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Martin McMahon, PhD


Director of Professional Education; and Co-Leader, Developmental Therapeutics Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Efim Guzik Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Biology, UCSF


Phone: (415) 502-5829 (voice)
Box 0128, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0128

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Additional Websites


University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, B.Sc., 1981, Biochemistry
University of London, London, England, Ph.D., 1985, Biochemistry

Professional Experience

  • 1989-1991
    Assistant Specialist, Hooper Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, CA.
  • 1991-1997
    Staff Scientist, Dept of Cell Signaling, DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA
  • 1997-1998
    Senior Staff Scientist, Dept. of Cell Signaling, DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA
  • 1998
    Associate Professor, University of California San Francisco, CA
  • 2001-present
    Efim Guzik Distinguished Professor of Cancer Biology, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2001-2007
    Co-Director, UCSF Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
  • 2004-2006
    Co-Leader, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center Program in Liver Cancer
  • 2006-present
    Professor-In-Residence, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2007-2011
    Leader, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Program in Pancreas Cancer
  • 2007-present
    Director of Professional Education, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2011-present
    Co-Leader, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Program in Developmental Therapeutics

Honors & Awards

  • 1977-1981
    Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Undergraduate Educational Scholarship
  • 1981
    J. N. Davidson Memorial Prize in Biochemistry
  • 1981-1985
    ICI Graduate Student Bursary and Postgraduate Educational Scholarship
  • 1985-1987
    Imperial Cancer Research Fund Postdoctoral Traveling Fellowship
  • 1988-1990
    American Cancer Society (California Division) Senior Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2001
    NIH/NCI Pancreatic Cancer Progress Review Group (Panc CA PRG)
  • 2001
    Served on the National Cancer Legislative Action Committee
  • 2006
    Diana Ashby Award of the Melanoma Research Foundation
  • 2009-present
    Charter member of NIH BMCT study section

Selected Publications

  1. Marsh Durban V, Deuker MM, Bosenberg MW, Phillips W, McMahon M. Differential AKT dependency displayed by mouse models of BRAFV600E-initiated melanoma. J Clin Invest. 2013 Dec 2; 123(12):5104-18.
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  2. Kamata T, Dankort D, Kang J, Giblett S, Pritchard CA, McMahon M, Leavitt AD. Hematopoietic Expression of Oncogenic BRAF Promotes Aberrant Growth of Monocyte-Lineage Cells Resistant to PLX4720. Mol Cancer Res. 2013 Dec; 11(12):1530-41.
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  3. Yuan P, Ito K, Perez-Lorenzo R, Del Guzzo C, Lee JH, Shen CH, Bosenberg MW, McMahon M, Cantley LC, Zheng B. Phenformin enhances the therapeutic benefit of BRAFV600E inhibition in melanoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 5; 110(45):18226-31.
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  4. Trejo CL, Green S, Marsh V, Collisson EA, Iezza G, Phillips WA, McMahon M. Mutationally Activated PIK3CAH1047R Cooperates with BRAFV600E to Promote Lung Cancer Progression. Cancer Res. 2013 Nov 1; 73(21):6448-61.
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  5. Strohecker AM, Guo JY, Karsli-Uzunbas G, Price SM, Chen GJ, Mathew R, McMahon M, White E. Autophagy Sustains Mitochondrial Glutamine Metabolism and Growth of BrafV600E-Driven Lung Tumors. Cancer Discov. 2013 Nov; 3(11):1272-85.
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  6. Das Thakur M, Salangsang F, Landman AS, Sellers WR, Pryer NK, Levesque MP, Dummer R, McMahon M, Stuart DD. Modelling vemurafenib resistance in melanoma reveals a strategy to forestall drug resistance. Nature. 2013 Feb 14; 494(7436):251-5.
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  7. Maertens O, Johnson B, Hollstein P, Frederick DT, Cooper ZA, Messiaen L, Bronson RT, McMahon M, Granter S, Flaherty K, Wargo JA, Marais R, Cichowski K. Elucidating distinct roles for NF1 in melanomagenesis. Cancer Discov. 2013 Mar; 3(3):338-49.
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  8. Mito JK, Min HD, Ma Y, Carter JE, Brigman BE, Dodd L, Dankort D, McMahon M, Kirsch DG. Oncogene-dependent control of miRNA biogenesis and metastatic progression in a model of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma. J Pathol. 2013 Jan; 229(1):132-40.
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  9. Mitra D, Luo X, Morgan A, Wang J, Hoang MP, Lo J, Guerrero CR, Lennerz JK, Mihm MC, Wargo JA, Robinson KC, Devi SP, Vanover JC, D'Orazio JA, McMahon M, Bosenberg MW, Haigis KM, Haber DA, Wang Y, Fisher DE. An ultraviolet-radiation-independent pathway to melanoma carcinogenesis in the red hair/fair skin background. Nature. 2012 Nov 15; 491(7424):449-53.
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  10. Andreadi C, Cheung LK, Giblett S, Patel B, Jin H, Mercer K, Kamata T, Lee P, Williams A, McMahon M, Marais R, Pritchard C. The intermediate-activity (L597V)BRAF mutant acts as an epistatic modifier of oncogenic RAS by enhancing signaling through the RAF/MEK/ERK pathway. Genes Dev. 2012 Sep 1; 26(17):1945-58.
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  11. Gysin S, Paquette J, McMahon M. Analysis of mRNA profiles after MEK1/2 inhibition in human pancreatic cancer cell lines reveals pathways involved in drug sensitivity. Mol Cancer Res. 2012 Dec; 10(12):1607-19.
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  12. Wang J, Kobayashi T, Floc'h N, Kinkade CW, Aytes A, Dankort D, Lefebvre C, Mitrofanova A, Cardiff RD, McMahon M, Califano A, Shen MM, Abate-Shen C. B-Raf activation cooperates with PTEN loss to drive c-Myc expression in advanced prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 2012 Sep 15; 72(18):4765-76.
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  13. Tien AC, Tsai HH, Molofsky AV, McMahon M, Foo LC, Kaul A, Dougherty JD, Heintz N, Gutmann DH, Barres BA, Rowitch DH. Regulated temporal-spatial astrocyte precursor cell proliferation involves BRAF signalling in mammalian spinal cord. Development. 2012 Jul; 139(14):2477-87.
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  14. Collisson EA, Trejo CL, Silva JM, Gu S, Korkola JE, Heiser LM, Charles RP, Rabinovich BA, Hann B, Dankort D, Spellman PT, Phillips WA, Gray JW, McMahon M. A central role for RAF?MEK?ERK signaling in the genesis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Cancer Discov. 2012 Aug; 2(8):685-93.
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  15. Huillard E, Hashizume R, Phillips JJ, Griveau A, Ihrie RA, Aoki Y, Nicolaides T, Perry A, Waldman T, McMahon M, Weiss WA, Petritsch C, James CD, Rowitch DH. Cooperative interactions of BRAFV600E kinase and CDKN2A locus deficiency in pediatric malignant astrocytoma as a basis for rational therapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 May 29; 109(22):8710-5.
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  16. Vredeveld LC, Possik PA, Smit MA, Meissl K, Michaloglou C, Horlings HM, Ajouaou A, Kortman PC, Dankort D, McMahon M, Mooi WJ, Peeper DS. Abrogation of BRAFV600E-induced senescence by PI3K pathway activation contributes to melanomagenesis. Genes Dev. 2012 May 15; 26(10):1055-69.
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  17. Li CY, Cha W, Luder HU, Charles RP, McMahon M, Mitsiadis TA, Klein OD. E-cadherin regulates the behavior and fate of epithelial stem cells and their progeny in the mouse incisor. Dev Biol. 2012 Jun 15; 366(2):357-66.
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  18. Trejo CL, Juan J, Vicent S, Sweet-Cordero A, McMahon M. MEK1/2 inhibition elicits regression of autochthonous lung tumors induced by KRASG12D or BRAFV600E. Cancer Res. 2012 Jun 15; 72(12):3048-59.
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  19. Damsky WE, Curley DP, Santhanakrishnan M, Rosenbaum LE, Platt JT, Gould Rothberg BE, Taketo MM, Dankort D, Rimm DL, McMahon M, Bosenberg M. ß-catenin signaling controls metastasis in Braf-activated Pten-deficient melanomas. Cancer Cell. 2011 Dec 13; 20(6):741-54.
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  20. Tang N, Marshall WF, McMahon M, Metzger RJ, Martin GR. Control of mitotic spindle angle by the RAS-regulated ERK1/2 pathway determines lung tube shape. Science. 2011 Jul 15; 333(6040):342-5.
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