Funded Investigators

Ross Levine, M.D. 
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Ross Levine of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center does research to better understand the genetic basis for activating transduction pathways in myeloid malignancies and use his team’s findings to improve therapies for patients. The particular focus on this research is to better understand the role of JAK-STAT signaling in hematopoietic malignancies which occur outside a blood vessel. This research also focuses on the role of mutations in epigenetic modifiers in hematopoietic transformation. Working on acute myeloid leukemia (AML), Dr. Levine plans to investigate the effects of IDH/TET2 mutations on gene expression and regulation. Dr. Levine also plans to use mouse models to develop genetically accurate models of AML.

            In his work, Dr. Levine and his team have found that TET2-mutant leukemia cells were associated with a significant decrease in 5hmc levels and an increase in 5mc levels. These are DNA bases that are involved in regulating gene transcription and expression. Dr. Levine and his team have also found that TET2 and IDH1/2 mutations converge on a shared mechanism of leukemic transformation, revealing another way that leukemia occurs and possibly another way to prevent it. They have also found that TET2 and IDH mutations cooperate with AML alleles in vivo, giving the team further insight as to how AML is formed.