Laurie Littlepage

Laurie Littlepage

Mechanisms of Cancer Progression

Biography

2012-present
Campbell Family Assistant Professor of Cancer Research, University of Notre Dame
2009-2012
Associate Specialist, University of California, San Francisco
2003-2009
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Francisco
2003
Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology, Harvard University
1995
B.S. in Biochemistry, B.S. in Molecular Biology, University of Texas, Austin

Selected Awards

2006-2010
American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship
2003-2006
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, NIH
1997-2000
NSF Predoctoral Fellowship

Research Interests

Littlepage's research program is focused on the contributions of the epithelium and surrounding stroma/microenvironment to both cancer progression and normal tissue development in the mammary gland and prostate.

She has focused on three major projects:

  • The transcription factor/oncogene Znf217 that promotes a progenitor cell phenotype, metastasis and chemoresistance during breast cancer progression 
  • MMP3/Stromelysin-1 promotion of progenitor expansion, genomic instability, DNA damage, and centrosome amplification during mammary tumor progression 
  • Matrix metalloproteinases that contribute distinct roles in neuroendocrine prostate carcinogenesis, metastasis, and angiogenesis progression.

Overall, her research is grounded in understanding the mechanisms of cancer progression and in identifying therapies that prevent or reverse cancer in patients. She develops and uses integrated mouse models and genome-wide association studies to understand the contributions of specific genes in vivo at multiple points in cancer progression, spanning from normal mammary development to tumor progression and metastasis and chemotherapy resistance.

She uses a combination of mouse and human xenograft in vivo models, cell culture and organotypic cultures, and systems biology approaches to study biomarkers of epithelial plasticity and to determine how these genes drive aberrations in fundamental biological processes, e.g., differentiation state, progenitor cell maintenance, metabolism, and genomic integrity.

She also is identifying targeted therapies appropriate for personalized treatment of cancer patients based on these biomarkers.

Recent Papers

  • Littlepage, L.E., Adler, A.S., Kouros-Mehr, H., Huang, G., Chou, J., Krig, S.R., Griffith, O.L., Korkola, J.E., Qu, K., Lawson, D.A., Xue, Q., Sternlicht, M.D., Dijkgraaf, G.J., Yaswen, P., Rugo, H.S., Sweeney, C.A., Collins, C.C., Gray, J.W., Chang, H.Y., Werb, Z. "The transcription factor ZNF217 is a prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target during breast cancer progression." Cancer Discov. 2012 Jul;2(7):638-51. Epub 2012 May 10. Link

  • Littlepage, L.E., Sternlicht, M.D., Rougier, N., Phillips, J., Gallo, E., Yu, Y., Williams, K., Brenot, A., Gordon, J., Werb, Z. "Matrix metalloproteinases contribute distinct roles in neuroendocrine prostate carcinogenesis, metastasis, and angiogenesis progression." Cancer Res. 2010 Mar 15; 70(6):2224-34. Epub 2010 Mar 9. Link

  • Kouros-Mehr, H., Bechis, S.K., Slorach, E.M., Littlepage, L.E., Egeblad, M., Ewald, A.J., Pai, S.Y., Ho, I.C., Werb, Z. "GATA-3 links tumor differentiation and dissemination in a luminal breast cancer model." Cancer Cell. 2008 Feb; 13(2):141-52. Link

  • Adler, A.S., Littlepage, L.E., Lin, M., Kawahara, T.L.A., Wong, D.J., Liu, H., Werb, Z., Chang , H.Y. "CSN5 isopeptidase activity links COP9 signalosome activation to breast cancer progression." Cancer Res. 2008 Jan 15; 68(2):506-15. Link

  • Egeblad, M., Littlepage, L.E., Werb, Z. "The fibroblastic coconspirator in cancer progression." Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 2005; 70:383-8. Review. Link

  • Radisky, D.C., Levy, D.D., Littlepage, L.E., Liu, H., Nelson, C.M., Fata, J.E., Leake, D., Godden, E.L., Albertson, D.G., Nieto, M.A., Werb, Z., Bissell, M.J. "Rac1b and reactive oxygen species mediate MMP-3-induced EMT and genomic instability." Nature 2005 Jul 7; 436(7047):123-7. Link

Contact Information

  • Assistant Professor
  • Office: 132 Harper Hall
  • Phone: 631-4804
  • Send an email

Primary Research Areas

Research Specialties