Paola Betancur, PhD

Assistant Professor In RES
Radiation Oncology
+1 415 514-1084
Research Overview: 

We are interested in understanding the mechanisms encoded in the DNA by which cancerous cells avoid being detected and destroyed by the host’s immune system. Toward this goal, we examine the interactions between epigenetic modifiers, transcription factors and the genomic enhancers of target genes that in response to inflammation abnormally activate the immune escape program within tumor or damaged cells during aging, after radiation and in response to infectious diseases. To accomplish our goal, we have long lasting collaborations across campus, at Stanford University and other recognized national and international institutions.

With patients in mind, we are a research group dedicated to finding methods for improving the treatment of cancer by analyzing the DNA of individual patients. In the era of personalized medicine, this information is critical for understanding which therapy will be more effective for each patient, and for targeting specific cancer types, including cancer of the breast.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Cancer Biology & Cell Signaling
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Human Genetics
Research Summary: 
Gene regulation in health and disease

Websites

Publications: 

Activation of JUN in fibroblasts promotes pro-fibrotic programme and modulates protective immunity.

Nature communications

Cui L, Chen SY, Lerbs T, Lee JW, Domizi P, Gordon S, Kim YH, Nolan G, Betancur P, Wernig G

A CD47-associated super-enhancer links pro-inflammatory signalling to CD47 upregulation in breast cancer.

Nature communications

Betancur PA, Abraham BJ, Yiu YY, Willingham SB, Khameneh F, Zarnegar M, Kuo AH, McKenna K, Kojima Y, Leeper NJ, Ho P, Gip P, Swigut T, Sherwood RI, Clarke MF, Somlo G, Young RA, Weissman IL

CD47-blocking antibodies restore phagocytosis and prevent atherosclerosis.

Nature

Kojima Y, Volkmer JP, McKenna K, Civelek M, Lusis AJ, Miller CL, Direnzo D, Nanda V, Ye J, Connolly AJ, Schadt EE, Quertermous T, Betancur P, Maegdefessel L, Matic LP, Hedin U, Weissman IL, Leeper NJ

Expression and function of transcription factor cMyb during cranial neural crest development.

Mechanisms of development

Betancur P, Simões-Costa M, Sauka-Spengler T, Bronner ME

A Sox10 enhancer element common to the otic placode and neural crest is activated by tissue-specific paralogs.

Development (Cambridge, England)

Betancur P, Sauka-Spengler T, Bronner M