Research Summary

My lab has a broad expertise in human models of epithelial neoplasia and melanoma. Our goal is to characterize the function of a set of novel transcripts found in melanoma patient samples. We study cancer signaling in-depth to identify novel transcripts, their functions, and the factors that promote resistance to drugs and/or cancer progression via transcriptome (RNA-Seq) to capture the implicated coding and non-coding elements in this process. These findings might serve as key biomarkers and/or new targets for therapeutics in melanoma.


University of Vienna Medical School, M.D., 1998, Medicine
Rappersberger, University of Vienna, Ph.D, 1998, Biology
University of Vienna, Research Fellow, 1999, Dermatology
AKH Vienna, Research Resident, 2001, Dermatology
Stanford University, Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2005, Epithelial Biology
The Brooklyn Hospital Center, NY, Internship, 2006, Medicine
Stanford University, Resident, 2010, Dermatology
University of California, San Francisco, Research Fellowship, 2010, Derm-Oncology
New York University, 2015, MBA

Honors & Awards

  • 2007
    Kardinal-Innitzer-Foerderungspreis for outstanding Science in Dermatology
  • 2007
    Habilitation for Experimental Dermatology (Univ.-Doz. i.e. professor) University of Vienna
  • 2008
    Unilever Award from the Austrian Society for Dermatology and Venereology
  • 2011
    American Cancer Society Individual Research Award
  • 2011
    American Skin Association Scholar Award
  • 2011
    Dermatology Foundation Career Development Award
  • 2011
    K08 Award National Institute of Health

Selected Publications

  1. Posch C, Cholewa BD, Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Ma J, Kim ST, Kleffel S, Schatton T, Rappersberger K, Gutteridge R, Ahmad N, Ortiz/Urda S Combined Inhibition of MEK and Plk1 Has Synergistic Antitumor Activity in NRAS Mutant Melanoma.  View on PubMed
  2. Curl P, Vujic I, van 't Veer LJ, Ortiz-Urda S, Kahn JG Correction: Cost-Effectiveness Of Treatment Strategies for BRAF-Mutated Metastatic Melanoma.  View on PubMed
  3. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Posch C, Cleaver JE, Quaglino P, Ortiz-Urda S The risk of melanoma in pilots and cabin crew: UV measurements in flying airplanes.  View on PubMed
  4. Algazi AP, Cha E, Ortiz-Urda SM, McCalmont T, Bastian BC, Hwang J, Pampaloni MH, Behr S, Chong K, Cortez B, Quiroz A, Coakley F, Liu S, Daud AI The combination of axitinib followed by paclitaxel/carboplatin yields extended survival in advanced BRAF wild-type melanoma: results of a clinical/correlative prospective phase II clinical trial.  View on PubMed
  5. Posch C, Latorre A, Crosby MB, Celli A, Latorre A, Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Green GA, Weier J, Zekhtser M, Ma J, Monico G, Char DH, Jusufbegovic D, Rappersberger K, Somoza Á, Ortiz-Urda S Detection of GNAQ mutations and reduction of cell viability in uveal melanoma cells with functionalized gold nanoparticles.  View on PubMed
  6. Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Posch C, Esteve-Puig R, Yen AJ, Kwong A, Tsumura A, Murphy R, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S Metformin and trametinib have synergistic effects on cell viability and tumor growth in NRAS mutant cancer.  View on PubMed
  7. Sanlorenzo M, Wehner MR, Linos E, Kornak J, Kainz W, Posch C, Vujic I, Johnston K, Gho D, Monico G, McGrath JT, Osella-Abate S, Quaglino P, Cleaver JE, Ortiz-Urda S The risk of melanoma in airline pilots and cabin crew: a meta-analysis.  View on PubMed
  8. Sanlorenzo M, Choudhry A, Vujic I, Posch C, Chong K, Johnston K, Meier M, Osella-Abate S, Quaglino P, Daud A, Algazi A, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S Comparative profile of cutaneous adverse events: BRAF/MEK inhibitor combination therapy versus BRAF monotherapy in melanoma.  View on PubMed
  9. Vujic I, Posch C, Sanlorenzo M, Yen AJ, Tsumura A, Kwong A, Feichtenschlager V, Lai K, Arneson DV, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda SM Mutant NRASQ61 shares signaling similarities across various cancer types--potential implications for future therapies.  View on PubMed
  10. Curl P, Vujic I, van 't Veer LJ, Ortiz-Urda S, Kahn JG Cost-effectiveness of treatment strategies for BRAF-mutated metastatic melanoma.  View on PubMed
  11. Vujic I, Marker M, Posch C, Mühlehner D, Monshi B, Breier F, Steiner A, Ortiz-Urda S, Rappersberger K Merkel cell carcinoma: mitoses, expression of Ki-67 and bcl-2 correlate with disease progression.  View on PubMed
  12. Latorre A, Posch C, Garcimartín Y, Celli A, Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Ma J, Zekhtser M, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S, Somoza Á DNA and aptamer stabilized gold nanoparticles for targeted delivery of anticancer therapeutics.  View on PubMed
  13. Latorre A, Posch C, Garcimartín Y, Ortiz-Urda S, Somoza Á Single-point mutation detection in RNA extracts using gold nanoparticles modified with hydrophobic molecular beacon-like structures.  View on PubMed
  14. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Posch C, Dajee A, Yen A, Kim S, Ashworth M, Rosenblum MD, Algazi A, Osella-Abate S, Quaglino P, Daud A, Ortiz-Urda S Melanoma immunotherapy.  View on PubMed
  15. Vujic I, Shroff A, Grzelka M, Posch C, Monshi B, Sanlorenzo M, Ortiz-Urda S, Rappersberger K Mycoplasma pneumoniae-associated mucositis--case report and systematic review of literature.  View on PubMed
  16. Posch C, Weihsengruber F, Bartsch K, Feichtenschlager V, Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Monshi B, Ortiz-Urda S, Rappersberger K Low-dose inhalation of interleukin-2 bio-chemotherapy for the treatment of pulmonary metastases in melanoma patients.  View on PubMed
  17. Posch C, Ortiz-Urda S NRAS mutant melanoma--undrugable?  View on PubMed
  18. Posch C, Moslehi H, Feeney L, Green GA, Ebaee A, Feichtenschlager V, Chong K, Peng L, Dimon MT, Phillips T, Daud AI, McCalmont TH, LeBoit PE, Ortiz-Urda S Combined targeting of MEK and PI3K/mTOR effector pathways is necessary to effectively inhibit NRAS mutant melanoma in vitro and in vivo.  View on PubMed
  19. Chong K, Daud A, Ortiz-Urda S, Arron ST Cutting edge in medical management of cutaneous oncology.  View on PubMed
  20. Reuter JA, Ortiz-Urda S, Kretz M, Garcia J, Scholl FA, Pasmooij AM, Cassarino D, Chang HY, Khavari PA Modeling inducible human tissue neoplasia identifies an extracellular matrix interaction network involved in cancer progression.  View on PubMed

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