Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.

The overarching mission of the OHSU Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology is to advance the understanding of problems relevant to human health and disease. To accomplish this mission, research groups in the department have historically focused on questions regarding cell structure, organelles, life cycle, differentiation, and regulated communication between cells and extracellular signals and cues. An ultimate application of knowledge gained from these studies has been to understand important cell physiologic processes that effect human biology. These issues directly link to problems of interest to developmental biologists, including molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating tissue morphogenesis, tissue polarity and patterning. Read full welcome message here.

Welcoming new members during modified operations

Many new faces have joined us since OHSU's modified operations began in March 2020. We have created a page where you will find a photo and bio for  faculty, staff, and students who have joined during this time. Visit the page here.

OHSU Respect For All Flowchart

Respect For All Flowchart


Upcoming events

Event Highlights

Drs. Lisa Coussens and Amy Moran, AACR 2022
Drs. Lisa Coussens (left) and Amy Moran (right) at the AACR Annual Meeting 2022.
Drs. Lisa Coussens and Sanjay Malhotra, AACR Annual Meeting 2022 200x240.jpg
Drs. Sanjay Malhotra (right) and Lisa Coussens (center), during the AACR 2022 New President's Reception celebrating Dr. Coussens' transition into the AACR Presidency.
Drs. Lisa Coussens, Kate Byrne, Amanda Lund, Grad student Grace McCarthy
Drs. Lisa Coussens, Sanjay Malhotra, Amanda Lund, Kate Byrne, and OHSU graduate student Grace McCarthy (Brody lab) at the AACR 2022 Annual Meeting.

Featured stories

Drs. Lisa Coussens and Shivaani Kummar, KCI Deputy Directors

At the Dec. 7 2022 Town Hall meeting, Director Brian Druker, M.D., announced that Lisa Coussens, Ph.D., and Shivaani Kummar, M.D., will serve as OHSU Knight Cancer Institute deputy directors effective immediately. Druker said the two strong leaders – representing the clinic and the lab, respectively – are well-equipped to step into these critical roles. If you missed last week’s Town Hall meeting, you can watch the recording

KCRB Visit, 5th grade students_May 2022

Dr. Amy Moran organized a day in the KCRB for 50 5th grade students from a local public elementary school. Amy said, "We talked about animal research, toured 5 labs, learned the fundamental components of a cell, and extracted DNA from strawberries. They left wearing DNA necklaces! It was extraordinary and most everyone who volunteered ask how they do it again. Pilot experiment accomplished! DCM vets even presented on animal research and the kids had to decide on research ethics from fruit flies to monkeys. It was so great! My joy for the week!” 
Amy was inspired to do this based on her daughter: “No, it was Amy wants to do some outreach day! Actually, inspired by Clare’s classmate who is an 11yr old black girl who wants to be a doctor and doesn’t believe it’s possible for her. So I told her I’d help her see the possibility.”

Recent Accolades & Funding

Congratulations to Dr. Lisa Coussens, who is one of six scientists at OHSU who are among world's most highly cited per the consulting firm Clarivate. Lisa made the list in the field of molecular biology and genetics. Clarivate compiles an annual list of researchers who’ve shown significant and broad influence reflected in the publication of multiple papers frequently cited by their peers. Read more on OHSU Now.

Congratulations to Dr. Kate Byrne, who has been awarded a grant from the Robert L. Fine Cancer Research Foundation funded for 2 years. The title of the grant is, "Harnessing CD4 T cells in the pancreatic tumor microenvironment."

Congratulations to John McClatchy, graduate student in the Agarwal lab, who is a recent recipient of the F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award to study role of inflammation in TET2-mediated clonal hematopoiesis.

Congratulations to Michael Parappilly, student in the Wong lab, who was recently selected as one of the OSLER TL1 awardees. 

Recent Publications

Dr. Pepper Schedin and colleagues recently published, "Young-Onset Breast Cancer Outcomes by Time Since Recent Childbirth in Utah" in JAMA Network Open. The publication was also featured on OHSU Now.

The Agarwal lab and AML team have recently published, "Associating drug sensitivity with differentiation status identifies effective combinations for acute myeloid leukemia" in Blood Advances. Read the paper here.

The Wong lab has two publication-related announcements:

Dr. Adam Tuttle, postdoc in the Nechiporuk lab, has recently published, "c-Kit Receptor Maintains Sensory Axon Innervation of the Skin through Src Family Kinases" in the Journal of Neuroscience.

CDCB labs recruiting

Careers with an emphasis on preclinical and translational science

CDCB welcomes

Megan Burger

CDCB is excited to welcome Megan Burger, Ph.D. who will be joining us as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, with a joint appointment in the Division of Hematology Oncology. Dr. Burger's research program will initially be investigating the interplay of anti-tumor T cell responses in thoracic malignancies with the goal of identifying targets for new therapy. Welcome, Dr. Burger!

Tanaya Shree

CDCB is pleased to announce that Tanaya Shree, M.D., Ph.D., will be joining us as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Shree is a lymphoma specialist and cancer immunologist. Her lab will focus on dissecting the interplay between the immune system and cancer – understanding immune deficiencies in cancer patients and developing novel strategies for activating the immune system against cancer. Welcome, Dr. Shree!

Kate Byrne

CDCB is pleased to welcome Katelyn Byrne, Ph.D., who will be joining us as a joint faculty along with the Brendon-Colson Center for Pancreatic Care and the Knight Cancer Institute. The main focus of the Byrne Lab is to investigate the immunobiology of the pancreatic tumor microenvironment, with the long-term goal of generating novel therapies for enhancing immune responses in patients. Welcome, Dr. Byrne!