Shen Lab

Location and Contact Information

Irving Cancer Research Center
1130 Saint Nicholas Ave
Room 217B (office), Room 208A/B (lab)
New York, NY 10032
United States

Principal Investigator

  • Profile Headshot
    • Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Genetics & Development
    • Co-Leader, Tumor Biology and Microenvironment, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center

During the past twenty-three years, my laboratory has investigated the molecular mechanisms of mammalian development and cancer using in vivo analyses of genetically-engineered mouse models. After establishing my lab at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, my group focused on functional analyses of the signaling pathway for the TGF-beta ligand Nodal, and elucidation of the multiple mechanisms of its regulation during mouse embryogenesis.

Since moving to Columbia University Medical School in 2007, our studies have expanded significantly to encompass analyses of prostate epithelial progenitor cells and their roles in organogenesis and tissue regeneration, focusing on the role of the Nkx3.1 transcriptional regulator as well as analysis of cell types of origin for prostate cancer. These studies have led to the identification of a luminal epithelial stem cell as well as support for a luminal cell of origin for prostate cancer, and most recently to the establishment of an organoid culture system for mouse and human prostate epithelium. Our work has also incorporated bioinformatic and computational systems approaches in studies ranging from analyses of extraembryonic endoderm stem cell differentiation to the investigation of prostate epithelial lineage specification. Ongoing projects include systems analyses of embryonic stem cell pluripotency, investigation of mechanisms of prostate epithelial lineage specification and cell-type differentiation, and generation of novel mouse models of advanced prostate cancer. Most recently, the scope of our projects has expanded to molecular studies of bladder cancer evolution and drug response through the analysis of patient-derived bladder tumor organoids.

Lab Members

Select Publications

  • Lee, S. H., Hu, W., Matulay, J. T., Silva, M. V., Owczarek, T. B., Kim, K., Chua, C. W., Barlow, L. J., Kandoth, C., Williams, A. B., Bergren, S. K., Pietzak, E. J., Anderson, C. B., Benson, M. C., Coleman, J. A., Taylor, B. S., Abate-Shen, C., McKiernan, J. M., Al-Ahmadie, H., Solit, D. B., and Shen, M. M. (2018) Tumor evolution and drug response in patient-derived organoid models of bladder cancer. Cell 173: 515-528.

  • Chua, C. W., Epsi, N. J., Leung, E. Y., Xuan, S., Lei, M., Li, B. I., Bergren, S. K., Hibshoosh, H., Mitrofanova, A., and Shen, M. M. (2018). Differential requirements of androgen receptor in luminal progenitors during prostate regeneration and tumor initiation. eLife 7: e28768.

  • Talos, F., Mitrofanova, A., Bergren, S. K., Califano, A., and Shen, M. M. (2017). A computational systems approach identifies synergistic specification genes that facilitate lineage conversion to prostate tissue. Nat. Comm. 8: 14662.

  • Zou, M., Toivanen, R., Mitrofanova, A., Floc’h, N., Hayati, S., Sun, Y., Le Magnen, C., Chester, D., Mostaghel, E. A., Califano, A., Rubin, M. A., Shen, M. M.*, and Abate-Shen, C. (2017). Transdifferentiation as a mechanism of treatment resistance in a mouse model of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Cancer Discov. 7: 736-749. (*co-corresponding author)

  • Toivanen, R., Mohan, A., and Shen, M. M. (2016). Basal progenitors contribute to repair of the prostate epithelium following induced luminal anoikis. Stem Cell Rep. 6: 660-667.

  • Chua, C. W., Shibata, M., Lei, M., Toivanen, R., Barlow, L. J., Bergren, S. K., Badani, K. K., McKiernan, J. M., Benson, M. C., Hibshoosh, H., and Shen, M. M. (2014). Single luminal epithelial progenitors can generate prostate organoids in culture. Nat. Cell Biol. 16: 951-961.

  • Wang, Z. A., Toivanen, R., Bergren, S. K., Chambon, P., and Shen, M. M. (2014). Luminal cells are favored as the cell of origin for prostate cancer. Cell Rep. 8: 1339-1346.

  • Wang, Z. A., Mitrofanova, A., Bergren, S. K., Abate-Shen, C., Cardiff, R. D., Califano, A., and Shen, M. M. (2013). Lineage analysis of basal epithelial cells reveals their unexpected plasticity and supports a cell of origin model for prostate cancer heterogeneity. Nat. Cell Biol. 15: 274-283.

  • Chu, J., and Shen, M. M. (2010). Functional redundancy of EGF-CFC genes in epiblast and extraembryonic patterning during early mouse embryogenesis. Dev. Biol. 342: 63-73.

  • Wang, X., Kruithof-de Julio, M., Economides, K. D., Walker, D., Yu, H., Halili, M. V., Hu, Y.-P., Price, S. M., Abate-Shen, C., and Shen, M. M. (2009). A luminal epithelial stem cell that is a cell of origin for prostate cancer. Nature 461: 495-500.