Adrian Lee, Ph.D.

  • Professor
  • Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology

Education & Training

  • Ph.D. in Breast Cancer from Imperial Cancer Research Fund, University of Surrey, England, 2003
  • B.Sc. in Biochemistry from University of Kent, England, 1989

Research Interest Summary

The goal of the Lee laboratory is translational breast cancer research.

Research Categories

Research Interests

I have devoted my career to translational breast cancer research, focusing mainly on the role of insulin-like growth factors as modulators of mammary gland development and tumorigenesis, and translation of this knowledge to clinical trials with anti-IGF-IR inhibitors. A more recent area of focus concerns breast cancer genomics and its application to clinical care. As co-leader of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Program (BOCP), I oversee the basic and translational studies, which complements the translational to clinical work overseen by the co-leader Dr Edwards. Following my recruitment to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute in 2010 I co-founded and served as Director of the Women’s Cancer Research Center (WCRC) which in part led to the development of the more focused BOCP. I have previous leadership experience including chairing and serving on several local/national committees and study sections. I am currently on the Scientific Advisory Council of Susan G Komen for the Cure and am Editor at Endocrinology. In my role as co-leader of the BOCP I will focus on the basic and translational research, helping investigators realize the clinical importance of their findings and promoting the movement of translational research to studies in human tissues. I will work with Dr. Edwards to provide oversight to multiple events for translational science which are organized by members of the WCP (or fellows in their laboratories) including work-in-progress (Dr. Mei Zhang), journal club (Ryan Hartmaier PhD, postdoctoral fellow with Dr Lee), shared journal club with MCCBP (Dr Carola Neumann), invited
external seminar speakers (Dr Mei Zhang), pilot funding and review (Dr Anda Vlad) and a yearly retreat (Dr Steffi Oesterreich).

Representative Publications

Priedigkeit N, Watters RJ, Lucas PC, Basudan A, Bhargava R, Horne W, Kolls JK, Fang Z, Rosenzweig MQ, Brufsky AM, Weiss KR, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Exome-capture RNA sequencing of decade-old breast cancers and matched decalcified bone metastases. JCI Insight. 2017 Sep 7;2(17). PMID: 28878133

Li Z, Levine KM, Bahreini A, Wang P, Chu D, Park BH, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Upregulation of IRS1 enhances IGF1 response in Y537S and D538G ESR1 mutant breast cancer cells. Endocrinology. 2017 Sep 27. doi: 10.1210/en.2017-00693. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29029116

Bahreini A, Levine K, Santana-Santos L, Benos P, Wang P, Andersen C, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. Non-coding single nucleotide variants affecting estrogen receptor binding and activity. Genome Med. 2016 Dec 13;8(1):128.

Priedigkeit N, Hartmaier RJ, Chen Y, Vareslija D, Basudan A, Watters RJ, Thomas R, Leone JP, Lucas PC,  Bhargava R, Hamilton RL, Chmielecki J, Puhalla SL, Davidson NE, Oesterreich S, Brufsky AM, Young L, Lee AV. Breast cancer brain metastases show limited intrinsic subtype switching, yet exhibit acquired ERBB2 amplifications and activating mutations. JAMA Oncol. 2016 Dec 7. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.5630

Farabaugh SM, Chan BT, Cui X, Dearth RK, Lee AV. Lack of interaction between ErbB2 and insulin receptor substrate signaling in breast cancer. Cell Commun Signal. 2016 Oct 21;14(1):25. PMID: 27765041 3.

Gyanchandani R, Lin Y, Lin HM, Cooper KL, Normolle DP, Brufsky AM, Fastuca M, Crosson W, Oesterreich S, Davidson NE, Bhargava R, Dabbs DJ, Lee AV. Intra-tumor heterogeneity affects gene expression profile test prognostic risk stratification in early breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Nov 1;22(21):5362-5369.PMID: 27185370

Katz TA, Liao S, V Palmieri,, Dearth RK, Pathiraja TN, Huo Z, Shaw P, Small S, Davidson NE, Peters DG, Tseng G,  Oesterreich S, and Lee AV. Targeted DNA methylation screen in the mouse mammary genome reveals a parity-induced hypermethylation of IGF1R which persists long after parturition.  Cancer Prev Res. 2015 Oct;8(10):1000-9.

Casa AJ, Hochbaum D, Sreekumar S, Oesterreich S, Lee AV. The estrogen receptor alpha nuclear localization sequence is critical for fulvestrant-induced degradation of the receptor. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2015 Aug 10.

Full List of Publications