Research Summary

I run a translational cancer research program focused on translating our understanding of tyrosine kinase signaling in epithelial cancers into better treatments for patients with cancer. My training and career encompasses both the clinical practice of Medical Oncology and clinical research in Oncology, as well as leading a scientific laboratory research program. This hybrid clinical-scientific involvement gives me the exposure, knowledge base, and insights required for the optimal pursuit of translational cancer research. I pursue clinically relevant scientific questions at the bench, and I translate our scientific discoveries into clinical trials. I have a track record of several clinical trials emerging directly from our laboratory discoveries. My role as co-chair of the early phase clinical trials unit puts me at the front lines of clinical drug development, aware of the challenges, early results, and pipelines.

A major focus of my research program has been on the oncogene HER2. I believe that HER2-amplified cancer should be a curable disease even in advanced stage, and my research program is focused on the pursuit of this mission. This endeavor requires the full spectrum of disciplines including the most basic structure and structure-function studies, to cell signaling and network topology, to tumor biology, mouse models and mouse prelicinical studies, to early phase clinical trials. Our work is greatly enhanced by the highly collaborative environment within which I work, with close collaborations with structural biologists including John Kuriyan and Natalia Jura, with the small-molecule discovery groups of Jim Wells, Michelle Arkin, and Adam Renslo, with investigators in Chemical Biology and Biochemistry & Biophysics including Kevan Shokat, Jack Taunton, and David Agard. I have a track record of assembling multi-disciplinary teams to focus on our disease-oriented mission of HER2-amplified cancer. This has included a Susan G. Komen for the Cure Promise Grant scientific project, a California Breast Cancer Research Program Translational Research Award project, and an AACR-BCRF Translational Breast Cancer Research project.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2006 - May 31, 2019 - Understanding resistance in the HER2-HER3 tumor drive , PI . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA122216
  • April 10, 2017 - October 9, 2018 - Development of first-in-class HER3 inhibitors , PI, with coPI Jack Taunton . Sponsor: UCSF Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute Catalyst, Sponsor Award ID: 000000
  • September 30, 2004 - February 28, 2015 - Model-based predictions of responses to RTK pathway therapies , PI on sub-project . Sponsor: National Institutes of Health, Sponsor Award ID: U54 CA112970
  • September 30, 2004 - February 28, 2015 - Model-based predictions of responses to RTK pathway therapies , Co-investigator . Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: U54 CA112970


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, B.A., 1984
Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, M.D., 1988
The New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY, 1988-1991, Internal Medicine (Residency)
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, 1991-1996, Medical Oncology (Fellowship)

Honors & Awards

  • 1984
    Phi Beta Kappa
  • 1992-1993
    Clinical and Molecular Cancer Research Training Fellowship Award
  • 1994
    American Society for Clinical Oncology Young Investigator Award (declined)
  • 1993-1995
    Charles A. Dana Fellowship Award
  • 1993-1995
    Clinical Scholars Award, Biomedical Research Training Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute
  • 1995-1996
    Ethel Abbott Fellowship Award
  • 1997-1999
    Byrne Fund Award
  • 1997-2000
    American Society for Clinical Oncology Career Development Award
  • 2002-2006
    American Cancer Society Research Scholar
  • 2005-2007
    Susan Komen Breast Cancer Research Foundation Award
  • 2005-2006
    California Breast Cancer Research Program Award
  • 2008
    Elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation

Selected Publications

  1. Raghav KPS, Moasser MM. Molecular Pathways and Mechanisms of HER2 in Cancer Therapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2023 07 05; 29(13):2351-2361.  View on PubMed
  2. Ruiz-Saenz A, Atreya CE, Wang C, Pan B, Dreyer CA, Brunen D, Prahallad A, Muñoz DP, Ramms DJ, Burghi V, Spassov DS, Fewings E, Hwang YC, Cowdrey C, Moelders C, Schwarzer C, Wolf DM, Hann B, VandenBerg SR, Shokat K, Moasser MM, Bernards R, Gutkind JS, van 't Veer LJ, Coppé JP. A reversible SRC-relayed COX2 inflammatory program drives resistance to BRAF and EGFR inhibition in BRAFV600E colorectal tumors. Nat Cancer. 2023 02; 4(2):240-256.  View on PubMed
  3. Campbell MR, Ruiz-Saenz A, Zhang Y, Peterson E, Steri V, Oeffinger J, Sampang M, Jura N, Moasser MM. Extensive conformational and physical plasticity protects HER2-HER3 tumorigenic signaling. Cell Rep. 2022 Sep 06; 40(10):111338.  View on PubMed
  4. Moasser MM. Inactivating Amplified HER2: Challenges, Dilemmas, and Future Directions. Cancer Res. 2022 08 16; 82(16):2811-2820.  View on PubMed
  5. Tsang ES, Aggarwal RR, Dhawan MS, Bergsland EK, Alvarez EA, Calabrese S, Pacaud R, Garcia J, Fattah D, Thomas S, Grabowsky J, Moasser MM, Munster PN. A Phase IB Trial of the PI3K Inhibitor Alpelisib and Weekly Cisplatin in Patients with Solid Tumor Malignancies. Cancer Res Commun. 2022 07; 2(7):570-576.  View on PubMed
  6. Wu CH, Wang L, Yang CY, Wen KW, Hinds B, Gill R, McCormick F, Moasser M, Pincus L, Ai WZ. Targeting CD70 in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma using an antibody-drug conjugate in patient-derived xenograft models. Blood Adv. 2022 04 12; 6(7):2290-2302.  View on PubMed
  7. Campbell MR, Ruiz-Saenz A, Zhang Y, Peterson E, Steri V, Oeffinger J, Sampang M, Jura N, Moasser MM. Extensive conformational and physical plasticity protects HER2-HER3 tumorigenic signaling. Cell Rep. 2022 02 01; 38(5):110285.  View on PubMed
  8. Campbell MR, Ruiz-Saenz A, Peterson E, Agnew C, Ayaz P, Garfinkle S, Littlefield P, Steri V, Oeffinger J, Sampang M, Shan Y, Shaw DE, Jura N, Moasser MM. Targetable HER3 functions driving tumorigenic signaling in HER2-amplified cancers. Cell Rep. 2022 02 01; 38(5):110291.  View on PubMed
  9. Vidula N, Greenberg S, Petrillo L, Hwang J, Melisko M, Goga A, Moasser M, Magbanua M, Park JW, Rugo HS. Evaluation of disseminated tumor cells and circulating tumor cells in patients with breast cancer receiving adjuvant zoledronic acid. NPJ Breast Cancer. 2021 Sep 06; 7(1):113.  View on PubMed
  10. Pollan SG, Teng PC, Jan YJ, Livingstone J, Huang C, Kim M, Mariscal J, Rodriguez M, Chen JF, You S, DiVizio D, Boutros PC, Chan KS, Rasorenova O, Cress A, Spassov D, Moasser M, Posadas EM, Freedland SJ, Freeman MR, Zheng JJ, Knudsen BS. Loss of CDCP1 triggers FAK activation in detached prostate cancer cells. Am J Clin Exp Urol. 2021; 9(4):350-366.  View on PubMed
  11. Majumder A, Sandhu M, Banerji D, Steri V, Olshen A, Moasser MM. The role of HER2 and HER3 in HER2-amplified cancers beyond breast cancers. Sci Rep. 2021 04 27; 11(1):9091.  View on PubMed
  12. Ruiz-Saenz A, Zahedi F, Peterson E, Yoo A, Dreyer CA, Spassov DS, Oses-Prieto J, Burlingame A, Moasser MM. Proteomic Analysis of Src Family Kinase Phosphorylation States in Cancer Cells Suggests Deregulation of the Unique Domain. Mol Cancer Res. 2021 06; 19(6):957-967.  View on PubMed
  13. Kazemi S, Kawaguchi S, Badr CE, Mattos DR, Ruiz-Saenz A, Serrill JD, Moasser MM, Dolan BP, Paavilainen VO, Oishi S, McPhail KL, Ishmael JE. Targeting of HER/ErbB family proteins using broad spectrum Sec61 inhibitors coibamide A and apratoxin A. Biochem Pharmacol. 2021 01; 183:114317.  View on PubMed
  14. Abdel Aziz MH, Fan Y, Liu L, Moasser MM, Fu H, Jura N, Arkin MR. Expression and purification of active human kinases using Pichia pastoris as a general-purpose host. Protein Expr Purif. 2021 03; 179:105780.  View on PubMed
  15. Terranova-Barberio M, Pawlowska N, Dhawan M, Moasser M, Chien AJ, Melisko ME, Rugo H, Rahimi R, Deal T, Daud A, Rosenblum MD, Thomas S, Munster PN. Exhausted T cell signature predicts immunotherapy response in ER-positive breast cancer. Nat Commun. 2020 07 17; 11(1):3584.  View on PubMed
  16. Wu CH, Yang CY, Wang L, Gao HX, Rakhshandehroo T, Afghani S, Pincus L, Balassanian R, Rubenstein J, Gill R, Bandyopadhyay S, McCormick F, Moasser M, Ai WZ. Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma PDX Drug Screening Platform Identifies Cooperation between Inhibitions of PI3Kα/δ and HDAC. J Invest Dermatol. 2021 02; 141(2):364-373.  View on PubMed
  17. Kumar R, George B, Campbell MR, Verma N, Paul AM, Melo-Alvim C, Ribeiro L, Pillai MR, da Costa LM, Moasser MM. HER family in cancer progression: From discovery to 2020 and beyond. Adv Cancer Res. 2020; 147:109-160.  View on PubMed
  18. Coppé JP, Mori M, Pan B, Yau C, Wolf DM, Ruiz-Saenz A, Brunen D, Prahallad A, Cornelissen-Steijger P, Kemper K, Posch C, Wang C, Dreyer CA, Krijgsman O, Lee PRE, Chen Z, Peeper DS, Moasser MM, Bernards R, van 't Veer LJ. Mapping phospho-catalytic dependencies of therapy-resistant tumours reveals actionable vulnerabilities. Nat Cell Biol. 2019 06; 21(6):778-790.  View on PubMed
  19. Spassov DS, Ruiz-Saenz A, Piple A, Moasser MM. A Dimerization Function in the Intrinsically Disordered N-Terminal Region of Src. Cell Rep. 2018 10 09; 25(2):449-463.e4.  View on PubMed
  20. Ruiz-Saenz A, Dreyer C, Campbell MR, Steri V, Gulizia N, Moasser MM. HER2 Amplification in Tumors Activates PI3K/Akt Signaling Independent of HER3. Cancer Res. 2018 07 01; 78(13):3645-3658.  View on PubMed

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