Professor Ross Cagan
- Regius Chair of Precision Medicine (Beatson Institute for Cancer Research)
Dr. Cagan received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. After a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, he achieved the rank of Professor at Washington University School of Medicine (1993-2007), then at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (2007-2020).
He is currently Regius Professor of Precision Medicine and Royal Society Wohl Fellow at University of Glasgow, and Senior Editor of the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms.
He was co-Founder and board member of the biotechnology company Medros Inc. and is co-Founder of the emerging company Flight Path.
Taking advantage of a century of powerful genetic tools, his laboratory has developed highly complex, whole animal models for cancer and inherited genetic diseases. Their work helped promote the first FDA-approved chemotherapeutic for Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma.
Working with the chemist Arvin Dar and computational chemist Avner Schlessinger, his laboratory has developed a novel platform that combines genetics with medicinal and computational chemistry to build novel lead compounds that emphasize rational polypharmacology.
Leveraging these new technologies, Dr. Cagan leads the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapeutics team that develops and treats thyroid and colorectal cancer patients through a personalized fly-to-bedside, open label clinical trial.
The Cagan laboratory uses Drosophila to explore the biology of therapeutics. Data from several laboratories including our own have highlighted the role of genomic complexity in drug resistance. To explore this, we have developed genomically complex fly models of cancer (colorectal, thyroid, breast, lung) and rare genetic diseases (primarily RASopathies).
Each personalized fly avatar’ line models a different patient, each with typically 5-15 altered genes. While targeted therapies are effective in ‘2-hit’ models, 12-hit models—even with many of the same cancer drivers—are often resistant to these same therapies.
We are leveraging our fly platform containing dozens of avatar lines to explore changes in transformation that come with genomic complexity.
Further, we are working with chemists to address this complexity through drug cocktails and through building a new generation of ‘network-based’ novel lead compounds that address tumour complexity through multi-targeted ‘polypharmacology’.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Developing an Integrated Platform to Explore Disease-Based Networks and Therapeutics
The Royal Society
2020 - 2025