Russell O. Pieper PhD

Russell O. Pieper, PhD, Director of Basic Science, UCSF Brain Tumor Center

Professor and Vice Chair of Neurological Surgery

Suzanne Marie and Robert Vincent Haderle Endowed Chair in Molecular Neuro-Oncology

Principal Investigator and Director of Basic Science, Brain Tumor Research Center



Dr. Pieper's research program is divided into two components. The first component focuses on cell signaling and the influence of cell-cycle regulation on chemotherapeutic response of gliomas to the methylating agent temozolomide (TMZ). Work in Dr. Pieper's laboratory has identified pathways involving the DNA damage sensors Chk1 and p38 that lead to drug resistance to TMZ and that might serve as targets for sensitization of tumors to this important chemotherapeutic agent. The second program in Dr. Pieper's laboratory involves trying to understand the genetic events important in the formation of human brain tumors. It is known that single defined genetic alterations can result in the transformation of rodent cells, likely because these alterations lead to genomic instability and a variety of other genetic changes. Dr. Pieper's laboratory has identified four key pathways critical in controlling glioma development, and is further examining how disregulation of these pathways leads to glioma formation. Of particular note is the recent observation from Dr. Pieper's laboratory that some of the same pathways that contribute to astrocytic transformation also suppress the ability of cells to be eliminated by apoptosis-inducing agents such as TRAIL, and perhaps by the immune system itself. These observations are expected to lead to new ways to suppress both drug resistance and tumorigenicity in human gliomas. Read about Dr. Pieper's current research ►

Education, Training, and Previous Positions

1982: BS, University of Wisconsin
1987: PhD, The George Washington University
1987-1990: Postdoctoral Fellow, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Loyola University Medical Center
1990-1991: Research Assistant Professor, Section of Hematology/Oncology, Loyola University Medical Center
1991-1996: Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Loyola University Medical Center
1991-1998: Associate Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, Loyola University Medical Center

Selected Professional Memberships and Appointments

Editorial Advisory Board: The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Editorial Advisory Board: Apoptosis
Editorial Advisory Board: Neuro-Oncology
Editorial Advisory Board: Cancer Research
Member, NIH/NCI Initial Review Group Subcommittee I, Career Development (NCI-I)

Selected Honors and Awards

1989-1991: National Research Service Award Fellowship, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
2001 - present: Suzanne Marie Haderle and Robert Vincent Haderle Endowed Chair in Molecular Neuro-Oncology

Selected Recent Publications

Wood MD, Mukherjee J, Pieper RO. Neurofibromin knockdown in glioma cell lines is associated with changes in cytokine and chemokine secretion in vitro. Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 11;8(1):5805. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24046-2. PubMed PMID: 29643433; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5895785.

Viswanath P, Radoul M, Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Luchman HA, Gregory Cairncross J, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. Mutant IDH1 gliomas downregulate phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine synthesis in a 2-hydroxyglutarate-dependent manner. Cancer Metab. 2018 Apr 3;6:3. doi: 10.1186/s40170-018-0178-3. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 29619216; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5881177.

Mukherjee J, Johannessen TA, Ohba S, Chow TT, Jones LE, Pandita A, Pieper RO. Mutant IDH1 cooperates with ATRX loss to drive the alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) phenotype in glioma. Cancer Res. 2018 Mar 15. pii: canres.2269.2017. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-2269. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29545335.

Viswanath P, Radoul M, Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Ong WQ, Luchman HA, Cairncross JG, Huang B, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. 2-Hydroxyglutarate-Mediated Autophagy of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Leads to an Unusual Downregulation of Phospholipid Biosynthesis in Mutant IDH1 Gliomas. Cancer Res. 2018 May 1;78(9):2290-2304. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-2926. Epub 2018 Jan 22. PubMed PMID: 29358170; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5932252.

Ohba S, Mukherjee J, Johannessen TC, Mancini A, Chow TT, Wood M, Jones L, Mazor T, Marshall RE, Viswanath P, Walsh KM, Perry A, Bell RJ, Phillips JJ, Costello JF, Ronen SM, Pieper RO. Mutant IDH1 Expression Drives TERT Promoter Reactivation as Part of the Cellular Transformation Process. Cancer Res. 2016 Nov 15;76(22):6680-6689. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0696. Epub 2016 Oct 6. PubMed PMID: 27758882; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5290072.

Hu L, Li X, Liu Q, Xu J, Ge H, Wang Z, Wang H, Wang Z, Shi C, Xu X, Huang J, Lin Z, Pieper RO, Weng C. UBE2S, a novel substrate of Akt1, associates with Ku70 and regulates DNA repair and glioblastoma multiforme resistance to chemotherapy. Oncogene. 2017 Feb 23;36(8):1145-1156. doi: 10.1038/onc.2016.281. Epub 2016 Sep 5. PubMed PMID: 27593939.

Johannessen TA, Mukherjee J, Viswanath P, Ohba S, Ronen SM, Bjerkvig R, Pieper RO. Rapid Conversion of Mutant IDH1 from Driver to Passenger in a Model of Human Gliomagenesis. Mol Cancer Res. 2016 Oct;14(10):976-983. Epub 2016 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 27430238; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5065766.

Viswanath P, Najac C, Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Pankov A, Hong C, Eriksson P, Costello JF, Pieper RO, Ronen SM. Mutant IDH1 expression is associated with down-regulation of monocarboxylate transporters. Oncotarget. 2016 Jun 7;7(23):34942-55. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.9006. PubMed PMID: 27144334; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5085201.

Mukherjee J, Ohba S, See WL, Phillips JJ, Molinaro AM, Pieper RO. PKM2 uses control of HuR localization to regulate p27 and cell cycle progression in human glioblastoma cells. Int J Cancer. 2016 Jul 1;139(1):99-111. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30041. Epub 2016 Mar 2. PubMed PMID: 26874904.

Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Viswanath P, Eriksson P, Cai L, Radoul M, Chaumeil MM, Blough M, Luchman HA, Weiss S, Cairncross JG, Phillips JJ, Pieper RO, Ronen SM. IDH1 Mutation Induces Reprogramming of Pyruvate Metabolism. Cancer Res. 2015 Aug 1;75(15):2999-3009. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-0840. Epub 2015 Jun 4. PubMed PMID: 26045167; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4526330.

Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Viswanath P, Eriksson P, Chaumeil MM, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. Metabolic reprogramming in mutant IDH1 glioma cells. PLoS One. 2015 Feb 23;10(2):e0118781. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118781. eCollection 2015. PubMed PMID: 25706986; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4338038.

Park I, Mukherjee J, Ito M, Chaumeil MM, Jalbert LE, Gaensler K, Ronen SM, Nelson SJ, Pieper RO. Changes in pyruvate metabolism detected by magnetic resonance imaging are linked to DNA damage and serve as a sensor of temozolomide response in glioblastoma cells. Cancer Res. 2014 Dec 1;74(23):7115-24. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0849. Epub 2014 Oct 15. PubMed PMID: 25320009; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4253720.

Izquierdo-Garcia JL, Cai LM, Chaumeil MM, Eriksson P, Robinson AE, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. Glioma cells with the IDH1 mutation modulate metabolic fractional flux through pyruvate carboxylase. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 22;9(9):e108289. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108289. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25243911; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4171511.

Ohba S, Mukherjee J, See WL, Pieper RO. Mutant IDH1-driven cellular transformation increases RAD51-mediated homologous recombination and temozolomide resistance. Cancer Res. 2014 Sep 1;74(17):4836-44. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0924. Epub 2014 Jul 17. PubMed PMID: 25035396; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4154998.

Chaumeil MM, Larson PE, Woods SM, Cai L, Eriksson P, Robinson AE, Lupo JM, Vigneron DB, Nelson SJ, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. Hyperpolarized [1-13C] glutamate: a metabolic imaging biomarker of IDH1 mutational status in glioma. Cancer Res. 2014 Aug 15;74(16):4247-57. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-14-0680. Epub 2014 May 29. PubMed PMID: 24876103; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4134724.

Chesnelong C, Chaumeil MM, Blough MD, Al-Najjar M, Stechishin OD, Chan JA, Pieper RO, Ronen SM, Weiss S, Luchman HA, Cairncross JG. Lactate dehydrogenase A silencing in IDH mutant gliomas. Neuro Oncol. 2014 May;16(5):686-95. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/not243. Epub 2013 Dec 22. PubMed PMID: 24366912; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3984548.

Chaumeil MM, Larson PE, Yoshihara HA, Danforth OM, Vigneron DB, Nelson SJ, Pieper RO, Phillips JJ, Ronen SM. Non-invasive in vivo assessment of IDH1 mutational status in glioma. Nat Commun. 2013;4:2429. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3429. PubMed PMID: 24019001; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3908661.

Ito M, Ohba S, Gaensler K, Ronen SM, Mukherjee J, Pieper RO. Early Chk1 phosphorylation is driven by temozolomide-induced, DNA double strand break- and mismatch repair-independent DNA damage. PLoS One. 2013 May 7;8(5):e62351. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062351. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23667469; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3646831.

Mukherjee J, Phillips JJ, Zheng S, Wiencke J, Ronen SM, Pieper RO. Pyruvate kinase M2 expression, but not pyruvate kinase activity, is up-regulated in a grade-specific manner in human glioma. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57610. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057610. Epub 2013 Feb 25. PubMed PMID: 23451252; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3581484.

Park I, Hu S, Bok R, Ozawa T, Ito M, Mukherjee J, Phillips JJ, James CD, Pieper RO, Ronen SM, Vigneron DB, Nelson SJ. Evaluation of heterogeneous metabolic profile in an orthotopic human glioblastoma xenograft model using compressed sensing hyperpolarized 3D 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging. Magn Reson Med. 2013 Jul;70(1):33-9. doi: 10.1002/mrm.24434. Epub 2012 Jul 31. PubMed PMID: 22851374; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3630274.

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