Thea Tlsty, PhD

Department of Pathology
+1 415 502-6115

Our laboratory is interested in studying genetic, epigenetic and functional changes involved in the earliest steps of epithelial cancers and how interactions between stromal components and epithelial cells collaborate to moderate carcinogenesis. Our research studies of human epithelial cells from healthy individuals are providing novel insights into how early molecular events affect genomic integrity and fuel carcinogenesis. Prior work from our laboratory has shown that surrounding stroma can dramatically influence tumorigenesis. We investigate how these changes are initiated and moderated, as well as their consequences for clinical disease. These insights are applied in risk assessment, early detection, and prognostic studies. Areas of particular interest include human breast carcinogenesis and the role of tumor suppressor genes in regulating premalignant phenotypes. Our studies use molecular, biochemical and cellular analyses to evaluate primary human cells, develop recombinant models of cell-cell interactions and apply novel information to intact human tissue.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Tissue / Organ Biology & Endocrinology
Research Summary: 
Regulation of Genomic Instability in Mammalian Cells



Metastatic State of Cancer Cells May Be Indicated by Adhesion Strength.

Biophysical journal

Fuhrmann A, Banisadr A, Beri P, Tlsty TD, Engler AJ

SOX2, OCT3/4 and NANOG expression and cellular plasticity in rare human somatic cells requires CD73.

Cellular signalling

Pan D, Roy S, Gascard P, Zhao J, Chen-Tanyolac C, Tlsty TD

Risk prediction for local versus regional/metastatic tumors after initial ductal carcinoma in situ diagnosis treated by lumpectomy.

Breast cancer research and treatment

Molinaro AM, Sison JD, Ljung BM, Tlsty TD, Kerlikowske K

Novel insights from 3D models: the pivotal role of physical symmetry in epithelial organization.

Scientific reports

Kurup A, Ravindranath S, Tran T, Keating M, Gascard P, Valdevit L, Tlsty TD, Botvinick EL