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Evans Lab Team

Evans Lab: About Us

Research in the Evans lab is currently focused on the pharmacogenomics of anticancer agents, with an emphasis on childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (reviewed in Evans and Relling, Science 1999; Evans and Relling, Nature, 2004; Pui and Evans, NEJM, 2006; Paugh et al, Clin. Pharmacol. Ther. 2011). 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 interrogation of candidate genes and the application 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 (reviewed in Evans and Relling, Nature, 2004). Ongoing studies are investigating genes that the lab has linked with resistance to antileukemic agents (Holleman et al, NEJM, 2004; Lugthart et al, Cancer Cell, 2005), and genes linked to the disposition of antileukemic agents (Kager et al, JCI, 2005; Zaza, Blood, 2005), as well as the influence of somatic and karyotypic abnormalities on genotype-phenotype concordance (Cheng, Nature Genetics, 2005; Diouf et al, Nature Med. 2011). Work in the lab is funded by a long-standing R37 from NCI (W Evans PI), a UO1 as part of the NIH-funded Pharmacogenetics Research Network (M. Relling PI), by a Cancer Center Support grant from NCI (R. Gilbertson, PI), and by ALSAC, the fundraising organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The lab comprises a number of post-doctoral fellows, staff scientists, research technologists, bioinformaticists, computer scientists and students, working with collaborators at St. Jude (including Mary Relling and Ching-Hon Pui 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 and Europe. 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 (see Relling et al, Lancet Oncol, 2010, Paugh et al, Clin Pharm. Ther. 2011).‚Äč