Michael Spiotto
Cancer genomics, Tumor biology


BS, Biological Chemistry, 1998

PhD, Pathology, University of Chicago, 2003

MD, University of Chicago, 2005

Internship, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, 2006

Residency,Radiation Oncology, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., 2010

I am an Associate Professor and radiation oncologist in the joint department of the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a major focus on the genomics of head and neck cancer using novel, genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs). As a graduate student, I studied the interplay of the tumor stroma and tumor-specific immune responses in the laboratory of Hans Schreiber at the University of Chicago. My research training continued as a resident and post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University, studying unique ER stresses in the microenvironment of primary tumors with Albert Koong. As a radiation oncologist, I treat head and neck cancer patients and have developed GEMMs to study progressively growing primary HPV-positive tumors, which mirror the genetic changes in certain human head and neck cancers. This work also involved transposon-based in vivo mutagenesis coupled with next generation sequencing of transposon insertion sites to identify novel genes that drive head and neck cancers. In collaboration with Charles Pelizzari, I have adapted innovative image-guided radiotherapy techniques to treat these primary oral tumors that are analogous to targeted radiotherapy techniques currently used in the clinic. In addition, my clinical practice at The University of Illinois at Chicago provides a unique opportunity to develop a unique database of head and neck cancer patients, and our database has been used in multiple publications. That work also served as the impetus to develop a novel annotated dataset of lymph node metastasis and matched primary tumors. This information was used to identify novel molecular subtypes of lymph node metastasis, which are associated with distinct clinical outcomes. We are now focusing on the epigenetic and transcriptional regulators that control the transition of dysplastic lesions to invasive cancers and better understanding the unique mutational profiles and evolution of nodal metastasis. Finally, we are developing novel models of head and neck cancer, including rare and aggressive variants of this disease.


Ludwig Center at the University of Chicago
5758 South Maryland Avenue MC 9006
Chicago, Illinois, U.S. 60637

T 773 702 0817
F 773 834 7233


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