Steven D. Leach

  • Preston T. and Virginia R. Kelsey Professor

  • Director of Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Dr. Leach’s laboratory has a long track record of research productivity in the field of pancreatic cancer biology and is known for establishing important links between pancreatic development and pancreatic cancer using both mouse and zebrafish model systems.  These include the initial discovery of abnormal Notch pathway activation as an important driver of pancreatic tumorigenesis, the identification of adult acinar cells effective “cells of origin” for pancreatic “ductal” neoplasia, the identification of a new hematopoietic-to-epithelial signaling axis required for PanIN initiation, and a detailed mapping of a unique immune neoepitope landscape associated with long term survival. Together with additional studies of pancreatic development and pancreatic epithelial plasticity, these findings have widened our view of early events in human pancreatic cancer.

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HB 7920

Selected Publications

  • Balanchandran VP, Luksza M, Zhao JN…Leach SD. Identification of unique neoantigen qualities in long term pancreatic cancer survivors.  Nature, 2017 Nov 8. doi: 10.1038/nature24462. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:29132146

  • McAllister F, Bailey JM, Alsina J, Nirschl C, Roeser JC, Lankapalli RH, Zhang H, Jaffee EM, Drake CG, Maitra A, Kolls JK, Sears CL, Pardoll DM, Leach SD.  Oncogenic Kras activates a hematopoietic-to-epithelial IL-17 signaling axis in preinvasive pancreatic neoplasia. Cancer Cell, 2014, 12;25(5):621-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.03.014.

  • Rhim, AD, Mirek ET, Aiello NM, Maitra, A, Bailey JM, McAllister F, Reichert M, Beatty GL, Rustgi, AK, Vonderheide RH, Leach SD, Stanger, BZ. EMT and Dissemination Precede Pancreatic Tumor Formation.  Cell 148: 349-361; doi 10.1016/j.cell.20111.025

  • Miyamoto Y, Maitra A, Ghosh B, Zechner U, Argani P, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Sriuranpong V, Meszoely IM, Wolfe MS, Hruban RH, Ball DW, Schmid RM, Leach SD.  Notch mediates TGFa-induced changes in epithelial differentiation during pancreatic tumorigenesis.  Cancer Cell 3:565-576, 2003 Jun;3(6):565-76. PMID: 12842085