University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Adrian Lee, PhD

Adrian Lee
Professor of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology
Co-Leader, Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program, UPCI

Contact Information

Contact Information

Magee-Womens Research Institute
204 Craft Avenue, A412
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-641-7739
Email: leeav@upmc.edu
Fax: 412-641-2458

Administrative Assistant
Name: Nadine Ryan
Phone: 412-641-7557
Email: ryann@upmc.edu
Fax: 412-641-2458

Research Keywords

Research Keywords

Breast cancer; steroid receptors; growth factor signaling; estrogen receptor; progesterone receptor; insulin-like growth factor; tumor heterogeneity

Research Summary

Research Summary

The goal of the Lee laboratory is translational breast cancer research. The laboratory has two main areas of focus. The first involves targeting the insulin-like growth factor pathway in breast cancer. A major emphasis is upon the downstream signaling intermediates the insulin receptor substrates (IRSs) analyzing interactions with steroid hormone receptors (ER and PR), role in normal mouse mammary gland development, mechanisms of transformation of mammary epithelial cells in vitro and in mouse models, and roles in human breast cancer. The second area of research is studies on tumor heterogeneity and molecular changes during progression, with a particular focus on DNA and RNA structural rearrangements. The laboratory participated in the first comprehensive report of structural rearrangements in a breast cancer cell line (MCF7) and reported on a novel massively parallel fosmid-based mate-pair assay for determining structural rearrangements. This work focuses on different tumor areas, or tumors from different parts of the body (obtained via rapid autopsy) to identify novel changes that may offer therapeutic insight. In addition, the University of Pittsburgh is the largest contributor of tissue to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), and many results are validated in these index cases.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

  • Qu Y, Wang J, Ray PS, Guo H, Huang J, Shin-Sim M, Bukoye BA, Liu B, Lee AV, Lin X, Huang P, Martens JW, Giuliano AE, Zhang N, Cheng NH, Cui X. Thioredoxin-like 2 regulates human cancer cell growth and metastasis via redox homeostasis and NF-kB signaling.J Clin Invest. 2011 Jan;121(1):212-25. PubMed Link
  • Dearth RK, Delgado DA, Hiney JK, Pathiraja T, Oesterreich S, Medina D, Dees WL, Lee AV. Parity-induced decrease in systemic growth hormone alters mammary gland signaling: a potential role in pregnancy protection from breast cancer.Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2010 Mar;3(3):312-21. PubMed Link
  • Wang J, Ray PS, Sim MS, Zhou XZ, Lu KP, Lee AV, Lin X, Bagaria SP, Giuliano AE, Cui X. FOXC1 regulates the functions of human basal-like breast cancer cells by activating NF-kB signaling. Oncogene. 2012 Nov 8;31(45):4798-802. PubMed Link
  • Hartmaier RJ, Richter AS, Gillihan RM, Sallit JZ, McGuire SE, Wang J, Lee AV, Osborne CK, O'Malley BW, Brown PH, Xu J, Skaar TC, Philips S, Rae JM, Azzouz F, Li L, Hayden J, Henry NL, Nguyen AT, Stearns V, Hayes DF, Flockhart DA, Oesterreich S. A SNP in steroid receptor coactivator-1 disrupts a GSK3 phosphorylation site and is associated with altered tamoxifen response in bone. Mol Endocrinol. 2012 Feb;26(2):220-7. PubMed Link
  • Hampton OA, Koriabine M, Miller CA, Coarfa C, Li J, Den Hollander P, Schoenherr C, Carbone L, Nefedov M, Ten Hallers BF, Lee AV, De Jong PJ, Milosavljevic A. Long-range massively parallel mate pair sequencing detects distinct mutations and similar patterns of structural mutability in two breast cancer cell lines. Cancer Genet. 2011 Aug;204(8):447-57. PubMed Link
  • Potter AS, Casa AJ, Lee AV. Forkhead box A1 (FOXA1) is a key mediator of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) activity. J Cell Biochem. 2012 Jan;113(1):110-21. PubMed Link
  • Dearth RK, Kuiatse I, Wang YF, Liao L, Hilsenbeck SG, Brown PH, Xu J, Lee AV. A moderate elevation of circulating levels of IGF-I does not alter ErbB2 induced mammary tumorigenesis. BMC Cancer. 2011 Aug 25;11:377. PubMed Link
  • Casa AJ, Potter AS, Malik S, Lazard Z, Kuiatse I, Kim HT, Tsimelzon A, Creighton CJ, Hilsenbeck SG, Brown PH, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Estrogen and insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) independently down-regulate critical repressors of breast cancer growth. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Feb;132(1):61-73. PubMed Link
  • Becker MA, Ibrahim YH, Cui X, Lee AV, Yee D. The IGF pathway regulates ERa through a S6K1-dependent mechanism in breast cancer cells. Mol Endocrinol. 2011 Mar;25(3):516-28. PubMed Link
  • Litzenburger BC, Creighton CJ, Tsimelzon A, Chan BT, Hilsenbeck SG, Wang T, Carboni JM, Gottardis MM, Huang F, Chang JC, Lewis MT, Rimawi MF, Lee AV. High IGF-IR activity in triple-negative breast cancer cell lines and tumorgrafts correlates with sensitivity to anti-IGF-IR therapy. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Apr 15;17(8):2314-27. PubMed Link

See all pubs (Pubmed)

UPCI Shared Resource Usage

UPCI Shared Resource Usage

  • Animal Facility
  • Biostatistics Facility
  • Cancer Bioinformatics Services
  • Cancer Genomics Facility
  • Cell and Tissue Imaging Facility
  • Tissue and Research Pathology Services

Affiliated Graduate Programs

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Last modified: 8/1/14