Welcome to the lab of William E. Evans, PharmD
Research in the Evans lab is focused on the pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents, with an emphasis on childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (reviewed in Evans and Relling, Nature, 2004; Pui and Evans, NEJM, 2006; Paugh et al., Clin Pharmacol Ther, 2011; Relling and Evans, Nature 2015). Several approaches are currently being used to identify genes and genome variations that are important determinants of the disposition and effects of antileukemic agents, including the use of genome wide approaches such as gene expression profiling (mRNA, microRNA) of leukemia cells, genome-wide SNP analyses (germline and somatic) and whole exome/genome sequencing of patient cohorts that have been uniformly treated and evaluated on prospective clinical trials at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (Evans and Relling, Nature, 2004), or by our collaborators in the COG and in Europe (e.g., Princess Maxima Center, Utrecht). Ongoing studies are investigating genes that the lab has linked with resistance to antileukemic agents (Holleman et al., N Engl J Med, 2004; Lugthart et al., Cancer Cell, 2005), and genes linked to the disposition (Kager et al., J Clin Invest, 2005; Zaza et al., Blood, 2005) or pharmacologic targets (Diouf et al, JAMA, 2015; Paugh et al., Nat Genet, 2015) of antileukemic agents as well as the influence of somatic and karyotypic abnormalities on genotype-phenotype concordance (Cheng et al., Nat Genet, 2005; Diouf et al., Nat Med, 2011). Work in the lab is funded by a long-standing R01 from NCI (CA36401, W. Evans, PI), a project in the Center for Precision Medicine P50 Grant from NIGMS as part of the NIH-funded Pharmacogenetics Research Network (GM115279, M. Relling, PI), by a Cancer Center Support grant from NCI (CA21765, S. Baker, PI), and by ALSAC, the fundraising organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The lab comprises a number of postdoctoral fellows, staff scientists, research technologists, bioinformaticists, computational scientists and students, working with collaborators at St. Jude (including Mary Relling, Ching-Hon Pui, Hiroto Inaba, Charles Mullighan, Jun Yang and Kirsten Ness as major collaborators, plus additional physicians, clinical pharmacists, research nurses and other staff at St. Jude), and with collaborators at other institutions in the US (HudsonAlpha, University of Chicago) and Europe (Erasmus University, Princess Maxima Center). The lab's overall goals are to elucidate genomic determinants of toxicity and efficacy of anticancer agents and translate this knowledge into new diagnostics and treatment strategies to optimize the therapy of ALL (Relling and Evans, Nature 2015; Dunnenberger et al., Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol, 2015).