Kai Kessenbrock

Picture of Kai Kessenbrock
Assistant Professor, Biological Chemistry
School of Medicine
Ph.D., Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology and LMU Munich, Germany, 2009
University of California, Irvine
Sprague Hall 140- Lab
Mail Code: 1700
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Microenvironmental regulation of stem cells and cancer
Academic Distinctions
American Cancer Society Research Scholar, 2019


NIH-Pathway to Independence (K99/R00), National Cancer Institute, 2014

NIH-“Earl Stadtman Investigators“ Program Finalist, 2014

Hans Hench Prize for Clinical Immunology, Leipzig, Germany, 2010

Avrion Mitchison Prize from the Schering Foundation, Berlin, Germany, 2009

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009

Outstanding Paper Award from the Wekerle Foundation, 2009

Feodor Lynen Research Fellow, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 2008
Postdoc: Zena Werb Lab, University of California, San Francisco
Research Abstract
The Kessenbrock Lab studies cellular communication in single cell resolution in the context of normal tissue homeostasis and in breast cancer. We want to understand how stem cell behavior is extrinsically regulated by the microenvironment of the mammary stem cell niche and learn how the molecular composition of the niche changes during tumorigenesis. Our interdisciplinary research approach will identify biomarkers for early detection and may ultimately lead to the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches to treat or even prevent breast cancer before it develops.
Nguyen QH*, Pervolarakis N*, Blake K, Ma D, Davis RT, James J, Phung AT, Willey E, Kumar R, Jabart E, Driver I, Rock J, Goga A, Khan SA, Lawson DA, Werb Z#, Kessenbrock K#. Profiling human breast epithelial cells using single cell RNA sequencing reveals spectrum of cell diversity. Nature Communications; 2018 May 23;9(1):2028. #corresponding author; *Co-first author
Nguyen QH, Pervolarakis N, Nee K, Kessenbrock K#. Experimental considerations for single cell RNA sequencing approaches. Front. Cell. Dev. Biol. (in press) #corresponding author
Lawson DA#, Kessenbrock K#, Davis RT, Pervolarakis N, Werb Z. Tumour Heterogeneity and metastasis in single-cell resolution. Nature Cell Biology. 2018 20, 1349-1360. #corresponding author
Guerrero-Juarez CF, Dedhia PH, Jin S, Ruiz-Vega R, Ma D, Liu Y, Yamaga K, Shestova O, Gay DL, Yang Z, Kessenbrock K, Nie Q, Pear WS, Cotsarelis G, Plikus MV. Single-cell analysis reveals fibroblast heterogeneity and myeloid-derived adipocyte progenitors in murine skin wounds. Nature Communications. 2019 Feb 8;10(1):650. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08247-x.
Qiu X, Lombardo JA , Westerhof TM , Pennell M , Ng A , Alshetaiwi H , Luna BM , Nelson EL , Kessenbrock K , Hui EE , Haun JB .Microfluidic filter device with nylon mesh membranes efficiently dissociates cell aggregates and digested tissue into single cells. Lab Chip. 2018 18:2776-2786. doi:10.1039/c8lc00507a.
Takai K, Drain AP, Lawson DA, Littlepage LE, Karpuj M, Kessenbrock K, Le A, Inoue K, Weaver VM and Werb Z. Discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1) ablation promotes tissue fibrosis and hypoxia to induce aggressive, basal-like breast cancers. Genes & Dev. 2018 Feb 1;32(3-4):244-257.
Horiuchi D, Zhou AY, Corella AN, Yau C, Balakrishnan S, Kessenbrock K, Lawson DA, Anderton BN, Bazarov AV, Eyob H, Yaswen P, McManus MT, Rugo HS, Werb Z, Goga A. PIM kinase inhibition presents a novel targeted therapy against triple-negative breast tumors with elevated MYC expression. Nature Medicine. 2016 Nov;22(11):1321-1329. doi: 10.1038/nm.4213.
Park J, Wysocki RW, Amoozgar Z, Maiorino L, Fein MR, Jorns J, Schott AF, Kinugasa-Katayama Y, Lee Y, Won NH, Nakasone ES, Hearn SA, Küttner V, Qiu J, Almeida AS, Perurena N, Kessenbrock K, Goldberg MS, Egeblad M. Cancer cells induce metastasis-supporting neutrophil extracellular DNA traps. Science Translational Medicine. 2016 Oct 19;8(361):361ra138.
Lawson D.A., Bhakta N., Kessenbrock K., Prummel K., Yu Y., Takai K., Yaswen P., Welm A., Goga A., Werb Z., Single-cell analysis reveals a stem cell transcription program in human metastatic breast cancer cells. Nature. 2015 526:131-5
Kessenbrock K*, Smith P*, Steenbeek S, Pervolarakis N, Kumar R, Minami Y, Goga A, Hinck L, Werb Z. Diverse regulation of mammary epithelial growth and branching morphogenesis through non-canonical Wnt signaling. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2017. 114(12):3121-3126 *contributed equally
Kessenbrock K.*, Dijkgraaf G.J.*, Lawson D.A., Littlepage L.E., Shahi P., Pieper U., Werb Z. A role for matrix metalloproteinases in the regulation of mammary stem cells via the Wnt signaling pathway. Cell Stem Cell. 2013; 13:300-13; *equal contribution
Featured in: “Preview” Cell Stem Cell. 2013; 13:300; “Research Highlights” Nat Cell Biol. 2013; 15:1033.
Kessenbrock K., Plaks V., Werb Z., Matrix Metalloproteinases: Regulators of the Tumor Microenvironment. Cell. 2010; 141:52-67. Review
Kessenbrock K.#, Krumbholz M., Schoenermarck U., Back W., Gross W.L., Werb Z., Groene H.J., Brinkmann V., Jenne D.E. #, Netting neutrophils in autoimmune small-vessel vasculitis. Nat Med. 2009; 15:623-625. #corresponding author
1R01CA234496-01 (Kessenbrock, PI) NIH/NCI Microenvironmental regulation of breast tumorigenesis
ACS Research Scholar Award (PI, Kessenbrock) The Role of Matrix Metalloproteinase in Breast Cancer Progression
HCA-A-1704-01668 (Kessenbrock, PI) Chan/Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) The Human Breast Cell Atlas
4R00CA181490-03 (Kessenbrock, PI) NIH/NCI Proteolytic regulation of Wnt signaling in breast cancer stem cells
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