University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Steven J. Altschuler, PhD

Steven J. Altschuler, PhD

Professor, Dept. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Experimental Therapeutics

Research Summary

Over the past decade, my laboratory, in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Lani Wu, has pioneered multiple approaches for quantifying and interpreting cancer heterogeneity in normal and diseased tissues. Traditionally, this phenotypic heterogeneity, whether arising from microenvironment, epigenetic or genetic sources, has been viewed as an impediment to understanding and treating cancer. We were therefore very surprised by our ability to identify biological and clinical information hidden within patterns of heterogeneity Our cancer research program is focused on: 1) accelerating the path of early cancer drug discovery; 2) identifying clinically important information from cellular and tissue heterogeneity; and 3) understanding heterogeneity arising from drug resistance.

Education

University of Pennsylvania, BA, 1985, Mathematics
University of California, San Diego, MA, 1986, Mathematics
University of California, San Diego, PhD, 1990, Mathematics (Advisor: Richard Hamilton)


Professional Experience

  • 1990-1991
    Research Fellow, University of Minnesota, Institute for Mathematics and its Applications Minneapolis, MN.
  • 1991-1992
    Research Associate, Australian National University, Centre for Mathematics and its Applications, Canberra, Australia.
  • 1992-1993
    Research Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.
  • 1993-1994
    Instructor, Mathematics Department, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
  • 1994-2000
    Group Manager and Senior Researcher, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA.
  • 2001-2005
    Fellow, Bauer Center for Genomics Research, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
  • 2000-2001
    Director Research, Informatics, Rosetta Inpharmatics, Kirkland, WA.
  • 2005-2009
    Assistant Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
  • 2005-2014
    Associate Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.
  • 2014-present
    Professor, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Honors & Awards

  • 1985
    B.A. Magna Cum Laude, Departmental Honors
  • 1989
    Alfred P. Sloan Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
  • 1997
    AMS Profiled Industrial Mathematician of the Month
  • 2005
    UTSW endowed scholar: W. W. Caruth, Jr. Scholar in Biomedical Research
  • 2008
    Rita Allen Foundation Scholar: Milton E. Cassel Scholar

Selected Publications

  1. Rajaram S, Heinrich LE, Gordan JD, Avva J, Bonness KM, Witkiewicz AK, Malter JS, Atreya CE, Warren RS, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ. Sampling strategies to capture single-cell heterogeneity. Nat Methods. 2017 Sep 04.
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  2. Deb D, Rajaram S, Larsen JE, Dospoy PD, Marullo R, Li LS, Avila K, Xue F, Cerchietti L, Minna JD, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF. Combination Therapy Targeting BCL6 and Phospho-STAT3 Defeats Intratumor Heterogeneity in a Subset of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers. Cancer Res. 2017 Jun 01; 77(11):3070-3081.
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  3. Zhang ER, Liu S, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ, Cobb MH. Chemoattractant concentration-dependent tuning of ERK signaling dynamics in migrating neutrophils. Sci Signal. 2016 Dec 13; 9(458):ra122.
    View on PubMed
  4. Coster AD, Thorne CA, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ. Examining Crosstalk among Transforming Growth Factor ß, Bone Morphogenetic Protein, and Wnt Pathways. J Biol Chem. 2017 Jan 06; 292(1):244-250.
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  5. Deng Y, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF. PHOCOS: inferring multi-feature phenotypic crosstalk networks. Bioinformatics. 2016 Jun 15; 32(12):i44-i51.
    View on PubMed
  6. Diz-Muñoz A, Thurley K, Chintamen S, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF, Fletcher DA, Weiner OD. Membrane Tension Acts Through PLD2 and mTORC2 to Limit Actin Network Assembly During Neutrophil Migration. PLoS Biol. 2016 Jun; 14(6):e1002474.
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  7. Ramirez M, Rajaram S, Steininger RJ, Osipchuk D, Roth MA, Morinishi LS, Evans L, Ji W, Hsu CH, Thurley K, Wei S, Zhou A, Koduru PR, Posner BA, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ. Diverse drug-resistance mechanisms can emerge from drug-tolerant cancer persister cells. Nat Commun. 2016 Feb 19; 7:10690.
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  8. Langen M, Agi E, Altschuler DJ, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ, Hiesinger PR. The Developmental Rules of Neural Superposition in Drosophila. Cell. 2015 Jul 02; 162(1):120-33.
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  9. Wu J, Pipathsouk A, Keizer-Gunnink A, Fusetti F, Alkema W, Liu S, Altschuler S, Wu L, Kortholt A, Weiner OD. Homer3 regulates the establishment of neutrophil polarity. Mol Biol Cell. 2015 May 01; 26(9):1629-39.
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  10. Steininger RJ, Rajaram S, Girard L, Minna JD, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ. On comparing heterogeneity across biomarkers. Cytometry A. 2015 Jun; 87(6):558-67.
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  11. Agi E, Langen M, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF, Zimmermann T, Hiesinger PR. The evolution and development of neural superposition. J Neurogenet. 2014 Sep-Dec; 28(3-4):216-32.
    View on PubMed
  12. Coster AD, Wichaidit C, Rajaram S, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF. A simple image correction method for high-throughput microscopy. Nat Methods. 2014 Jun; 11(6):602.
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  13. Pavie B, Rajaram S, Ouyang A, Altschuler JM, Steininger RJ, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ. Rapid analysis and exploration of fluorescence microscopy images. J Vis Exp. 2014 Mar 19; (85).
    View on PubMed
  14. Wang Y, Ku CJ, Zhang ER, Artyukhin AB, Weiner OD, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ. Identifying network motifs that buffer front-to-back signaling in polarized neutrophils. Cell Rep. 2013 May 30; 3(5):1607-16.
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  15. Zhang ER, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ. Envisioning migration: mathematics in both experimental analysis and modeling of cell behavior. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2013 Oct; 25(5):538-42.
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  16. Altschuler D.J., Altschuler S.J., Angenent S.B., Wu L.F.. The Zoo of Solitons for Curve Shortening in Rn. Nonlinearity. 2013; 26(5):1189-1226.
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  17. Rajaram S, Pavie B, Hac NE, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF. SimuCell: a flexible framework for creating synthetic microscopy images. Nat Methods. 2012 Jun 28; 9(7):634-5.
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  18. Rajaram S, Pavie B, Wu LF, Altschuler SJ. PhenoRipper: software for rapidly profiling microscopy images. Nat Methods. 2012 Jun 28; 9(7):635-7.
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  19. Ku CJ, Wang Y, Weiner OD, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF. Network crosstalk dynamically changes during neutrophil polarization. Cell. 2012 May 25; 149(5):1073-83.
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  20. Orchard RC, Kittisopikul M, Altschuler SJ, Wu LF, Süel GM, Alto NM. Identification of F-actin as the dynamic hub in a microbial-induced GTPase polarity circuit. Cell. 2012 Feb 17; 148(4):803-15.
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