The scientific goals of the Genetic Mechanisms Program are to define and understand the genetic changes that occur during cancer development, to understand the genesis of those changes, and to use gene transfer technology to treat cancer. These goals include defining the specific changes that drive tumor initiation and progression, lead to resistance to tumor treatment, and influence cancer susceptibility. To achieve these goals, we feature strong research programs focused on the following Aims: 1) To identify cancer susceptibility genes, DNA mutators, and drivers of metastasis to develop new biomarkers for cancer progression and drug targets for therapeutic intervention; 2) To understand the mechanisms that maintain genome stability, including pathways that control replication stress and DNA damage tolerance; and 3) To develop a new generation of viral and nonviral cancer therapeutics that will be tested in preclinical animal models. The Genetic Mechanisms Program is a basic science program led by Anja-Katrin Bielinsky, PhD, and new co-leader Masato Yamamoto, MD, PhD, and has 43 members, representing 19 departments and 8 schools or colleges. Dr. Bielinsky oversees the early phases of translation, and Dr. Yamamoto assists with later phases and facilitates active collaborations with clinicians outside GM who are experts in clinical trials. For the last budget year, GM members were supported by $2.9 million in direct costs from the National Cancer Institute, other NIH funding totaled $7.2 million, total peer-reviewed funding was $10.95 million, and cancer-related funding from all sponsored sources totaled $15.2 in direct costs. Since 2013, Program members have published 634 papers, 17% of which resulted from intraprogrammatic collaborations, 20% from interprogrammatic collaborations, and 85% from external collaborations. Over the past funding cycle, we enhanced our team-building efforts to promote research in areas that span multiple themes. Uncovering the mechanisms that promote drug resistance in solid tumors is one such area that aligns strongly with the Masonic Cancer Center Strategic Plan Scientific Priority for Growth (SPG2) of enhancing functional genomics strategies to further our understanding of cancer and develop new therapeutic avenues. Major accomplishments include 1) validation of novel biomarkers that predict progression-free survival in solid tumors, 2) uncovering druggable targets in osteosarcoma, 3) generating functional genomics pipelines that allow for the systematic identification of drug- resistance pathways, and 4) generating a second-generation suite of oncolytic viruses that will improve treatment of patients in our catchment area. The Masonic Cancer Center has provided substantial value to the Program, including access to shared resources, recruitment of new faculty, funding of 26 pilot projects for nearly $1M, annual research retreats, monthly Program meetings, weekly seminars, and a weekly newsletter to facilitate collaborations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
United States
Zip Code
Lin, Lifeng; Chu, Haitao; Murad, Mohammad Hassan et al. (2018) Empirical Comparison of Publication Bias Tests in Meta-Analysis. J Gen Intern Med 33:1260-1267
Rashidi, Armin; Ebadi, Maryam; Said, Bassil et al. (2018) Absence of early HHV-6 reactivation after cord blood allograft predicts powerful graft-versus-tumor effect. Am J Hematol :
Bejanyan, Nelli; Brunstein, Claudio G; Cao, Qing et al. (2018) Delayed immune reconstitution after allogeneic transplantation increases the risks of mortality and chronic GVHD. Blood Adv 2:909-922
Bachanova, Veronika; Sarhan, Dhifaf; DeFor, Todd E et al. (2018) Haploidentical natural killer cells induce remissions in non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients with low levels of immune-suppressor cells. Cancer Immunol Immunother 67:483-494
Hupp, Meghan; Williams, Sarah; Dunnette, Brian et al. (2018) Comparison of evaluation techniques, including digital image analysis, for MYC protein expression by immunohistochemical stain in aggressive B-cell lymphomas. Hum Pathol :
Rashidi, Armin; Shanley, Ryan; Holtan, Shernan G et al. (2018) Pretransplant Serum Citrulline Predicts Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 24:2190-2196
Ma, Bin; Zarth, Adam T; Carlson, Erik S et al. (2018) Methyl DNA Phosphate Adduct Formation in Rats Treated Chronically with 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone and Enantiomers of Its Metabolite 4-(Methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol. Chem Res Toxicol 31:48-57
Hatsukami, Dorothy K; Luo, Xianghua; Jensen, Joni A et al. (2018) Effect of Immediate vs Gradual Reduction in Nicotine Content of Cigarettes on Biomarkers of Smoke Exposure: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 320:880-891
Lee, Hak Rae; Leslie, Faith; Azarin, Samira M (2018) A facile in vitro platform to study cancer cell dormancy under hypoxic microenvironments using CoCl2. J Biol Eng 12:12
Yang, Libang; Herrera, Jeremy; Gilbertsen, Adam et al. (2018) IL-8 mediates idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis mesenchymal progenitor cell fibrogenicity. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 314:L127-L136

Showing the most recent 10 out of 1013 publications