Balmain Lab

Balmain Lab, UCSF
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(415) 502-0229 (asst)
(415) 502-4192 (office)
(415) 502-6791 (lab)
(415) 502-3179 (fax)

1450 3rd St., MC 0128; PO Box 589001
San Francisco, CA 94158-9001

deliveries: 1450 3rd Street, HD-320; San Francisco, CA 94158

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Full Biosketch
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Research Summary

balmain_allanAllan Balmain, PhD, FRS
Co-Leader, Cancer Genetics Program, and Director, Genome Analysis Core Facility, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Barbara Bass Bakar Distinguished Professorship in Cancer Genetics, UCSF

The group's main research interests have been the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of multistage carcinogenesis, with particular emphasis on mouse models of chemically induced skin tumor development. Our strategy has been to identify the sequence of somatic genetic alterations which are associated with discrete stages of tumorigenesis: initiation, promotion, progression to locally invasive lesions and development of metastases. In each case where a genetic change has been identified, we have attempted to address the question of causality by making extensive use of transgenic or knock-out mice, and to investigate the biological consequences of this genetic change for cell behaviour during transformation. We have developed cell lines from tumors representing each of these stages of carcinogenesis, and in some cases have characterized cells from successive stages of development from the same tumor. These have proved invaluable for studies of the causal genetic and biological changes associated with tumor progression. The results have shown that the kinds of genetic and biological alterations seen in mouse tumors are very similar to what is observed in human malignancies, thus providing strong evidence that the mouse is a uniquely appropriate model for the development of cancer in humans.

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Latest News

Environmental Carcinogens Leave Distinctive Genetic Imprints in Tumors (Nature, November 2014)

Informational interview from May 2013 with Dr. Balmain

Recent Publications

  1. Balmain A, Yuspa SH. Milestones in skin carcinogenesis: the biology of multistage carcinogenesis. J Invest Dermatol. 2014; 134(e1):E2-7.
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  2. Huang PY, Balmain A. Modeling cutaneous squamous carcinoma development in the mouse. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2014 Sep; 4(9):a013623.
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  3. Hiatt RA, Porco TC, Liu F, Balke K, Balmain A, Barlow J, Braithwaite D, Diez-Roux AV, Kushi LH, Moasser MM, Werb Z, Windham GC, Rehkopf DH. A multilevel model of postmenopausal breast cancer incidence. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Oct; 23(10):2078-92.
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  4. Sjölund J, Pelorosso FG, Quigley DA, DelRosario R, Balmain A. Identification of Hipk2 as an essential regulator of white fat development. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 May 20; 111(20):7373-8.
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  5. Quigley DA, Fiorito E, Nord S, Van Loo P, Alnæs GG, Fleischer T, Tost J, Moen Vollan HK, Tramm T, Overgaard J, Bukholm IR, Hurtado A, Balmain A, Børresen-Dale AL, Kristensen V. The 5p12 breast cancer susceptibility locus affects MRPS30 expression in estrogen-receptor positive tumors. Mol Oncol. 2014 Mar; 8(2):273-84.
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  6. Lessard JC, Piña-Paz S, Rotty JD, Hickerson RP, Kaspar RL, Balmain A, Coulombe PA. Keratin 16 regulates innate immunity in response to epidermal barrier breach. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Nov 26; 110(48):19537-42.
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  7. Saunders SP, Goh CS, Brown SJ, Palmer CN, Porter RM, Cole C, Campbell LE, Gierlinski M, Barton GJ, Schneider G, Balmain A, Prescott AR, Weidinger S, Baurecht H, Kabesch M, Gieger C, Lee YA, Tavendale R, Mukhopadhyay S, Turner SW, Madhok VB, Sullivan FM, Relton C, Burn J, Meggitt S, Smith CH, Allen MA, Barker JN, Reynolds NJ, Cordell HJ, Irvine AD, McLean WH, Sandilands A, Fallon PG. Tmem79/Matt is the matted mouse gene and is a predisposing gene for atopic dermatitis in human subjects. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Nov; 132(5):1121-9.
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  8. Wong CE, Yu JS, Quigley DA, To MD, Jen KY, Huang PY, Del Rosario R, Balmain A. Inflammation and Hras signaling control epithelial-mesenchymal transition during skin tumor progression. Genes Dev. 2013 Mar 15; 27(6):670-82.
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  9. Kang HC, Quigley DA, Kim IJ, Wakabayashi Y, Ferguson-Smith MA, D'Alessandro M, Birgitte Lane E, Akhurst RJ, Goudie DR, Balmain A. Multiple self-healing squamous epithelioma (MSSE): rare variants in an adjacent region of chromosome 9q22.3 to known TGFBR1 mutations suggest a digenic or multilocus etiology. J Invest Dermatol. 2013 Jul; 133(7):1907-10.
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  10. Nguyen DH, Fredlund E, Zhao W, Perou CM, Balmain A, Mao JH, Barcellos-Hoff MH. Murine microenvironment metaprofiles associate with human cancer etiology and intrinsic subtypes. Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Mar 15; 19(6):1353-62.
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> Full publications list is available via UCSF Profiles