostasis and inflammation. Current projects include 1- The regulation of the adaptive immune response by dendritic cells and monocytes, 2- The role of interstitial macrophages during inflammation, 3- The role of B cells and mononuclear phagocytes in transplant rejection and early-stage cancer recognition, and 4- Defining the human and mouse mononuclear phagocyte counterparts in the lung, skin and draining lymph nodes.




Arminja N. Kettenbach, Ph.D.


Arminja Kettenbach

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office: 763 Rubin 
Phone: 603-653-9067 

Research in the lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which phosphatases contribute to phosphorylation-dependent signal transduction in mitosis. We use cell biological, biochemical, and proteomics approaches to decipher the connectivity and complexity of these signaling events in normal and cancer cells. 

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Bonnie Lau

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, NCCC

Office:  606 Rubin

Phone:  603-650-5541


The Lau Laboratory investigates pathways that can be modulated to prevent malignant transformation or treat cancers that arise in patients with cancer predisposition syndromes. One focus of the lab is to study premalignant and malignant tissue from patients with DNA damage repair defects  (e.g. Fanconi Anemia) and determine whether the mutations in these patients result in new protein coding sequences, called neoantigens, which can be recognized as "foreign" by the patient's immune system.  Certain neoantigen profiles can predict response to therapies that work by unleashing the patient's own immune system to attack their tumor (immunotherapies).  We are using gene editing as well as mouse models to study these cancer predisposition syndromes and how their tumors respond to immunotherapies.

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Steven D. Leach, M.D.


Steven Leach

Director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer

Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: DH, Rubin Building, Room 801

Phone: 603-653-3611 

The Leach lab studies pancreatic developmental, epithelial and tumor biology, using mouse, zebrafish and human model sytems. 

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Aaron McKenna, Ph.D.


Aaron McKenna

Aaron McKenna, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office:  Williamson Translational Building, Room 658

Phone:  603-650-1866

My lab is interested in how cells grow and divide to form complex structures, such as the transformation from the zygote to an adult human or from a transformed cell into a tumor mass. To study these processes, we develop technologies to trace pattern of cell divisions which recovers the lineage of each cell. This information can be combined with other measures of cell state such as single-cell transcriptomic data to develop a rich picture of how choices are made in development and how this process is dysregulated in diseases such as cancer.

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Dale F. Mierke, Ph.D.


Dale Mierke

Professor of Chemistry, and Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Office: 202 Burke

Phone: 603-646-1154

Develop molecular inhibitors of specific protein-protein interactions which may find use as physiological tools or eventual therapeutic agents, using the structural features as determined from many experimental (mainly NMR) and computational techniques.

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Todd Miller

Associate Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office:  604 Rubin

Phone:  603-653-9284


Research in the Miller Laboratory focuses on the identification of cancer signaling pathways and the development of targeted therapies for breast and other cancers. Our work spans the spectrum of basic cancer biology, through translational studies in mouse models and human tissues, and engages with Phase 1/2 clinical trials. We use an array of methods and technologies in these endeavors, including mammalian tissue culture, gene and protein expression and activation profiling, chromatin immunoprecipitation, massively parallel DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, mouse models, and live animal imaging.


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Diwakar Pattabiraman Ph.D.


Diwakar Pattabiraman

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology, and Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Office: Rubin 602

Phone: 603-653-9957 

Our research focuses on understanding the genetic, epigenetic, signaling and cell biological aspects of tumor progression and metastasis in carcinomas. We study the role of transitions in epithelial and mesenchymal states within carcinomas as a model of understanding intratumoral heterogeneity to develop novel ways of overcoming metastatic progression and therapy resistance.

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Patricia A. Pioli, Ph.D. MCB'01


Patricia Pioli

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Office: 644E Borwell Building

Phone: 603-646-5385

Research in our laboratory is focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms that regulate macrophage activation in the context of both autoimmunity and cancer. Taking advantage of macrophage plasticity, we then use this information to determine how macrophage activation can be altered for maximal therapeutic benefit.


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Pamela Rosato, Ph.D., MCB'15



Pamela Rosato

Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology

Office:  732 Rubin Building


Our research focuses on understanding the function and regulation of virus-specific resident memory T cells (TRM). Using mouse and human tissue explant models, we seek to develop a foundational understanding of TRMbiology in distinct tissues to be able to contextualize the role of TRMin pathologic and protective settings. Our current focuses are on the functions of anti-viral TRMin the brain, repurposing virus-specific TRMas a brain tumor immunotherapy, and investigating the role of TRMwithin tumors during oncolytic viral therapy.

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Kimberley Samkoe, Ph.D.

Kimberley Samkoe, Ph.D.


Kimberley Samkoe

Associate Professor of Surgery, and Thayer School of Engineering

Office:   Borwell 536E

Phone:   650-7618

Brief research description: My research takes a biological-systems-engineering approach to medical imaging by studying how microscopic molecular information can be interpreted at a macro-scale. My current research interests involve quantitative assessment of in vivo protein expression and signaling using fluorescence molecular imaging. These methodologies have applications in cancer for improving tumor identification, surgical resection, and patient-specific therapeutic monitoring.


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Yolanda Sanchez, Ph.D.


Associate Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Associate Director for Basic Sciences, Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Office:  Vail 501

Phone:  603-650-1669

Checkpoint signaling events triggered during the response to DNA damage or replication interference, how they regulate cell cycle progression, DNA repair and cell death.  The role of checkpoints in the etiology of cancer and as drug targets for therapeutic enhancers of genotoxic cancer drugs.

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Rahul Sarpeshkar, Ph.D.


Rahul Sarpeshkar

Thomas E Kurtz Professor, Professor of Engineering, Microbiology and Immunology, Physics, Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 507A Vail

Phone: 603-646-6821

Synthetic analog and digital biological circuits in electri-cigenic and other microbes; Applications of synthetic and systems biology to immunology, infectious disease, and cancer; Precision measurement, electronic circuit modeling, and feedback control of living cells at the fundamental limits set by physics.

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Mary Jo Turk, Ph.D.


Mary Jo Turk

O. Ross McIntyre, M.D. Endowed Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Co-Director, Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy Program

Office: 732 Rubin

Phone: 603-646-5397

Our research focuses on understanding how the immune system responds to cancer, with an emphasis on T cell memory. We are also interested in learning how autoimmunity influences anti-tumor immunity.

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Xiaofeng Wang, Ph.D.


Xiaofeng Wang

Assistant Professor of Molecular and Systems Biology

Office: 632 Rubin

Phone:  603-653-9974

Our work focuses on cancer epigenetics. We are particularly interested in studying a family of chromatin remodeling complexes, which are frequently mutated in a variety of human cancers. Our work is aimed to understand how these mutations cause cancer, focusing on the regulation of chromatin structure dynamics (epigenomics) and chromatin remodeler protein complex assembly, as well as using genetic and chemical screens to identify potential therapeutic targets in human cancers. 

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