Our laboratory is interested in understanding the interplay between genetic drivers and the extrinsic stressors from the niche so that disease can be identified at an early stage and new intervention or prevention approaches can be uncovered for leukemia patients.
Learn about our projects
1. Genetic modalities in leukemia predisposition syndromes and clonal hematopoiesis models
Clonal evolution in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is the stepwise acquisition of secondary mutations starting from the preleukemic stage. Preleukemia is defined by germline mutations in leukemia predisposition syndromes and acquired mutations in clonal hematopoiesis. Understanding the mechanisms of disease transformation from the preleukemic stage is critical to identifying high-risk individuals and developing early interventions. To address these questions, we are using RUNX1-mutated familial platelet disorder (FPD) and TET2-mediated clonal hematopoiesis as models. Our group is implementing cutting-edge methods and multi-parametric single-cell analysis to perform a comprehensive characterization of preleukemic primary samples and to identify new mechanisms of disease initiation. In addition, we perform validation of identified pathways using in vivo mouse models and identify novel early intervention and prevention strategies.
2. Extrinsic mechanisms that regulate hematopoiesis of healthy and malignant stem cells
We believe that the complex signaling milieu of the bone marrow niche creates a selective pressure at the early leukemic stage to promote the clonal growth of leukemia cells. Consistent with this, we and others have identified several proinflammatory cytokines that have a paradoxical effect on the clonal growth of leukemia cells while suppressing the growth of healthy nonmalignant cells. We are performing omics-based analyses to identify the molecular signature that leads to niche-driven functional differences in nonmalignant and malignant stem cells as well as characterize changes in the bone marrow niche. This comprehensive approach will allow us to gain insight into the signaling mechanisms that contribute to the clonal growth of leukemic stem cells, enabling the design of therapeutic strategies to target malignant cells specifically.
3. Mechanisms of molecular conduit between the extrinsic niche factors and leukemic cells
It is likely that not only the extrinsic stresses but also leukemia cells reprogram their niche. For instance, treatment with cytotoxic therapy promotes the release of signaling mediators from leukemic cells that recruit immune cell responses to blunt malignant cell killing. Additionally, cytotoxic therapy-mediated reprogramming of the niche may promote the survival of leukemic cells by releasing growth-promoting cytokines. We propose that delineating these mechanisms will establish a novel paradigm for designing strategies to target aberrant niche-driven signaling. For this, we are using a combination of single-cell genomics, transcriptomics, and epigenetics as well as genome-wide CRISPR screening methods.
Since 2014, the Agarwal lab is generously funded by:
- NIH/NCI K99/R00 Pathways to Independence Award
- NIH/NCI R01
- NIH/NHLBI R01
- V Foundation Scholar Award
- American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant
- The Babich Family Foundation /Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
- EvansMDS foundation
- Pilot funds from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute - Hillcrest Committee, CEDAR Research Project grant, and NIH Build Exito Pilot Project Award as well as collaborative projects through NCI U54 Drug Resistance and Sensitivity Network (DRSN) and U01 Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC)
March 14, 2022
Study reveals inherited risk of leukemia
Nov. 18, 2019
Study overturns basic tenet in leukemia biology
Dec. 27, 2017
Knight Cancer signal achievements of 2017
Dec. 22, 2017
Solving the problem of drug-resistant cancer
Oct. 13, 2017
KGW Television, Portland Today
Anupriya Agarwal Ph.D., outlined Beat AML, a Knight Cancer Institute initiative backed by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to viewers of KGW television this week in advance of the Light the Night walk.
March 28, 2017
In search of treatment for a perilous form of leukemia
Feb. 21, 2017
Gene mutations cause leukemia, but which ones?
Dec. 4, 2015
New leads in the struggle against a formidable leukemia
Anupriya Agarwal, Ph.D.
Division of Oncological Sciences
Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology
Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology
Department of Molecular & Medical Genetics
OHSU School of Medicine
OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
M.S., Microbiology, G.B. Pant Univ., India
Ph.D., Microbiology, Dr. R.M.L. Avadh Univ. and ITRC Institute, India
Hsin-Yun Lin, Ph.D.
B.S., Biotechnology, East China University of Science and Technology
M.S., Biological Engineering, University of Missouri
Ph.D. Cancer Biology Program, Oregon Health and Science University
Hsin-Yun is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of disease progression mediated by inflammatory cytokines in Acute Myeloid Leukemia progression.
She enjoys running with friends, reading short stories and baking coconut macaroons in her free time.
Emily Wolfe, Ph.D.
B.S., The Evergreen State College
Ph.D., Biology, Portland State University
Emily is interested in environmental influences on clonal evolution, mutation, and cellular heterogeneity in AML.
Emily enjoys ultra running and going on adventures with my family.
Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe, Ph.D.
B.Sc.., Advanced Zoology and Biotechnology, Stella Maris College, University of Madras, India
M.Sc., Zoology, Savitribai Phule Pune University, India
Ph.D., Biology, Texas A&M University
Aishwarya is interested in understanding how secondary mutations contribute to leukemic transformation in the context of inflammatory stress inn pre-malignant and malignant settings.
Aishwarya enjoys dancing, traveling, sketching and spending time with her family and friends.
John McClatchy, B.S.
B.S., Biology and Bioveterinary Science, minors, Chemistry and Computer Science, Utah State University
John is interested in developing strategies to identify and prevent leukemia progression at early stage in familial Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He is approaching his research interest by characterizing the function of novel germline mutations and understanding their interactions with the inflammatory niche.
John enjoys ballroom dance, longboarding, gymnastics, reading, skill-based games and free food.
Mona M. Hosseini
B.S., Biology with a minor in Chemistry, Portland State University
Mona is interested in dissecting new signaling pathways involved in leukemia initiation and progression in the context of microenvironment in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Mona enjoys hiking, finding spectacular spots, and taking pictures. She also enjoys reading and watching movies/documentaries.
Luiza Ostrowski, M.S.
B.S., Biological Sciences, University of Sao Paulo
M.S., Bioinformatics and Genomics, University of Oregon
Luiza is interested in understanding how inflammation can modulate the progression of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Luiza enjoys traveling, baking, and spending time with her family, friends, and her two cats.
Research Assistant 2
B.A., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Middlebury College
Briana is interested in the connection between genetics and drug resistance in Acute Myeloid leukemia. Briana is pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. to become an obstetrician gynecologist and hopes to study obstetrical oncology.
Briana really enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and paddleboarding. She also enjoys creative activities like painting and dancing. Briana loves watching anime, listening to music, and reading during her downtime.
Research Assistant 2, part-time
B.S., Biology, Portland State University
James is interested in understanding the mechanisms of clonal evolution and drug response.
James enjoys playing sports, exploring nature and watching movies.
B.S., in progress, biochemistry, Portland State University
Domnica is currently interested in continuing to expand her knowledge of drug-resistance mechanisms in acute myeloid leukemia.
Domnica enjoys going on walks with her German Shepard, playing volleyball, baking a variety of different desserts and reading.
- Ashis Ramtel, Student
- Camryn Berry, Research Assistant 2
- Joyce Anne Cuenca, Student Research Intern
- Katia Rebola, Postdoctoral Scholar
- Ariel Miyama
- Maya Caruso
- Adam Duvall, Clinical Fellow
- Rucha Modak, Postdoctoral Fellow
- Andrea Monteblanco, Research Assistant
- Karina Thiel-Klare, Research Assistant
- Ruthey Viver, Student Research Intern
- Alisha Steigerwald, Student Research Intern
- Alyssa Carey, Research Assistant
- Megan Cleary, Sr. Research Assistant
- Swati Garg, Graduate Student, Summer Rotation
- Kristina Halvorson, Research Assistant
- Clayton Hudson, Graduate Student, Rotation
- Bernadette Maertens, Murdock Scholar
- Alka Puri, Visiting Intern
- Rhese Thompson, Murdock Scholar
- Michie Degnin, Senior Research Assistant
- Chris Eden, Research Assistant
- Sherif Abdelhamed, Assistant Staff Scientist
- Gabby Dewson, Murdock Scholar
- Homma Khosroyani, Graduate Student, Rotation
- Gabriel Cohn, Graduate Student, Rotation
- Tiffany Lee, Medical Student Research Intern
Join our team
We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals to join our lab. If you have a strong background in cell biology and the ability to perform basic computational analysis using large data sets, we'd love to hear from you.