Dr. Thayer is a gastrointestinal surgeon specializing in pancreatic and biliary disease. She is Associate Professor of Surgery and W. Gerald Austen Scholar in Academic Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and Director, Pancreas Biology Laboratory, MGH.
Dr. Thayer received her M.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine (where she was valedictorian) and her Ph.D. from the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences. She completed her internship and residency in Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. As Chief Resident at MGH, she won the Harvard Medical School Resident Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching in Surgery. She was recruited in 2001 to the staff of the Division of General Surgery, and holds a parallel appointment as Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. She has been W. Gerald Austen Scholar in Academic Surgery at MGH/HMS since 2002.
Dr. Thayer's clinical interests encompass pancreatic, colorectal, and breast cancers, general and hepatobiliary (liver) surgery. Her research focuses on pancreatic cancer and disease (see Research Summary).
Dr. Thayer's principal research focus is pancreatic cancer and disease, particularly the cell of origin/cancer stem cells and the role of developmental genes in the pathogenesis and progression of pancreatic cancer. This work has culminated in publications in Nature, PNAS and Gastroenterology. She is currently Director of the Pancreatic Biology Laboratory at MGH and Director of its BioBank Core. She is an investigator on two NIH/NCI-sponsored consortium projects based at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the DF/HCC GI Cancer Program GI SPORE project in Pancreatic Cancer and the P01 entitled Genetics and Biology of Pancreatic Duct Adenocarcinoma, as well as several other projects. She has been the recipient of the five-year George H.A. Clowes, Jr. Memorial Research Career Development Award from the American College of Surgeons.
Thayer SP et al. Hedgehog is an early and late mediator of pancreatic cancer tumorigenesis. Nature 2003; 425:851-6
Strobel O, Warshaw AL, Thayer SP et al. Beta cell transdifferentiation does not contribute to preneoplastic/metaplastic ductal lesions of the pancreas by genetic lineage tracing in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007; 104:4419-24.
Strobel O, Thayer SP et al. In vivo lineage tracing defines the role of acinar-to-ductal transdifferentiation in inflammatory ductal metaplasia. Gastroenterol 2007; 133:1999-2009
Strobel O, Thayer SP et al. Pancreatic duct glands are distinct ductal compartments that react to chronic injury and mediate Shh-induced metaplasia. Gastroenterology 2010 Mar; 138:823-5.
Rovira M, Scott S-G, Liss AS, Jensen J, Thayer SP, Leach SD. Isolation and characterization of centroacinar/terminal ductal progenitor cells in adult mouse pancreas. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2010; 107:75-80.
International Cancer Genome Consortium (incl Thayer). International network of cancer genome projects. Nature 2010; 464:993-8.
Established in 2008, the Warshaw Institute – named after Andrew L. Warshaw, MD, MGH surgeon-in-chief emeritus and founder of the Pancreatic Biology Lab – is a collaboration of scientists and clinicians whose mission is to extend and improve the lives of patients with pancreatic cancer through the development of innovative diagnostic and treatment options.