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Robert A. Anders, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert A. Anders, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pathology
Assistant Professor of Oncology

Appointment Phone: 410.502.1033

My laboratory's interests focus on the basic processes that lead to liver cell death and division. We approach these questions through the use of both experimental models and examination of human tissues. A microarray screening method uncovered several candidate genes that seem to contribute to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in the setting of end-stage hepatitis C viral cirrhosis (1,2). From these studies we have begun to focus on how the immune system can create an environment that contributes to liver cell growth and death. In particular, we wish to understand how the TNF alpha related superfamily members LIGHT and lymphotoxin can control liver cell death and division. It appears as though these cytokines and their receptors have a dominant control over liver cell survival. We use basic models to replicate immune mediated liver injury. Surprisingly, we have found that not all activated immune cells lead to liver damage. We have recently uncovered that activated hematopoietic cells also support liver growth. While we will continue to extend these basic mechanistic studies we are also developing new methods to explore human hepatocellular carcinogenesis.

Selected Publications

  • Taube JM, Klein AP, Brahmer JR, Xu H, Pan X, Kim JH, Chen L, Pardoll DM, Topalian SL, Anders RA. "Association of PD-1, PD-1 ligands, and other features of the tumor immune microenvironment with response to anti-PD-1 therapy." Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Apr 8.

  • Gurda GT, Zhu Q, Bai H, Pan D, Schwarz KB, Anders RA. "The use of Yes-associated protein expression in the diagnosis of persistent neonatal cholestatic liver disease." Hum Pathol. 2014 May;45(5):1057-64. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Jan 23.

  • Zhu AX, Borger DR, Kim Y, Cosgrove D, Ejaz A, Alexandrescu S, Groeschl RT, Deshpande V, Lindberg JM, Ferrone C, Sempoux C, Yau T, Poon R, Popescu I, Bauer TW, Gamblin TC, Gigot JF, Anders RA, Pawlik TM. "Genomic Profiling of Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma: Refining Prognosis and Identifying Therapeutic Targets." Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Jun 3.

  • Kim Y, Ejaz A, Tayal A, Spolverato G, Bridges JF, Anders RA, Pawlik TM. "Temporal trends in population-based death rates associated with chronic liver disease and liver cancer in the United States over the last 30 years." Cancer. 2014 Jun 10. doi: 10.1002/cncr.28843.

  • Zhang, N.; Bai, H.; David, K.K.; Dong, J.; Zheng, Y.; Cai, J.; Giovannini, M.; Liu, P.; Anders, R.A.; Pan, D. The Merlin/NF2 tumor suppressor functions through the YAP oncoprotein to regulate tissue homeostasis in mammals. Dev Cell. 2010 Jul 20;19(1):27-38.

  • Lutz ER, Wu AA, Bigelow E, Sharma R, Mo G, Soares K, Solt S, Dorman A, Wamwea A, Yager A, Laheru D, Wolfgang CL, Wang J, Hruban RH, Anders RA, Jaffee EM, Zheng L. "Immunotherapy converts nonimmunogenic pancreatic tumors into immunogenic foci of immune regulation." Cancer Immunol Res. 2014 Jul;2(7):616-31. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-14-0027.