The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Michele Markstein

Assistant Professor

Research areas include stem cells, cancer, drug discovery, and gene regulation.

Current Research
The our lab seeks to understand the stem cell properties of cancer cells with the goal of developing new cancer therapeutics. We focus on cell-cell interactions within the stem cell microenvironment and on the plasticity of stem cell genome architecture. Our approach is in vivo, using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to screen for anti-cancer drugs and drug targets.

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Academic Background

  • BS University of Texas at Austin, 1991
  • PhD University of Chicago, 2003
  • Visiting Scholar: UC Berkeley, 2000-2003
  • Postdoctoral Training: University of California, Berkeley, 2003 - 2004; Harvard Medical School, 2004 - 2012
Wells AC, Daniels KA, Angelou CC, Fagerberg E, Burnside AS, Markstein M, Alfandari D, Welsh RM, Pobezinskaya EL, Pobezinsky LA.Modulation of let-7 miRNAs controls the differentiation of effector CD8 T cells.Elife. 2017 Jul 24;6. pii: e26398. doi: 10.7554/eLife.26398. PMID: 28737488
Babbitt CC, Markstein M, Gray JM. Recent advances in functional assays of transcriptional enhancers. Genomics. 2015 Sep;106(3):137-139. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2015.06.002. Epub 2015 Jun 19. Review. PMID:26100358
Amcheslavsky, A., Nie, Y., Li, Q., He, F., Tsuda, L., Markstein, M., Ip, T. Gene Expression Profiling Identifies the Zinc Finger Protein Charlatan as a Regulator of Intestinal Stem Cells in Drosophila. Development 141, 2621-32. (2014)
Markstein, M.*, Dettorre, S., Cho, J. C., Neumüller, R., Craig-Müller, S., Perrimon, N*. Systematic screen of chemotherapeutics in Drosophila stem cell tumors. PNAS 111(12), 4530-5 (2014). *Corresponding Authors
Markstein, M. 2013. Modeling colorectal cancer as a 3-dimensional disease in a dish: the case for drug screening using organoids, zebrafish, and fruit flies. Drug Development Today: Technologies, e73-81.
Roti G., Carlton A, Ross K.N., Markstein M., Pajcini K., Su A.H., Perrimon N., Pear W.S., Kung A.L., Blacklow S.C., Aster J.C., Stegmaier K. 2013. Complementary genomic screens identify SERCA as a therapeutic target in NOTCH1 mutated cancer. Cancer Cell, 23: 390-405.
Ni, J. Q., Liu, L. P., Binari, R., Hardy, R., Shim, H. S., Cavallaro, A., Booker, M., Pfeiffer, B. D., Markstein, M., Wang, H., Villalta, C., Laverty, T. R., Perkins, L. A., and Perrimon, N. 2009. A Drosophila resource of transgenic RNAi lines for neurogenetics. Genetics, 182: 1089-1100.
Markstein, M., Pitsouli, C., Villalta, C., Celniker, S. E., and Perrimon, N. 2008. Exploiting position effects and the gypsy retrovirus insulator to engineer precisely expressed transgenes. Nature Genetics, 40: 476-483. Featured in Nature
Contact Info

Department of Biology
406 Morrill III South
North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003

(413) 545-5061