About This Research Thrust

Through cancer biology research, the Department of Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital is developing breakthroughs on the underlying mechanisms of cancer—including the growth, spread and maintenance of cancer cells—to inform cutting-edge treatments.

Laboratories and Researchers

Irit Adini, PhD

Irit Adini, PhD, is an investigator at the Mass General Center for Engineering in Medicine & Surgery. Dr. Adini's research focuses on the role of the melanocytic microenvironment in tissue neovascularization-dependent disorders and inflammatory skin disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration, cancer and connective tissue diseases.

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Auchincloss Laboratory

The Laboratory of Hugh Auchincloss, MD, uses institutional data combined with large national and international databases to answer questions about the treatment and prognosis of lung cancer and other thoracic surgery diseases.

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Boland Laboratory

The Boland Laboratory, led by Genevieve Boland, MD, PhD, focuses on blood-based techniques for assessing changes in the tumor microenvironment through analysis of circulating exosomes.

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Colson Laboratory

Research in the Laboratory of Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD, focuses on surgical innovation and surgical oncology, with NIH funding to study several novel approaches to cancer therapy with prior expertise in transplantation immunology and immune recognition.

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Cusack Laboratory

Research topics in the Cusack Laboratory, led by James Cusack, MD, include molecular targeted therapies for colorectal cancer, melanoma, Merkel cell cancer and carcinomatosis, and improving delivery of surgical cancer care in resource-limited settings.

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Head and Neck Translational Immuno-Oncology Research Laboratory

The Head and Neck Translational Immuno-Oncology Research Laboratory, led by Sara Pai, MD, PhD, is to rapidly translate innovative, biomarker-driven immunotherapies that have the potential to improve treatment outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer.

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Lanuti Laboratory

The Laboratory of Michael Lanuti, MD, leads translational research with the goal of designing novel therapeutics to treat lung and esophageal cancer to bring to clinical trials.

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N. Murat Karabacak, PhD

N. Murat Karabacak, PhD, is an investigator at the Center for Engineering in Medicine & Surgery. Dr. Karabacak’s work is at the interface of mass spectrometry, microfluidics and medicine. 

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Liss Laboratory

The Liss Laboratory, led by Andrew Liss, PhD, is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that contribute to pancreatic cancer.

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Maheswaran Laboratory

Research topics in the Maheswaran Laboratory, led by Shyamala Maheswaran, PhD, include tumorigenesis, breast cancer and cancer genetics.

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Oncolytic Virus Research Laboratory

The Oncolytic Virus Research Laboratory, led by Howard Kaufman, MD, FACS, seeks to understand how oncolytic viruses, a new class of tumor immunotherapy or cancer treatment, mediate antitumor activity.

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Pancreatic Biology Research Laboratory

The focus of the basic and translational laboratory efforts is the molecular mechanisms underlying the initiation, progression and maintenance of pancreatic disease and cancer, specifically the contribution of developmental genes.

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Sachdeva Laboratory

The Laboratory of Uma Sachdeva, MD, PhD, uses 3D culture models of human and mouse-derived cells to study the pathogenesis of esophageal cancer.

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Schumacher Laboratory

The research focuses of Lana Schumacher-Beal, MD, center on robotic surgery to treat lung and esophageal cancer in women.

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Tanabe Laboratory

Research topics in the Tanabe Laboratory, led by Kenneth Tanabe, MD, include hepatobiliary cancer, epidermal growth factor and hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Thyroid Cancer Research Laboratory

The main focus of the Thyroid Cancer Research Laboratory, led by Sareh Parangi, MD, is to study certain key genetic and epigenetic changes seen more frequently in those patients who do poorly, and find out how exactly these genetic changes lead to more aggressive cancer behavior in those patients.

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Wang Laboratory

The Wang Laboratory, led by Xinhui Wang, MD, PhD, is focused on two major research initiatives: targeting cancer stem cells and immunotherapy for cancers.

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Wright Laboratory

Dr. Wright is interested in thymic tumors (both thymomas and thymic cancers) and has published on the surgical and multimodality treatment of thymic neoplasms. Dr. Wright has published extensively on outcomes based upon this robust national database as well as developed risk-models to predict and compare results of lung cancer and esophageal cancer resection.

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Yang Laboratory

The clinical and translational research of Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, MD, aims to improve care for patients with lung cancer and other diseases of the chest.

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