Kelsie Thu

PhD

Scientist

Biography

Dr. Thu is a Staff Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in the Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology Department. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Tak Mak at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, where she used functional genomics to identify and characterize mechanisms of breast cancer sensitivity and resistance to novel kinase inhibitors currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Dr. Thu received her PhD in Interdisciplinary Oncology from the University of British Columbia in the laboratory of Dr. Wan Lam at the BC Cancer Research Centre. There she conducted integrative genomic analyses of multiple cancer types to discover gene and pathway alterations that contribute to tumour growth, with a particular focus on lung cancer.

Dr. Thu’s current research program focuses on delineating cell and molecular mechanisms governing therapy response in lung cancer. Her research platform integrates clinical genomics and CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screens to drive biological discovery in a variety of in vitro and in vivo lung cancer models. The goal of her research is to discover new approaches for circumventing drug resistance and novel strategies for enhancing therapeutic efficacy to improve lung cancer survival rates.

Recent Publications

  1. Zheng, L, Chen, Z, Kawakami, M, Chen, Y, Roszik, J, Mustachio, LM et al.. Tyrosine Threonine Kinase Inhibition Eliminates Lung Cancers by Augmenting Apoptosis and Polyploidy. Mol Cancer Ther. 2019;18 (10):1775-1786. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-18-0864. PubMed PMID:31358662 .
  2. Kubli, SP, Bassi, C, Roux, C, Wakeham, A, Göbl, C, Zhou, W et al.. AhR controls redox homeostasis and shapes the tumor microenvironment in BRCA1-associated breast cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019;116 (9):3604-3613. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1815126116. PubMed PMID:30733286 PubMed Central PMC6397541.
  3. O'Farrell, H, Harbourne, B, Kurlawala, Z, Inoue, Y, Nagelberg, AL, Martinez, VD et al.. Integrative Genomic Analyses Identifies GGA2 as a Cooperative Driver of EGFR-Mediated Lung Tumorigenesis. J Thorac Oncol. 2019;14 (4):656-671. doi: 10.1016/j.jtho.2018.12.004. PubMed PMID:30578931 PubMed Central PMC6440869.
  4. Elliott, MJ, Jerzak, KJ, Cockburn, JG, Safikhani, Z, Gwynne, WD, Hassell, JA et al.. The Antiarrhythmic Drug, Dronedarone, Demonstrates Cytotoxic Effects in Breast Cancer Independent of Thyroid Hormone Receptor Alpha 1 (THRα1) Antagonism. Sci Rep. 2018;8 (1):16562. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34348-0. PubMed PMID:30410118 PubMed Central PMC6224430.
  5. Kawakami, M, Mustachio, LM, Zheng, L, Chen, Y, Rodriguez-Canales, J, Mino, B et al.. Reply to Oegema et al.: CFI-400945 and Polo-like kinase 4 inhibition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018;115 (46):E10810-E10811. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1813967115. PubMed PMID:30377273 PubMed Central PMC6243257.
  6. Thu, KL, Soria-Bretones, I, Mak, TW, Cescon, DW. Targeting the cell cycle in breast cancer: towards the next phase. Cell Cycle. 2018;17 (15):1871-1885. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2018.1502567. PubMed PMID:30078354 PubMed Central PMC6152498.
  7. Kawakami, M, Mustachio, LM, Zheng, L, Chen, Y, Rodriguez-Canales, J, Mino, B et al.. Polo-like kinase 4 inhibition produces polyploidy and apoptotic death of lung cancers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018;115 (8):1913-1918. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1719760115. PubMed PMID:29434041 PubMed Central PMC5828621.
  8. Thu, KL, Silvester, J, Elliott, MJ, Ba-Alawi, W, Duncan, MH, Elia, AC et al.. Disruption of the anaphase-promoting complex confers resistance to TTK inhibitors in triple-negative breast cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018;115 (7):E1570-E1577. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1719577115. PubMed PMID:29378962 PubMed Central PMC5816201.
  9. Safikhani, Z, Smirnov, P, Thu, KL, Silvester, J, El-Hachem, N, Quevedo, R et al.. Author Correction: Gene isoforms as expression-based biomarkers predictive of drug response in vitro. Nat Commun. 2018;9 (1):166. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02136-5. PubMed PMID:29317617 PubMed Central PMC5760689.
  10. Safikhani, Z, Smirnov, P, Thu, KL, Silvester, J, El-Hachem, N, Quevedo, R et al.. Gene isoforms as expression-based biomarkers predictive of drug response in vitro. Nat Commun. 2017;8 (1):1126. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01153-8. PubMed PMID:29066719 PubMed Central PMC5655668.
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