Research Summary

Dr. Okimoto is a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of bone and soft-tissue sarcomas. He is a laboratory based physician-scientist who broadly aims to translate basic science discoveries into novel therapies for patients with cancer. He is currently interested in understanding how cancer cells gain transcriptional dependence to drive tumor progression and metastasis.

Research Funding

  • February 1, 2018 - January 31, 2023 - Therapeutic rescue of the transcriptional repressor Capicua to inhibit lung cancer metastasis, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: K08CA222625
  • February 1, 2018 - January 31, 2023 - Therapeutic rescue of the transcriptional repressor Capicua to inhibit lung cancer metastasis, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: K08CA222625
  • February 1, 2018 - January 31, 2023 - Therapeutic rescue of the transcriptional repressor Capicua to inhibit lung cancer metastasis, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: K08CA222625

Education

Creighton University, Omaha, NE, BS, 05/2002, Biology
Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE, MD, 05/2009, Medicine
Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA Residency, 06/2012, Internal Medicine
University of California, San Francisco, CA, Fellowship, 06/2017, Medical Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • 1999-2001
    Creighton University Presidential Scholar
  • 2003
    Harvard University Health Careers Scholarship
  • 2007
    Creighton University School of Medicine Dean's Educational Scholarship
  • 2010
    Dean's Excellence in Teaching Citation - Intern, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • 2011
    Dean's Excellence in Teaching Citation - Resident, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • 2012
    Resident Teacher of the Year Award, Department of Internal Medicine, Tufts Medical Center
  • 2014-2015
    NIH T32 Molecular Pathology of Cancer Award
  • 2015
    AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science
  • 2015
    Best Basic Science Research Poster - UCSF Hematology/Oncology Research Retreat
  • 2015
    A.P. Giannini Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2016
    Best Basic Science Research Poster - UCSF Hematology/Oncology Research
  • Retreat
  • 2017
    Best Basic Science Research Presentation - UCSF Hematology/Oncology Research Retreat
  • 2017
    Best Research Poster Award - UCSF Hematology/Oncology Research Conference
  • 2018
    NIH-NCI Career Development Award (K08)
  • 2018
    UCSF Department of Medicine Cohort Initiative Award
  • 2019
    American Society of Clinical Investigation Young Physician Scientist Award

Selected Publications

  1. Quinn JJ, Jones MG, Okimoto RA, Nanjo S, Chan MM, Yosef N, Bivona TG, Weissman JS Single-cell lineages reveal the rates, routes, and drivers of metastasis in cancer xenografts.  View on PubMed
  2. Nothdurft S, Thumser-Henner C, Breitenbücher F, Okimoto RA, Dorsch M, Opitz CA, Sadik A, Esser C, Hölzel M, Asthana S, Forster J, Beisser D, Kalmbach S, Grüner BM, Bivona TG, Schramm A, Schuler M Functional screening identifies aryl hydrocarbon receptor as suppressor of lung cancer metastasis.  View on PubMed
  3. Kim JW, Ponce RK, Okimoto RA Capicua in Human Cancer.  View on PubMed
  4. Lin YK, Wu W, Ponce RK, Kim JW, Okimoto RA Negative MAPK-ERK regulation sustains CIC-DUX4 oncoprotein expression in undifferentiated sarcoma.  View on PubMed
  5. Okimoto RA, Wu W, Nanjo S, Olivas V, Lin YK, Ponce RK, Oyama R, Kondo T, Bivona TG CIC-DUX4 oncoprotein drives sarcoma metastasis and tumorigenesis via distinct regulatory programs.  View on PubMed
  6. Fish L, Navickas A, Culbertson B, Xu Y, Nguyen HCB, Zhang S, Hochman M, Okimoto R, Dill BD, Molina H, Najafabadi HS, Alarcón C, Ruggero D, Goodarzi H Nuclear TARBP2 Drives Oncogenic Dysregulation of RNA Splicing and Decay.  View on PubMed
  7. Okimoto RA, Bivona TG Metastasis: From head to tail.  View on PubMed
  8. Okimoto RA, Breitenbuecher F, Olivas VR, Wu W, Gini B, Hofree M, Asthana S, Hrustanovic G, Flanagan J, Tulpule A, Blakely CM, Haringsma HJ, Simmons AD, Gowen K, Suh J, Miller VA, Ali S, Schuler M, Bivona TG Inactivation of Capicua drives cancer metastasis.  View on PubMed
  9. Okimoto RA, Lin L, Olivas V, Chan E, Markegard E, Rymar A, Neel D, Chen X, Hemmati G, Bollag G, Bivona TG Preclinical efficacy of a RAF inhibitor that evades paradoxical MAPK pathway activation in protein kinase BRAF-mutant lung cancer.  View on PubMed
  10. Premasekharan G, Gilbert E, Okimoto RA, Hamirani A, Lindquist KJ, Ngo VT, Roy R, Hough J, Edwards M, Paz R, Foye A, Sood R, Copren KA, Gubens M, Small EJ, Bivona TG, Collisson EA, Friedlander TW, Paris PL An improved CTC isolation scheme for pairing with downstream genomics: Demonstrating clinical utility in metastatic prostate, lung and pancreatic cancer.  View on PubMed
  11. Okimoto RA, Bivona TG Tracking Down Response and Resistance to TRK Inhibitors.  View on PubMed
  12. Hrustanovic G, Olivas V, Pazarentzos E, Tulpule A, Asthana S, Blakely CM, Okimoto RA, Lin L, Neel DS, Sabnis A, Flanagan J, Chan E, Varella-Garcia M, Aisner DL, Vaishnavi A, Ou SH, Collisson EA, Ichihara E, Mack PC, Lovly CM, Karachaliou N, Rosell R, Riess JW, Doebele RC, Bivona TG RAS-MAPK dependence underlies a rational polytherapy strategy in EML4-ALK-positive lung cancer.  View on PubMed
  13. Okimoto RA, Bivona TG AXL receptor tyrosine kinase as a therapeutic target in NSCLC.  View on PubMed
  14. Okimoto RA, Perry A, Rubenstein JL 77-year-old woman with a dural-based mass. Marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (MZBCL).  View on PubMed
  15. Okimoto RA, Bivona TG Recent advances in personalized lung cancer medicine.  View on PubMed
  16. Okimoto RA, Van Etten RA Navigating the road toward optimal initial therapy for chronic myeloid leukemia.  View on PubMed
  17. Kim WJ, Okimoto RA, Purton LE, Goodwin M, Haserlat SM, Dayyani F, Sweetser DA, McClatchey AI, Bernard OA, Look AT, Bell DW, Scadden DT, Haber DA Mutations in the neutral sphingomyelinase gene SMPD3 implicate the ceramide pathway in human leukemias.  View on PubMed
  18. Hur J, Bell DW, Dean KL, Coser KR, Hilario PC, Okimoto RA, Tobey EM, Smith SL, Isselbacher KJ, Shioda T Regulation of expression of BIK proapoptotic protein in human breast cancer cells: p53-dependent induction of BIK mRNA by fulvestrant and proteasomal degradation of BIK protein.  View on PubMed
  19. Kwak EL, Jankowski J, Thayer SP, Lauwers GY, Brannigan BW, Harris PL, Okimoto RA, Haserlat SM, Driscoll DR, Ferry D, Muir B, Settleman J, Fuchs CS, Kulke MH, Ryan DP, Clark JW, Sgroi DC, Haber DA, Bell DW Epidermal growth factor receptor kinase domain mutations in esophageal and pancreatic adenocarcinomas.  View on PubMed
  20. Smolen GA, Muir B, Mohapatra G, Barmettler A, Kim WJ, Rivera MN, Haserlat SM, Okimoto RA, Kwak E, Dahiya S, Garber JE, Bell DW, Sgroi DC, Chin L, Deng CX, Haber DA Frequent met oncogene amplification in a Brca1/Trp53 mouse model of mammary tumorigenesis.  View on PubMed

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