Mara Sherman, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
  • Co-leader, Cancer Biology Program, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
  • Cell and Developmental Biology Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Cancer Biology Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, School of Medicine


The Sherman Lab aims to understand the transcriptional and epigenetic gene-regulatory networks that underlie tumor-stroma interactions in pancreatic cancer, and to target these networks for therapeutic benefit. Our research focuses on the tumor-permissive molecular mechanisms underlying cancer-associated fibroblast function, and how these stromal mechanisms affect cell fate and function in the pancreatic epithelium with respect to gene expression, metabolism, and growth. Our laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the mechanistic underpinnings of the pancreatic tumor microenvironment, including mouse models of pancreatic cancer, three-dimensional cell culture systems such as patient-derived organoids, and diverse molecular- and cell-biological techniques focused on gene regulation.

Education and training

    • B.A., 2005, Cornell University
    • Ph.D., 2010, University of California
  • Fellowship

    • Postdoctoral fellow, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 2010-2016

Memberships and associations:

  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Areas of interest

  • pancreatic cancer, tumor microenvironment, cancer metabolism, epigenetics



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