Principal Investigator

 

Trever Bivona, M.D., Ph.D. (Associate Professor in Residence)

Dr. Trever Bivona is a board-certified medical oncologist with a PhD in cell and molecular biology. He maintains an active academic clinical practice and clinical research program while also leading a basic and translational research laboratory focused on cancer genetics and precision medicine. A major research interest is enhancing the understanding of the molecular basis of targeted cancer therapy response and resistance in lung cancer and other solid cancers. He leads a multi- disciplinary team of investigators in laboratory-based, patient-focused investigation and is a principal investigator on clinical trials, enabling a bench-to-bedside research program. The overall goal of these efforts is to improve survival in molecular subclasses of cancer patients through novel, effective precision medicine approaches.


Assistant Professors

 

Amit Sabnis, M.D. (adjunct asst. Professor)

Amit is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology who is completing a post-doctoral fellowship in the Bivona Lab. His research relies on patient-derived models to identify and pre-clinically validate new therapeutic targets for high-risk pediatric sarcomas, in particular fusion-positive rhabdomyosarcoma. His collaboration with other laboratories at UCSF has led to an in depth exploration of the chaperone and proteostasis networks of cancer cells. In addition to his lab work, Amit sees patients at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco, where he is a member of the Early Phase Clinical Trials group. 

 

 

Collin Blakely, M.D., Ph.D.

Collin Blakely MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology. He received his training in the Medical Scientist Training Program at UPenn and completed his Medical Oncology fellowship at UCSF. Currently he works with the Bivona lab to translate laboratory based findings into clinical trials testing new therapies for lung cancer patients.


CLINICAL FELLOWs

 

Asmin Tulpule, M.D, Ph.D.

Asmin Tulpule is a pediatric hematology-oncology fellow with an interest in translocation-driven soft tissue sarcomas. His projects examine mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance to cytotoxic chemotherapy in Ewing's sarcoma. He is also broadly interested in ALK fusion driven cancers.

 
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Ross Okimoto, M.D. 

Ross is a medical oncologist at UCSF and his research efforts are focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis.


Associate Specialist

 

Beatrice Gini, Ph.D.

Beatrice is a Ph.D. in Neuroscience with extensive training in brain tumor research. Her current research interests are the dissection of the tumor heterogeneity in lung cancer using single cell technologies and the analysis of the oncogene-addicted cell’s dependence on specific pro-survival factors. The goal of these projects is to foster precision medicine, identifying more effective, patient specific targeted therapies for lung cancer patients.


Postdoctoral Scholars

 

Phillippe Gui, Ph.D.

Following a Master's degree in Pharmacology, Philippe obtained his Doctorate in Cell Biology from the University of Toulouse in 2014. His thesis project was focused on the characterization of the in vivo trans-tissular migration of cancer-promoting macrophages inside solid tumors. He joined the lab in October 2015 to pursue his interest in translational cancer research.

 

Nilanjana Chatterjee, Ph.D.

Nilanjana is a biochemist by training interested in the epigenetic regulation of chromatin and cancer. She believes that science is a service that is rendered for the improvement of human life and for the cure of life threatening diseases.

 

Alexei Polishchuk, M.D., Ph.D.

Alexei is an aspiring physician-scientist currently completing residency training in radiation oncology. He is interested in discovering and clinically translating novel genomic determinants of response and resistance to radiation therapy in mutant driver oncogene addicted cancers. To this end he is performing unbiased high-throughput genomic screening to identify mechanisms of resistance to stereotactic radiation therapy in lung cancer, with the goal of translating targetable mediators to the clinic.


Student

 

Dana Neel (Graduate Student (MSTP))

Dana is an MD/PhD student in the lab. At Stanford, where she was an undergrad, she studied the dynamics of heterochromatin formation in Jerry Crabtree's lab. In the Bivona lab, her interests include the role of epigenetic regulators in oncogenesis and mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapy in ROS1-fusion driver lung cancer. Dana is originally from Boston, but she thinks San Francisco is a pretty sweet city, too. In her free time, Dana enjoys running with the November Project, backpacking, watching football (go Pats!), and playing with her dog, Carter.


Assistant Specialists

 

Victor Olivas

Victor graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Bioengineering in 2009. Victor is fascinated with cancer and its ability to overcome primary drug treatment and acquire resistance. He is looking for synergistic upfront polytherapies to offset tumor progression and therapeutic resistance. Victor hopes to one day combine his research background and acquire an M.D. to help patients in a clinical setting. 

 

Jennifer Flanagan 

Jennifer graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Cell Biology and a B.A. in Communications in 2014. Her undergraduate lab work was in Dr. Jonathan Eisen’s lab performing 16S rRNA microbiome surveys using Next Generation Sequencing. In the Bivona lab, she specializes in NGS library preparations primarily whole exome, transcriptome, and CRISPR. She is interested in data mining, tumor heterogeneity, and somatic evolution in therapeutic resistance. In the future she'd like to combine her technical sequencing skills with a Masters in Bioinformatics.


Volunteer Student

 

Xiao Chen (Volunteer Student)

Xiao (Tony) Chen is a fourth-year student at UC Berkeley majoring in Integrative Biology and English. Under the guidance of Dr. Ross Okimoto, Tony is developing a senior honors thesis and investigating the relationship between drug resistance and metastatic disease in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the lung. He will be entering medical school in Fall 2016 and plans to pursue a career in surgery.


ACADEMIC Assistant

 

 

Thanh Lam (Academic Assistant)

Thanh Lam joined the University of California, San Francisco in 2007, bringing with him extensive experience in customer service and administration. He facilitates broad range of administrative functions for the departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, Anatomy, and LPPI Financial services.   On his free time, he’s an undercover nerd who attends comic conventions and collects action figures. 


ALUMNI

 

Evangelos Pazarentzos, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Scholar)

Evangelos comes from Greece were he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Crete before moving to Imperial College London in UK to obtain hiss Master and Ph.D. Evangelos joined the Bivona Lab in 2012 and he engaged in a variety of projects dealing with targeted therapy resistance, utilization of genomics to identify populations that would benefit for therapy and projects to identify new therapeutic targets in oncology. Recent work focused on NFKB, cancer metabolism, PTEN, PI3 kinase signaling, oncogenic potential of new oncology targets, AXL kinase, IKK signaling, PDK1 and PKC-iota. Through extensive collaboration with physician scientists, biotech/pharma and genomic/sequencing companies, Evangelos aimed to contribute to the generation of a lung cancer target map that will be part of the personalized medicine efforts of our group.

 

Luping Lin, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Scholar)

Luping focused her research efforts on understanding molecular determinants of response and resistance to BRAF and MEK targeted therapies in lung cancer, and other solid cancers. Using genetic and pharmacologic screening approaches, she discovered several mechanisms of resistance to these targeted agents in BRAF mutant  and RAS mutant lung cancer and other other solid cancers. Her work has provided rationale for novel rational upfront polytherapy trials in BRAF mutant and RAS mutant cancer patients to enhance response and forestall the onset of resistance. 

 

Gorjan Hrustanovic, Ph.d  (BMS)

Gorjan's research focus explored the molecular pathogenesis of oncogenic ALK-fusions in NSCLC, and using these mechanistic underpinnings to uncover new therapeutic strategies to overcome clinical resistance to ALK inhibitors. He has also been involved in projects spanning cancer metabolism, resistance to EGFR targeted therapies, cancer metastasis, and RTK-fusion biology generally. His work has been published in Nature Medicine, Cell Reports, Oncogene, and Cancer Biology & Therapy.

 

 

Shruthi Perati (Volunteer Student)

 

More ALumni

Frank Breitenbuecher, Ph.D. (Associate Specialist)

Elton Chan (Assistant Specialist)

Carrie Lin (Assistant Specialist)

Luu Pham (Assistant Researcher)

Anin Sayana (Volunteer Student)

Soumya Kurnool (Volunteer Student)


Collaborators

 

BEYOND UCSF

Rafael Rosell

Niki Karachaliou

Robert Doebele

Christine Lovly

Jonathan Riess

S. Ignatius Ou

Charles Rudin

Keith Flaherty

Jennifer Wargo

Iman Osman

Charles Swanton

Jose Baselga

Patrick Ma

UCSF

Jonathan Weissman

Wendell Lim

Nevan Krogan

Sourav Bandyopadhyay

Eric Collisson

James Wells

James Fraser

Kevin Shannon

Alan Ashworth

Peter Walter

Kevan Shokat

Mark von Zastrow

Boris Bastian

Matthew Gubens

 

 

 

Check out some Photos of our lab at work