Ben Z. Stanger

faculty photo
Professor of Medicine
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
Education:
SB (Life Sciences)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988.
MD (Medicine)
Harvard Medical School, 1997.
PhD (Genetics)
Harvard Medical School, 1997.
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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
Cell Plasticity in Regeneration and Cancer
During development, cells acquire specialized features through a series of differentiation events. Under normal circumstances, adult cells retain their differentiated identities. However, under a variety of experimental and physiological situations, cell identity can shift. This adult cell plasticity can involve an interchange between adult cellular identities (termed "trans-differentiation") or a reversion from a specialized state to a progenitor stated (termed "de-differentiation"). Our laboratory uses genetically engineered mice to understand how cell identity is maintained in vivo. We study cellular plasticity in the context of liver regeneration, diabetes, and cancer - where epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition promotes cell invasion and metastasis. In addition, we have a strong interest in tumor immunology, and the mechanisms by which tumor cells influence their microenvironment. We believe that the ability to manipulate cellular identity in these settings will facilitate the development of novel therapies for cancer and degenerative disease.


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 Instigator
Chenghua Yang - Research Specialist, Lab Manager
Ravi Maddipatti, MD - Research Associate
Takeshi Katsuda, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow
Allyson J. Merrell, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Taiji Yamazoe, PhD - Postdoctoral Fellow
Yogev Sela, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Jinyang Li - Graduate Student
Bobby Norgard - Graduate Student
Salina Yuan - Graduate Student
Benjamin Kahn – Student Researcher


Administrative Assistant:
Laura Murillo
215-573-0908
murillo@upenn.edu

Selected Publications

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.

Merrell AJ, Stanger BZ: Adult cell plasticity in vivo: de-differentiation and transdifferentiation are back in style. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 17(7): 413-25, 2016.

Yanger K, Knigin D, Zong Y, Maggs L, Gu G, Akiyama H, Pikarsky E, Stanger BZ: Adult hepatocytes are generated by self-duplication rather than stem-cell differentiation. Cell Stem Cell 15(3): 340-9, 2014.

Maddipati R, Stanger BZ: Pancreatic Cancer Metastases Harbor Evidence of Polyclonality. Cancer Discov 5(10): 1086-97, 2015.

Rhim AD, Oberstein PE, Thomas DH, Mirek ET, Palermo CF, Sastra SA, Dekleva EN, Saunders T, Becerra CP, Tattersall IW, Westphalen CB, Kitajewski J, Fernandez-Berrena MG, Fernandez-Zapico ME, Iacobuzzio-Donahue C, Olive KP*, Stanger BZ*: Stromal elements act to restrain, rather than support, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Cancer Cell 25(6): 735-747, 2014 Notes: *Co-corresponding authors.

Rajagopal J, Stanger BZ: Plasticity in the Adult: How Should the Waddington Diagram Be Applied to Regenerating Tissues? Dev Cell 36(2): 133-7, 2016.

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Last updated: 10/05/2018
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