Benjamin Huang, MD

Asst Professor in Residence
Research Overview: 

The research in our laboratory is focused on cancer modeling, molecular therapeutics, functional genomics, and biomarker discovery in hematologic cancers. Our research focuses primarily on pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which is characterized by frequent co-occurrence of fusion oncogenes and signal transduction mutations. While targeted inhibitors directed against either class of alteration have shown activity in AML, patients invariably relapse with treatment-refractory leukemia, underscoring the need for both a deeper understanding of how transcriptional and signaling mutations cooperate to drive leukemia growth and how these genetic alterations create novel dependencies. Thus, we are harnessing promising small molecule inhibitors and synthetic lethality approaches to uncover therapeutic vulnerabilities. We are also collaborating with the Children's Oncology Group (COG) to study the largest pediatric AML genome and transcriptome sequencing project to date (NCI TARGET). We are uncovering distinct transcriptional and epigenetic landscapes in pediatric AML, informing novel candidate biomarker signatures and immunotherapy targets. These data have also allowed us to achieve unprecedented residual disease detection using ultrasensitive molecular platforms in pediatric AML. Our overall goal is to develop new therapeutic and genomic strategies in AML to inform biology-driven, genetically stratified trials of innovative drug combinations.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Research Summary: 
Therapeutics and Functional Genomics in Hematologic Cancers



5G2 mutant mice model loss of a commonly deleted segment of chromosome 7q22 in myeloid malignancies.


Wong JC, Weinfurtner KM, Westover T, Kim J, Lebish EJ, Del Pilar Alzamora M, Huang BJ, Walsh M, Abdelhamed S, Ma J, Klco JM, Shannon K

Prognostic Impact of Co-occurring Mutations in FLT3-ITD Pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Blood advances

Tarlock K, Gerbing RB, Ries RE, Smith JL, Leonti AR, Huang BJ, Kirkey DC, Robinson L, Peplinski JH, Lange B, Cooper TM, Gamis AS, Kolb EA, Aplenc R, Pollard JA, Meshinchi S

A new genomic framework to categorize pediatric acute myeloid leukemia.

Nature genetics

Umeda M, Ma J, Westover T, Ni Y, Song G, Maciaszek JL, Rusch M, Rahbarinia D, Foy S, Huang BJ, Walsh MP, Kumar P, Liu Y, Yang W, Fan Y, Wu G, Baker SD, Ma X, Wang L, Alonzo TA, Rubnitz JE, Pounds S, Klco JM

Framework humanization optimizes potency of anti-CD72 nanobody CAR-T cells for B-cell malignancies.

Journal for immunotherapy of cancer

Temple WC, Nix MA, Naik A, Izgutdina A, Huang BJ, Wicaksono G, Phojanakong P, Serrano JAC, Young EP, Ramos E, Salangsang F, Steri V, Xirenayi S, Hermiston M, Logan AC, Stieglitz E, Wiita AP

Structural surfaceomics reveals an AML-specific conformation of integrin ß2 as a CAR T cellular therapy target.

Nature Cancer

Mandal K, Wicaksono G, Yu C, Adams JJ, Hoopmann MR, Temple WC, Izgutdina A, Escobar BP, Gorelik M, Ihling CH, Nix MA, Naik A, Xie WH, Hübner J, Rollins LA, Reid SM, Ramos E, Kasap C, Steri V, Serrano JAC, Salangsang F, Phojanakong P, McMillan M, Gavallos V, Leavitt AD, Logan AC, Rooney CM, Eyquem J, Sinz A, Huang BJ, Stieglitz E, Smith CC, Moritz RL, Sidhu SS, Huang L, Wiita AP