In order to develop more effective cancer treatments we need to understand the underlying genetic causes of cancer. In the Starr lab we have developed transgenic mouse models that are capable of identifying the genetic changes that turn a normal cell into a cancerous cell. Using these models we have discovered a large number of genes that likely cause cancer in humans when mutated. We are currently studying the function of these genes in order to determine whether they could be targeted in cancer therapy. We are also working in close collaboration with bioinformaticists to use the data generated by our mouse models to define the genetic networks that are disrupted during cancer initiation and progression in human tumors. The long-term goal of our research is to develop combinatorial, targeted therapies for treating cancer patients.
Selected Publications (Pubmed Search)
Than, B.L.N, Goos, J.A.C.M., Sarver, A. L., O Sullivan, M.G., Rod, A., Starr, T.K., Fijneman, R.J.A., Meijer, G., Largaespada, D.A., Scott, P.M., and Cormier, R.T. The role of KCNQ1 in mouse and human gastrointestinal cancers. 2013, Oncogene, Aug 26.
TaeHyun Hwang, Gowtham Atluri, Rui Kuang, Vipin Kumar, Timothy Starr, Peter M Haverty, Zemin Zhang, Jinfeng Liu. Large-scale integrative network-based analysis identifies common pathways disrupted by copy number alterations across cancers. 2013, BMC Genomics, 14:440.
Somasekar Seshagiri, Eric Stawiski, Steffen Durinck, Zora Modrusan, Elaine E. Storm, Caitlin B. Conboy, Subhra Chaudhuri, Yinghui Guan, Vasantharajan Janakiraman, Bijay S. Jaiswal, Joseph Guillory, Connie Ha, Gerrit J. P. Dijkgraaf, Jeremy Stinson, Florian Gnad, Melanie A. Huntley, Jeremiah Degenhardt, Peter M. Haverty, Richard Bourgon, Weiru Wang, Hartmut Koeppen, Robert Gentleman, Timothy K. Starr, Zemin Zhang, David A. Largaespada, Thomas D. Wu and Frederic J. de Sauvage. Recurrent R-spondin fusions in colon cancer. 2012, Nature, 488:66.
Tracy L. Bergemann*, Timothy K. Starr*, Haoyu Yu, Michael Steinbach, Yun Chen, Robert T. Cormier, David A. Largaespada and Kevin A.T. Silverstein. New methods for finding common insertion sites and co-occurring common insertion sites in transposon- and virus-based genetic screens. 2012, Nucleic Acids Research, online advance access, 1-12. * Both authors contributed equally to this work.
Timothy K. Starr, Patricia M. Scott, Benjamin M. Marsh, Lei Zhao, Bich L.N. Than, M. Gerard O'Sullivan, Aaron L. Sarver, Adam J. Dupuy, David A. Largaespada, Robert T. Cormier. A Sleeping Beauty transposon mediated screen identifies murine susceptibility genes for Apc-dependent intestinal tumorigenesis . 2011, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108:5765.
Adam Dupuy, Laura Rogers, Jinsil Kim, Kishore Nannapaneni, Timothy Starr, Pentao Liu, David Largaespada, Todd Scheetz, Nancy Jenkins and Neal G. Copeland. A modified Sleeping Beauty transposon system that can be used to model a wide variety of human cancers in mice . 2009. Cancer Research, 69:8150.
Timothy Starr, Raha Allaei, Kevin Silverstein, Rodney Staggs, Aaron Sarver, Tracy Bergemann, Mihir Gupta, M. Gerard O Sullivan, Ilze Matise, Adam Dupuy, Lara Collier, Scott Powers, Ann Oberg, Yan Asmann, Stephen Thibodeau, Lino Tessarollo, Neal Copeland, Nancy Jenkins, Robert Cormier and David A. Largaespada. A Transposon-Based Genetic Screen in Mice Identifies Genes Altered in Colorectal Cancer . 2009. Science, 323:1747.
Vincent Keng, Augusto Villanueva, Derek Chiang, Adam Dupuy, Barbara Ryan, Ilze Matise, Kevin Silverstein, Aaron Sarver, Timothy Starr, Keiko Akagi, Lino Tessarollo, Lara S Collier, Scott Powers, Scott Lowe, Nancy Jenkins, Neal Copeland, Josep Llovet, and David Largaespada. A conditional transposon-based insertional mutagenesis screen for genes associated with mouse hepatocellular carcinoma . 2009. Nature Biotechnology, 27:264.