Ben Z. Stanger, MD, PhD
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
SB (Life Sciences)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988.
Harvard Medical School, 1997.
Harvard Medical School, 1997.
Description of Research ExpertiseResearch Interests
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 may be available based upon applicant interest. Please contact Dr. Stanger directly to discuss potential projects.
Ben Stanger, MD, PhD - Principal Investigator
Chenghua Yang - Research Specialist, Lab Manager
Takeshi Katsuda, PhD – Postdoctoral Researcher
Allyson J. Merrell, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Yogev Sela, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Il-Kyu Kim, PhD - Postdoctoral Researcher
Jinyang Li - Graduate Student
Bobby Norgard - Graduate Student
Salina Yuan - Graduate Student
Benjamin Kahn – Student Researcher
Selected PublicationsYuan S, Norgard RJ, Stanger BZ: Cellular Plasticity in Cancer. Cancer Discov Page: doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0015, 2019 Notes: [Epub ahead of print]
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: doi: 10.1172/JCI127755, 2019 Notes: pii: 127755.
Li J, Stanger BZ: The tumor as organizer model. Science 363(6431): 1038-1039, 2019.
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, 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.
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.