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Ben Z. Stanger, MD, PhD

Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research
Member, Abramson Cancer Center
Member, Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Member, Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Member, Institute for Medicine and Engineering
Director, Penn Pancreatic Cancer Research Center (PCRC)
Investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute (AFCRI)
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Division of Gastroenterology
Department of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
512 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III (Office)
527 Biomedical Research Bldg II/III (Lab)
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-5560
Fax: 215-573-2486
SB (Life Sciences)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988.
MD (Medicine)
Harvard Medical School, 1997.
PhD (Genetics)
Harvard Medical School, 1997.
Post-Graduate Training
Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 1997-1999.
Research and Clinical Fellow in Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA Fellowship Director: Daniel Podolsky, MD, 1999-2003.
Research Fellow in Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA Laboratory of Douglas Melton, PhD, 2000-2006.
American Board of Internal Medicine - Internal Medicine (Inactive), 2000.
American Board of Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology (Active), 2003.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests

Cell Plasticity
Pancreatic Cancer
Tumor Immunology
Liver Regeneration

Key words: Metastasis, Pancreatic Cancer, Tumor Immunology, Cell Plasticity

Description of Research
Pancreas Cancer
Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDA) is poised to become the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. This poor outcome is attributable to two facts: (1) pancreatic cancers metastasize early, before clinical detection, and (2) current anti-cancer therapies are inadequate. Our laboratory tackles these problems by understanding how tumors metastasize and identifying vulnerabilities that will lead to better therapies. Our efforts include studies of the tumor immune microenvironment, tumor metabolism, and cellular plasticity and metastasis biology. We rely on genetically engineered mice that recapitulate salient features of the human disease, functional genomics, and in vitro culture methods that recapitulate the unique microenvironment of the tumor. In addition, we maintain a strong interest in liver biology and the pathogenesis of type I diabetes.

Rotation Projects
Rotation projects may be available based upon applicant interest. Please contact Dr. Stanger directly to discuss potential projects.

Lab personnel:
Ben Stanger, MD, PhD - Principal Investigator
Chenghua Yang - Research Specialist, Lab Manager
Jason Pitarresi, PhD - Research Associate
Jason Eccleston, MD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Maimon Hubbi, MD PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Takeshi Katsuda, PhD – Postdoctoral Researcher
Samantha Kemp, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Il-Kyu Kim, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Yogev Sela, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Salina Yuan - Post-Graduate Student
Erin Hollander - Graduate Student
Benjamin Kahn – MD PhD Rotation Student

Administrative Assistant:
Ricardo Tucker (Rico)

Selected Publications

Yuan S, Natesan R, Sanchez-Rivera FJ, Li J, Bhanu NV, Yamazoe T, Lin JH, Merrell AJ, Sela Y, Thomas SK, Jiang Y, Plesset JB, Miller EM, Shi J, Garcia BA, Lowe SW, Asangani IA, Stanger BZ: Global regulation of the histone mark H3K36me2 underlies epithelial plasticity and metastatic progression. Cancer Discov 10(6): 854-871, Jun 2020.

Yuan S, Norgard RJ, Stanger BZ: Cellular Plasticity in Cancer. Cancer Discov 9(7): 837-51, Jul 2019.

Li J, Stanger BZ: The tumor as organizer model. Science 363(6431): 1038-1039, Mar 2019.

Markosyan N, Li J, Sun YH, Richman LP, Lin JH, Yan F, Quinones L, Sela Y, Yamazoe T, Gordon N, Tobias JW, Byrne KT, Rech AJ, FitzGerald GA, Stanger BZ, Vonderheide RH: Tumor cell-intrinsic EPHA2 suppresses anti-tumor immunity by regulating PTGS2 (COX-2). J Clin Invest 130: 3594-3609, Jun 2019.

Aiello NM, Maddipati R, Norgard RJ, Balli D, Li J, Yuan S, Yamazoe T, Black T, Sahmoud A, Furth EE, Bar-Sagi D, Stanger BZ: EMT subtype influences epithelial plasticity and mode of cell migration. Developmental Cell 45(6): 681-695, 2018.

Li J, Byrne KT, Yan F, Yamazoe T, Chen Z, Baslan T, Richman LP, Lin J, Sun YH, Rech AJ, Balli D, Hay CA, Sela Y, Merrell AJ, Liudahl SM, Gordon N, Norgard RJ, Yuan S, Yu S, Chao T, Ye S, Eisinger-Mathason TSK, Faryabi RB, Tobias JW, Lowe S, Coussens LM, Wherry EJ, Vonderheide RH, Stanger BZ: Tumor cell-intrinsic factors underlie immune heterogeneity and therapeutic response. Immunity 49(1): 178-193, 2018.

Aiello NM, Brabletz T, Kang Y, Nieto MA, Weinberg RA, Stanger BZ: Upholding a role for EMT in pancreatic cancer metastasis. Nature 547(7661): E7-E8, 2017.

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Last updated: 11/06/2021
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