Richard White
Tumor biology, Tumor microenvironment


BS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,

MD, PhD, Albany Medical College

Internship/Residency: Yale New Haven Hospital

Oncology Fellowship: Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital

Postdoctoral Fellowship: Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

I trained as an MD, PhD in oncology. While my clinical training gave me important insights into patient care, my interests over time have shifted to more basic mechanisms of cancer biology. During my postdoctoral training, I became interested in the zebrafish as a model, since it has a unique set of genetic and imaging tools to interrogate cancer. To better understand each step in tumor progression, I developed a transparent strain of zebrafish called casper, which has greatly facilitated imaging. One advantage of using the zebrafish is that it allows us to study tumor development in an intact microenvironment, with all the various cells that contribute to the tumor ecosystem. Our work has centered on understanding how cancer cells co-opt and utilize programs commonly deployed during embryonic development. We have made fundamental discoveries about how neural crest programs in melanoma affect response to oncogenes, how the anatomic position of the cell determines which oncogenes the cell responds to, and how microenvironmental cells such as adipocytes can promote metastasis. I believe that a deeper understanding of basic cancer biology is central to eventual translation to the clinic and support trainees who are driven by curiosity-based research.

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Oxford
Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine
Old Road Campus Research Building
off Roosevelt Drive, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7DQ, UK

T +44 (0) 1865 617507


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