Education & Training
- Ph.D. in Breast Cancer from Imperial Cancer Research Fund, University of Surrey, England, 2003
- B.Sc. in Biochemistry from University of Kent, England, 1989
Research Interest Summary
Dr. Adrian Lee is Professor of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology and Human Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Dr Lee is the Pittsburgh Foundation Chair and Director of the Institute for Precision Medicine (IPM), a joint effort by the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC to move biomedical research into personalized well-being and clinical care. Dr. Lee received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in England, and came to San Antonio, Texas for his postdoctoral studies. He was subsequently recruited to Baylor College of Medicine and to the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. Dr Lee has published over 200 peer reviewed research articles (google scholar H-index 76, >15,000 citations). Dr. Lee serves on numerous national peer-review committees and is on the Editorial Board of several journals. In 2018, Dr. Lee was awarded the Terri L Chapman award from Susan G. Komen, the PNC Elsie Hillman Distinguished Scholar award, and the University of Pittsburgh Biomedical Graduate Scholar Association (BGSA) Distinguished Mentor Award.
The Lee/Oesterreich lab is supported by funding from the NIH, Department of Defense, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and other sources. The lab studies the molecular basis of breast cancer development and resistance to therapy, with the goal to improve precision medicine and outcomes for breast cancer patients. The laboratory employs a systems biology approach, utilizing a combination of single cell and bulk sequencing, computational methods, and biological models to identify and validate new drivers and therapeutic targets. Hypotheses are tested in vitro and in vivo and then moved to clinical trials. The majority of studies incorporate analysis of human specimens, in collaboration with a large network of clinicians and nurses. This includes computational analysis and modeling of large biomedical and genomic datasets including electronic health record data.
A major focus of the laboratory is identifying mechanisms of resistance to endocrine therapy, and new approaches to blocking breast cancer metastasis through precision medicine. This includes the study of estrogen receptor (ESR1) mutations and fusions and synergism with growth factor pathways. A special focus is on the understanding of invasive lobular cancer (ILC), the second most common but understudied histological subtype of breast cancer.
The laboratory has a very strong training environment, with attention to diversity and inclusion and each individuals’ successful career development. One of the top priorities is to maintain a healthy lab environment, ensuring high productivity and rigor.
Li Z, Wu Y, Yates ME, Tasdemir N, Bahreini A, Chen J, Levine KM, Priedigkeit NM, Nasrazadani A, Ali S, Buluwela L, Arnesen S, Gertz J, Richer JK, Troness B, El-Ashry D, Zhang Q, Gerratana L, Zhang Y, Cristofanilli M, Montanez MA, Sundd P, Wallace CT, Watkins SC, Fumagalli C, Guerini-Rocco E, Zhu L, Tseng GC, Wagle N, Carroll JS, Jank P, Denkert C, Karsten MM, Blohmer JU, Park BH, Lucas PC, Atkinson JM, Lee AV, Oesterreich S. Hotspot ESR1 mutations are multimodal and contextual modulators of breast cancer metastasis. Cancer Res. 2022 Jan 25:canres.CAN-21-2576-E.2021. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-2576. PMID: 35078818
Priedigkeit N, Ding K, Horne W, Kolls JK, Du T, Lucas PC, Blohmer JU, Denkert C, Machleidt A, Ingold-Heppner B, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Acquired mutations and transcriptional remodeling in long-term estrogen-deprived locoregional breast cancer recurrences. Breast Cancer Res. 2021 Jan 6;23(1):1. doi: 10.1186/s13058-020-01379-3. PMID: 33407744.
Shah OS, Soran A, Sahin M, Knapick BA, Ugras S, Celik E, Lucas PC, Lee AV. Identifying Genomic Alterations in Patients With Stage IV Breast Cancer Using MammaSeq: An International Collaborative Study. Clin Breast Cancer. 2021 Jun;21(3):210-217. doi: 10.1016/j.clbc.2020.08.009. Epub 2020 Aug 20. PMID: 33191115
Chen F, Ding K, Priedigkeit N, Elangovan A, Levine KM, Carleton N, Savariau L, Atkinson JM, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Single-Cell Transcriptomic Heterogeneity in Invasive Ductal and Lobular Breast Cancer Cells. Cancer Res. 2021 Jan 15;81(2):268-281. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-0696. Epub 2020 Nov 4. PMID: 33148662
Boone DN, Warburton A, Som S, Lee AV. SNHG7 is a lncRNA oncogene controlled by Insulin-like Growth Factor signaling through a negative feedback loop to tightly regulate proliferation. Sci Rep. 2020 May 22;10(1):8583. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-65109-7. PMID: 32444795
Farabaugh SM, Litzenburger BC, Elangovan A, Pecar G, Walheim L, Atkinson JM, Lee AV. IGF1R constitutive activation expands luminal progenitors and influences lineage differentiation during breast tumorigenesis. Dev Biol. 2020 Jul 1;463(1):77-87. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2020.04.007. PMID: 32376245
Zhu L, Narloch JL, Onkar S, Joy M, Broadwater G, Luedke C, Hall A, Kim R, Pogue-Geile K, Sammons S, Nayyar N, Chukwueke U, Brastianos PK, Anders CK, Soloff AC, Vignali DAA, Tseng GC, Emens LA, Lucas PC, Blackwell KL, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Metastatic breast cancers have reduced immune cell recruitment but harbor increased macrophages relative to their matched primary tumors. J Immunother Cancer. 2019 Oct 18;7(1):265. doi: 10.1186/s40425-019-0755-1. PMID: 31627744
Gyanchandani R, Kvam E, Heller R, Finehout E, Smith N, Kota K, Nelson JR, Griffin W, Puhalla S, Brufsky AM, Davidson NE, Lee AV. Whole genome amplification of cell-free DNA enables detection of circulating tumor DNA mutations from fingerstick capillary blood. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 23;8(1):17313. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35470-9. PMID: 30470782
Nagle AM, Levine KM, Tasdemir N, Scott JA, Burlbaugh K, Kehm J, Katz TA, Boone DN, Jacobsen BM, Atkinson JM, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Loss of E-cadherin Enhances IGF1-IGF1R Pathway Activation and Sensitizes Breast Cancers to Anti-IGF1R/InsR Inhibitors. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Oct 15;24(20):5165-5177. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18 0279. PMID: 29941485
Hartmaier RJ, Trabucco SE, Priedigkeit N, Chung JH, Parachoniak CA, Vanden Borre P, Morley S, Rosenzweig M, Gay LM, Goldberg ME, Suh J, Ali SM, Ross J, Leyland-Jones B, Young B, Williams C, Park B, Tsai M, Haley B, Peguero J, Callahan RD, Sachelarie I, Cho J, Atkinson JM, Bahreini A, Nagle AM, Puhalla SL, Watters RJ, Erdogan-Yildirim Z, Cao L, Oesterreich S, Mathew A, Lucas PC, Davidson NE, Brufsky AM, Frampton GM, Stephens PJ, Chmielecki J, Lee AV. Recurrent hyperactive ESR1 fusion proteins in endocrine therapy-resistant breast cancer. Ann Oncol. 2018 Apr 1;29(4):872-880. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdy025. PMID: 29360925
Chen J, Nagle AM, Wang YF, Boone DN, Lee AV. Controlled dimerization of insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin receptors reveals shared and distinct activities of holo and hybrid receptors. J Biol Chem. 2018 Mar 9;293(10):3700-3709. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.789503. Epub 2018 Jan 12. PMID: 29330302
Priedigkeit N, Watters RJ, Lucas PC, Basudan A, Bhargava R, Horne W, Kolls JK, Fang Z, Rosenzweig MQ, Brufsky AM, Weiss KR, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Exome-capture RNA sequencing of decade-old breast cancers and matched decalcified bone metastases. JCI Insight. 2017 Sep 7;2(17):e95703. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.95703. eCollection 2017 Sep 7. PMID: 28878133
Priedigkeit N, Hartmaier RJ, Chen Y, Vareslija D, Basudan A, Watters RJ, Thomas R, Leone JP, Lucas PC, Bhargava R, Hamilton RL, Chmielecki J, Puhalla SL, Davidson NE, Oesterreich S, Brufsky AM, Young L, Lee AV. Intrinsic Subtype Switching and Acquired ERBB2/HER2 Amplifications and Mutations in Breast Cancer Brain Metastases. JAMA Oncol. 2017 May 1;3(5):666-671. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.5630. PMID: 27926948