Arun Wiita, MD, PhD

Investigator, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
Director, UCSF Stephen and Nancy Grand Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative Laboratory
Assistant Director, UCSF Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory
Associate Professor
Department of Laboratory Medicine
+1 415 514-6238
Research Overview: 

Our laboratory is focused on using mass spectrometry-based proteomics to discover new biology and therapeutic targets in hematologic malignancies (blood cancers) and genetic disease. Our major hypothesis is that “biology happens at the protein level” – i.e. RNA-level analysis is not enough. This is particularly true when investigating biological signatures driven by protein post-translational modifications, protein-protein interactions, and altered sub-cellular localization.

To achieve these goals, our inter-disciplinary group aims to integrate proteomics-based screening with “multi-omics” bioinformatics, clinical data, epigenetic methods, genome engineering, antibody engineering, cellular engineering, chemical biology, and mechanistic biology. In particular, significant efforts in the lab are focused on developing new proteomics methods to discover cell surface targets, and then utilize emerging protein and cellular engineering approaches to develop novel cancer immunotherapies to eliminate disease.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Research Summary: 
We are interested in utilizing proteomic methodologies to uncover new therapeutic targets in blood cancers, and then developing new cellular therapies to treat disease based on these discoveries.
Mentorship Development: 

4/23/20    Effective Strategies for IDPs
4/30/20    Mental Health in a Pandemic: Q&A for Faculty
11/10/20    Optimizing the Efficiency of Your Lab
2/16/21    Three Truths and Three Tries: Facing and Overcoming Critical Social Justice Challenges at the Micro, Mezzo, and Macro Levels


Featured Publications: 

Allosteric HSP70 inhibitors perturb mitochondrial proteostasis and overcome proteasome inhibitor resistance in multiple myeloma.

Cell chemical biology

Ferguson ID, Lin YT, Lam C, Shao H, Tharp KM, Hale M, Kasap C, Mariano MC, Kishishita A, Patiño Escobar B, Mandal K, Steri V, Wang D, Phojanakong P, Tuomivaara ST, Hann B, Driessen C, Van Ness B, Gestwicki JE, Wiita AP

The surfaceome of multiple myeloma cells suggests potential immunotherapeutic strategies and protein markers of drug resistance.

Nature communications

Ferguson ID, Patiño-Escobar B, Tuomivaara ST, Lin YT, Nix MA, Leung KK, Kasap C, Ramos E, Nieves Vasquez W, Talbot A, Hale M, Naik A, Kishishita A, Choudhry P, Lopez-Girona A, Miao W, Wong SW, Wolf JL, Martin TG, Shah N, Vandenberg S, Prakash S, Besse L, Driessen C, Posey AD, Mullins RD, Eyquem J, Wells JA, Wiita AP

Surface proteomics reveals CD72 as a target for in vitro-evolved nanobody-based CAR-T cells in KMT2A/MLL1-rearranged B-ALL.

Cancer discovery

Nix MA, Mandal K, Geng H, Paranjape N, Lin YT, Rivera J, Marcoulis M, White KL, Whitman JD, Bapat SP, Parker KR, Ramirez J, Deucher A, Phojanokong P, Steri V, Fattahi F, Hann B, Satpathy AT, Manglik A, Stieglitz E, Wiita AP

Proteasome inhibitor-induced modulation reveals the spliceosome as a specific therapeutic vulnerability in multiple myeloma.

Nature communications

Huang HH, Ferguson ID, Thornton AM, Bastola P, Lam C, Lin YT, Choudhry P, Mariano MC, Marcoulis MD, Teo CF, Malato J, Phojanakong PJ, Martin TG, Wolf JL, Wong SW, Shah N, Hann B, Brooks AN, Wiita AP

The LC3-conjugation machinery specifies the loading of RNA-binding proteins into extracellular vesicles.

Nature cell biology

Leidal AM, Huang HH, Marsh T, Solvik T, Zhang D, Ye J, Kai F, Goldsmith J, Liu JY, Huang YH, Monkkonen T, Vlahakis A, Huang EJ, Goodarzi H, Yu L, Wiita AP, Debnath J

Time-Resolved Proteomics Extends Ribosome Profiling-Based Measurements of Protein Synthesis Dynamics.

Cell systems

Liu TY, Huang HH, Wheeler D, Xu Y, Wells JA, Song YS, Wiita AP