Devon A Lawson

Picture of Devon A Lawson
Associate Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
School of Medicine
B.S., University of California, Davis, 2002, Genetics
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2008, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Phone: (949) 824-4113
University of California, Irvine
112 Sprague Hall
Mail Code: 4560
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
cancer, stem cells, genomics, intratumor heterogeneity, metastasis, systems biology
Research Abstract
Dr. Lawson's lab is interested in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the metastatic spread of cancer cells to peripheral tissues. They take a systems-level approach, using cutting edge single-cell technologies to study intratumor heterogeneity in human patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models and identify pre-metastatic cells within primary tumors. Their work is aimed at defining the key genetic and transcriptomic programs that confer special fitness for metastasis in rare cancer cells, and understand how the interplay between intracellular signals within those cancer cells, and extracellular stimuli from the microenvironment (e.g. immune cells) influence the metastatic potential of individual cancer cells. The overarching goals are to identify new therapeutic strategies to prevent progression to lethal metastatic disease in cancer patients.
Evans K.T., Blake K., Longworth A. et al. and Lawson D.A.* 2023. Microglia promote anti-tumor immunity and suppress breast cancer brain metastasis. 2023 Nat Cell Biol (in press) *corresponding author

Kumar T., Nee K., Wei R. He S., Nguyen Q.H. et al. and Lim B.*, Lawson D.A.*, Kessenbrock K.*, and Navin N.* 2023. A spatially resolved single-cell genomic atlas of the adult human breast. 2023. Nature 620(7972): 181–191. PMC37380767 *co-corresponding authors

Ma D., Hernandez G.A., Lefebvre A.E.Y.T., Alshetaiwi H., Blake K., Dave K.R., Rauf M., Williams J.W., Davis R.T., Evans K.T., Masoud M.Y.G., Lee R., Edwards R.A., Digman M.A., Kessenbrock K.*, Lawson D.A.* 2020. Patient-derived xenograft culture-transplant system for investigation of human breast cancer metastasis. Commun. Biol, doi: *corresponding author

Davis R.T., Blake K., Ma D., Ishak Gabra M.B., Hernandez G.A., Phung A.T., Yang Y., Maurer D., Lefebvre A.E.Y.T., Alshetaiwi H., Xiao Z., Liu J., Locasale J.W., Digman M.A., Mjolsness E., Kong M., Werb Z., Lawson D.A*. 2020. Transcriptional diversity and bioenergetic shift in human breast cancer metastasis revealed by single-cell RNA sequencing. Nat Cell Biol, Mar;22(3):310-320, *corresponding author PMID: 32144411

Lawson D.A.*, Kessenbrock K., Davis R.T., Pervalarokis N., Werb Z. 2018. Tumor heterogeneity and metastasis at single-cell resolution. 2018. Nat. Cell Biol. 20(12):1349-1360 *corresponding author PMC6477686

Lawson D.A., Bhakta N.R., Kessenbrock K., Prummel K.D., Yu Y., Takai K., Zhou A., Eyob H., Balakrishnan S., Wang C-Y., Yaswen P., Goga A., Werb Z. 2015. Single-cell analysis reveals a stem-cell program in human metastatic breast cancer cells. Nature. 526(7571):131-5. PMC4648562
Graduate Programs
Cellular and Molecular Biosciences
Mathematical and Computational Biology
Research Centers
Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, Center for Complex Biological Systems, Institute for Immunology, Stem Cell Research Center
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