Markus Müschen, MD, PhD

Markus Müschen, MD, PhD

Professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine, UCSF
Program Co-Leader, Hematopoietic Malignancies Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Phone: (415) 502-0388 (voice)
Box 0134, UCSF
San Francisco, CA 94143-0134

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Cancer Center Membership

Program Member » Hematopoietic Malignancies

Research Summary


R01CA137060-A1 Müschen (PI) 04/01/2008 - 12/31/2012


“Pre-B cell receptor signaling in acute lymphoblastic leukemia”. The central goal of this project is to clarify the role of pre-B cell receptor signaling in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

R01CA139032 Müschen (PI) 04/01/2008 - 12/31/2012


“AID-mediated genetic instability in BCR-ABL1-transformed B cell lineage leukemia”. The central goal is (1) to identify the regulatory mechanisms that lead to aberrant expression of AID and (2) to identify the consequences of aberrant AID-activity in leukemia cells.

1R01CA157644 Müschen (PI) 04/01/2011-03/31/2016


‘Infectious origins of childhood leukemia’. The central goal of this proposal is to experimentally test the ‘delayed infections hypothesis’ in the etiology of childhood ALL and to delineate mechanisms of genetic vulnerability of human pre-B cells in the context of infection.

R21CA152497 Müschen (PI) 06/01/2010 - 05/31/2012


“Mechanism of BCL6-dependent stem cell maintenance in B cell lineage leukemia”. The central goals of this proposal are (1) to clarify the role of BCL6 in leukemia-initiation of Ph+ ALL and (2) To determine the frequency and phenotype of BCL6-dependent leukemia stem cells.

TR2-01816 Müschen (PI) 10/01/2010-09/30/2013

California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)

Early Translation Award. Development of a BCL6 small molecule inhibitor for targeted eradication of leukemia stem cells. The main goals of this project are (1) computer aided drug-design of BCL6 lateral groove inhibitors, (2) PK/PD assays and SAR studies of identified lead compound series and (3) pre-clinical validation.

AACR 138564 Müschen (PI) 12/01/2009 - 11/30/2012

AACR Stand Up To Cancer Innovation Award

Stand Up To Cancer Innovation Award: Role of BCL6 in leukemia stem cell self-renewal. The main goal of this project is to study the role of BCL6 in the maintenance of leukemia-initiating cells in ALL.

LLS 1497-11 Müschen (PI) 10/01/2010-09/30/2015

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award, will cover salary expenses related to NIH grant R01CA137060 ‘Pre-B cell receptor signaling in acute lymphoblastic leukemia’.

LLS 6132-09 Müschen (PI) 10/01/2008-09/30/2012

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Translational Research Grant ‘Targeting AID in BCR-ABL1-driven leukemia’. The main goal of this project is to study the role of AID in aberrant somatic hypermutation as a cause of genetic instability.

LLS 6097-10 Müschen (PI) 07/01/2009-06/30/2013

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Translational Research Grant ‘BCL6 in oncogene-induced senescence’. The main goal of this project is to study the role of BCL6 in oncogene-induced senescence in MYC-driven B cell lymphoma.

LLS 7005-11 Müschen (Project-PI) 10/01/2010-09/30/2015

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society SCOR

Project 2: Dual targeting of tyrosine kinase and feedback signaling in leukemia. Goals are identification of novel oncogenic tyrosine kinases and characterization of feedback mechanisms in response to tyrosine kinase inhibition. Brian J Druker, Portland, OR is the PI of the SCOR.

LLS 7005-11 Müschen (Project-PI) 10/01/2010-09/30/2015

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society SCOR

Core E: (1) Generate and make xenografted samples available to SCOR projects, (2) Generate a centralized multidimensional database which links flow cytometry data, cytogenetics, gene expression, SNP chip analysis and clinical information. Brian J Druker, Portland, OR is the PI of the SCOR.


University of Nantes, Nantes, France, B.Sc., 1996, Immunology
Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, 1997, Immunology
Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, MD/PhD, 1999, Molecular Biology
University of Cologne, Germany, Intern/Resident, 1999, Hematology/Oncology
Institute for Genetics, University of Cologne, Postdoc, 2000, Genetics
University of Chicago, IL, Postdoc, 2001, Molecular Genetics
University of Cologne, Germany, Postdoc, 2002, Immunology

Professional Experience

  • 1994-1999
    Doctoral thesis in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, summa cum laude (Mentor: Helmut Sies)
  • 1997-1999
    Internship and Residency in Hematology and Oncology (Mentor: Volker Diehl)
  • 1999-2000
    Postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Genetics, Cologne (Mentor: Klaus Rajewsky and Ralf Küppers)
  • 2000-2001
    Postdoctoral fellow, University of Chicago (Mentor: Janet D Rowley)
  • 2001-2002
    Postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Immunology, Cologne (Mentor: Martin Krönke)
  • 2002-2004
    Assistant Professor of Immunology Associate Professor of Stem Cell Biology (C3; with tenure), Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 2006-2010
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, USC; Adjunct Faculty Appointment, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program Leader, Leukemia and Lymphoma Program, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2006-2010
    Director, Leukemia Research Program, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  • 2010-present
    Professor, Departments of Laboratory Medicine and of Pathology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Honors & Awards

  • 1999
    Doctoral Thesis Award of the German Association for Hematology and Oncology (DGHO)
  • 2000
    Postdoctoral Fellowship Award of the Cancer Research Institute, New York, NY
  • 2001
    Emmy-Noether Young Investigator Award, The German Science Foundation (DFG)
  • 2001
    Stem Cell Research Investigator Award, The State of North-Rhine-Westphalia
  • 2002
    Best Habilitation Thesis of the Year, School of Medicine, University of Cologne, Germany
  • 2003
    Fritz Melchers Award for Immunology, the German Association for Immunology
  • 2006
    Leukemia Clinical Research Award, The German Association for Hematology and Oncology
  • 2006
    Honorary Professor of the Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, P.R. China
  • 2009
    Section Editor for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Leukemia
  • 2009-present
    Study section member, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, DOD Hematologic Malignancies Panel, NYStem (New York Stem Cell Research Agency)
  • 2010
    Editorial Board Biological Chemistry; Associate Editor Blood Cancer Journal
  • 2010-present
    Abstract Reviewer, American Society of Hematology
  • 2010
    Scholar Award, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Selected Publications

  1. Song C, Gowda C, Pan X, Ding Y, Tong Y, Tan BH, Wang H, Muthusami S, Ge Z, Sachdev M, Amin SG, Desai D, Gowda K, Gowda R, Robertson GP, Schjerven H, Muschen M, Payne KJ, Dovat S. Targeting casein kinase II restores Ikaros tumor suppressor activity and demonstrates therapeutic efficacy in high-risk leukemia. Blood. 2015 Jul 28.
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  2. Chen Z, Shojaee S, Buchner M, Geng H, Lee JW, Klemm L, Titz B, Graeber TG, Park E, Tan YX, Satterthwaite A, Paietta E, Hunger SP, Willman CL, Melnick A, Loh ML, Jung JU, Coligan JE, Bolland S, Mak TW, Limnander A, Jumaa H, Reth M, Weiss A, Lowell CA, Müschen M. Signalling thresholds and negative B-cell selection in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nature. 2015 May 21; 521(7552):357-61.
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  3. Buchner M, Park E, Geng H, Klemm L, Flach J, Passegué E, Schjerven H, Melnick A, Paietta E, Kopanja D, Raychaudhuri P, Müschen M. Identification of FOXM1 as a therapeutic target in B-cell lineage acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nat Commun. 2015; 6:6471.
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  4. Geng H, Hurtz C, Lenz KB, Chen Z, Baumjohann D, Thompson S, Goloviznina NA, Chen WY, Huan J, LaTocha D, Ballabio E, Xiao G, Lee JW, Deucher A, Qi Z, Park E, Huang C, Nahar R, Kweon SM, Shojaee S, Chan LN, Yu J, Kornblau SM, Bijl JJ, Ye BH, Mark Ansel K, Paietta E, Melnick A, Hunger SP, Kurre P, Tyner JW, Loh ML, Roeder RG, Druker BJ, Burger JA, Milne TA, Chang BH, Müschen M. Self-Enforcing Feedback Activation between BCL6 and Pre-B Cell Receptor Signaling Defines a Distinct Subtype of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Cancer Cell. 2015 Mar 9; 27(3):409-25.
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  5. Lu Z, Lieber MR, Tsai AG, Pardo CE, Müschen M, Kladde MP, Hsieh CL. Human lymphoid translocation fragile zones are hypomethylated and have accessible chromatin. Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Apr 1; 35(7):1209-22.
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  6. Buchner M, Swaminathan S, Chen Z, Müschen M. Mechanisms of pre-B-cell receptor checkpoint control and its oncogenic subversion in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Immunol Rev. 2015 Jan; 263(1):192-209.
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  7. Swaminathan S, Müschen M. Follicular lymphoma: too many reminders for a memory B cell. J Clin Invest. 2014 Dec 1; 124(12):5095-8.
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  8. Fontanari Krause LM, Japp AS, Krause A, Mooster J, Chopra M, Müschen M, Bohlander SK. Identification and characterization of OSTL (RNF217) encoding a RING-IBR-RING protein adjacent to a translocation breakpoint involving ETV6 in childhood ALL. Sci Rep. 2014; 4:6565.
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  9. Buchner M, Müschen M. Targeting the B-cell receptor signaling pathway in B lymphoid malignancies. Curr Opin Hematol. 2014 Jul; 21(4):341-9.
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  10. Kharabi Masouleh B, Geng H, Hurtz C, Chan LN, Logan AC, Chang MS, Huang C, Swaminathan S, Sun H, Paietta E, Melnick AM, Koeffler P, Müschen M. Mechanistic rationale for targeting the unfolded protein response in pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 May 27; 111(21):E2219-28.
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  11. Tsai CT, Yang PM, Chern TR, Chuang SH, Lin JH, Klemm L, Müschen M, Chen CC. AID downregulation is a novel function of the DNMT inhibitor 5-aza-deoxycytidine. Oncotarget. 2014 Jan 15; 5(1):211-23.
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  12. Papaemmanuil E, Rapado I, Li Y, Potter NE, Wedge DC, Tubio J, Alexandrov LB, Van Loo P, Cooke SL, Marshall J, Martincorena I, Hinton J, Gundem G, van Delft FW, Nik-Zainal S, Jones DR, Ramakrishna M, Titley I, Stebbings L, Leroy C, Menzies A, Gamble J, Robinson B, Mudie L, Raine K, O'Meara S, Teague JW, Butler AP, Cazzaniga G, Biondi A, Zuna J, Kempski H, Muschen M, Ford AM, Stratton MR, Greaves M, Campbell PJ. RAG-mediated recombination is the predominant driver of oncogenic rearrangement in ETV6-RUNX1 acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nat Genet. 2014 Feb; 46(2):116-25.
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  13. Pan R, Hogdal LJ, Benito JM, Bucci D, Han L, Borthakur G, Cortes J, DeAngelo DJ, Debose L, Mu H, Döhner H, Gaidzik VI, Galinsky I, Golfman LS, Haferlach T, Harutyunyan KG, Hu J, Leverson JD, Marcucci G, Müschen M, Newman R, Park E, Ruvolo PP, Ruvolo V, Ryan J, Schindela S, Zweidler-McKay P, Stone RM, Kantarjian H, Andreeff M, Konopleva M, Letai AG. Selective BCL-2 inhibition by ABT-199 causes on-target cell death in acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer Discov. 2014 Mar; 4(3):362-75.
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  14. Swaminathan S, Duy C, Müschen M. BACH2-BCL6 balance regulates selection at the pre-B cell receptor checkpoint. Trends Immunol. 2014 Mar; 35(3):131-7.
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  15. Mangum DS, Downie J, Mason CC, Jahromi MS, Joshi D, Rodic V, Müschen M, Meeker N, Trede N, Frazer JK, Zhou Y, Cheng C, Jeha S, Pui CH, Willman CL, Harvey RC, Hunger SP, Yang JJ, Barnette P, Mullighan CG, Miles RR, Schiffman JD. VPREB1 deletions occur independent of lambda light chain rearrangement in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia. 2014 Jan; 28(1):216-20.
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  16. Swaminathan S, Huang C, Geng H, Chen Z, Harvey R, Kang H, Ng C, Titz B, Hurtz C, Sadiyah MF, Nowak D, Thoennissen GB, Rand V, Graeber TG, Koeffler HP, Carroll WL, Willman CL, Hall AG, Igarashi K, Melnick A, Müschen M. BACH2 mediates negative selection and p53-dependent tumor suppression at the pre-B cell receptor checkpoint. Nat Med. 2013 Aug; 19(8):1014-22.
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  17. Cramer-Morales K, Nieborowska-Skorska M, Scheibner K, Padget M, Irvine DA, Sliwinski T, Haas K, Lee J, Geng H, Roy D, Slupianek A, Rassool FV, Wasik MA, Childers W, Copland M, Müschen M, Civin CI, Skorski T. Personalized synthetic lethality induced by targeting RAD52 in leukemias identified by gene mutation and expression profile. Blood. 2013 Aug 15; 122(7):1293-304.
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  18. Gang EJ, Hsieh YT, Pham J, Zhao Y, Nguyen C, Huantes S, Park E, Naing K, Klemm L, Swaminathan S, Conway EM, Pelus LM, Crispino J, Mullighan CG, McMillan M, Müschen M, Kahn M, Kim YM. Small-molecule inhibition of CBP/catenin interactions eliminates drug-resistant clones in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Oncogene. 2014 Apr 24; 33(17):2169-78.
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  19. Parameswaran R, Lim M, Arutyunyan A, Abdel-Azim H, Hurtz C, Lau K, Müschen M, Yu RK, von Itzstein M, Heisterkamp N, Groffen J. O-acetylated N-acetylneuraminic acid as a novel target for therapy in human pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia. J Exp Med. 2013 Apr 8; 210(4):805-19.
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  20. Hsieh YT, Gang EJ, Geng H, Park E, Huantes S, Chudziak D, Dauber K, Schaefer P, Scharman C, Shimada H, Shojaee S, Klemm L, Parameswaran R, Loh M, Kang ES, Koo HH, Hofmann WK, Andrade J, Crooks GM, Willman CL, Müschen M, Papayannopoulou T, Heisterkamp N, Bönig H, Kim YM. Integrin alpha4 blockade sensitizes drug resistant pre-B acute lymphoblastic leukemia to chemotherapy. Blood. 2013 Mar 7; 121(10):1814-8.
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