Our laboratory links together basic biophysical phenomena to create new drugs for pediatric cancer. It's a creative, multidisciplinary challenge.
-Jeffrey Toretsky, MD
Local Hyundai Dealerships Dontae $50,000.00 to Pediatric Cancer Research through Hyundai Hope on Wheels! Georgetown University and the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center recently accepted the generous donation at the US Open! Thank you Kevin Reilly and Alexandria Hyundai!
Lab members attended and presented posters at the 7th Annual CCF Research Symposium on June 14th, 2023.
Lab members gathered at Rock Creek Park for an annual Lab Picnic! A wonderful spread of dishes were prepared by lab members who were joined by family and canine friends. A rousing Viking Chess tournament completed the days festivities. Thank you for your participation and special thanks to Dr. Toretsky and Dr. Uren for hosting the event!
Team Georgetown Lombardi, which included Jeff Petro, Emre Deniz and Alan Zwart, won this year’s Hyundai Hands on Hope contest at the Washington, DC Auto Show.
Research Grant Award: Hyundai Grant
The Toretsky Lab has received a $300,000.00 Research Grant from the Hyundai Hope on Wheels Foundation for the proposal, Dissecting the role that therapeutic targeting of mRNA splicing in Ewing sarcoma. The award period will span from January 2023 - December 2024.
The Toretsky Lab welcomes Emma McGuire, who joins the lab as a Research Assistant. Welcome Emma!
The Toretsky Lab welcomes Ashley Gaffey, who joins the lab as a Research Assistant. Welcome Ashley!
Lab members attended and presented posters at the 6th Annual CCF Research Symposium held on June 8th.
Dr. Toretsky and Dr. Uren attended the AACR Special Conference on Sarcomas in Montreal, QC, Canada.
The Toretsky Lab completed the installation of a new SpectraMax® iD3 multi-mode plate reader capable of measuring absorbance, fluorescence, and luminescence.
Dr. Toretsky visited Dr. Sardjito General Hospital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, as a visiting physician and to present a talk on his experience as a clinical research physician.
DECEMBER 10, 2021
Dr. Toretsky was invited to give a talk at the Bone Cancer Research Trust for their James Ewing Century Meeting. His talk, titled "From James Ewing to a Clinical Trial: 100 years to improve survival for Ewing sarcoma patients," was given via video conference to the group in Essen, Germany.
NOVEMBER 5, 2021
Dr. Toretsky was invited to give a keynote talk at the Australia-New Zealand Sarcoma Association. His talk, titled "From Napkin to Clinical Trial: a 20-year Quest to Improve Survival for Ewing Sarcoma Patients," was given via video conference to the group in Melbourne, Australia.
The Toretsky Lab welcomes Olivia Oakley, who joins the lab as a Research Assistant. Welcome Olivia!
Research Assistant Olivia Blumberg was named the St Baldrick's Research Fellow at Georgetown, which supported her project in the lab over the Summer of 2021. Congratulations, Olivia!
Garrett Graham graduated from Georgetown University with his PhD in Tumor Biology - his thesis titled "Cassette Exon RNA Splicing Altered in Ewing Sarcoma Is Characterized by Higher Guanine-Cytosine Content and Lower Splice Site Strength Indicative of Intron-Definition Splicing." Congratulations, Garrett!
OCTOBER 16, 2020
Dr. Toretsky was invited to give a keynote talk at the Bone Cancer Research Trust Conference in London, UK via video conference. His talk was titled "From Napkin to Clinical Trial: Creating a Drug for Ewing Sarcoma."
R01 Funding Award! Dr. Toretsky in collaboration with researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada have secured R01 funding with the grant Dissection of EWS-FLI1 oncogenic mechanisms and small molecule targeting. The award period will span from July 2020 - June 2025.
Jeff Petro was promoted to the position of Lab Manager! Congratulations, Jeff!
Lab member Jessica Haladyna graduated from the Georgetown University School of Medicine, and is now completing her Pediatric Residency Training at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA Class of 2023). Congratulations, Jessica!
AUGUST 12, 2019
Dr. Toretsky was invited to give a keynote talk at the Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute in Portland Oregon at their annual Nanocourse. His talk was titled "From Idea on a Napkin to Clinical Trial: Creating a Drug for a Rare Cancer".
MAY 14-15, 2019
Dr. Toretsky was an invited participant and speaker at the NCI-sponsored workshop, "Liquid Phase Condensation as a Cellular Regulatory Mechanism: A State of the Science and Implications for Cancer Research." His talk was titled "EWS-FLI1, RHA Helicase A, Splicing regulators and Phase Separation: What’s in the droplet and how might it function?" For more information on Protein Phase Separation check out this review in Cell
Dr. Kalliopi Tsafou, a post-doc in our laboratory, penned a brilliant review that discusses the possibilities of targeted transcription factors. Transcription factors have been called undruggable, but we did not believe it. Read our review in the Journal of Molecular Biology
APRIL 23, 2017
Dr. Toretsky presented a talk titled “Targeting EWS-FLI1 in Ewing Sarcoma” at the annual American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in Chicago, IL
FEB 24-26, 2017
The first Phase Separation and RNA Processing as Drivers of Cancer and Neurodegenerative Disease Conference took place in La Jolla, CA led by co-organizers Jeff Toretsky and Aaron Hosking. An NIH R13, Burroughs-Wellcome Grant, and corporate support provided funding for the meeting.
Saravana Selvanatha was promoted to Research Assistant Professor! Congratulations, Saravana!
AUGUST 31, 2016
Congratulations to Dr. Saravana Selvanathan, PhD., for receiving a travel award to attend the 2016 Bermuda Principals Impact on Splicing Conference! The conference will take place November 8-10, 2016 on the exotic island of Bermuda! Congratulations Saravana!
May 16, 2016
Dr. Toretsky will present a talk “Small Molecule Targeting of the Intrinsically Disordered Oncoprotein EWS-FLI1” at the Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Gordon Research Conference. The conference will be held in Les Diableretes, Switzerland, June 26 – July 1, 2016.
OCT 26, 2015
The 2015 Winner of the NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award, Devon Still, Visits our lab and meets Dr. Toretsky.
Graham, Garrett & Selvanathan, Saravana & Zöllner, Stefan & Stahl, Emily & Shlien, Adam & Caplen, Natasha & Üren, Aykut & Toretsky, Jeffrey. (2022). Comprehensive profiling of mRNA splicing indicates that GC content signals altered cassette exon inclusion in Ewing sarcoma. NAR Cancer. 4. 10.1093/narcan/zcab052.
Zöllner SK, Amatruda JF, Bauer S, Collaud S, de Álava E, DuBois SG, Hardes J, Hartmann W, Kovar H, Metzler M, Shulman DS, Streitbürger A, Timmermann B, Toretsky JA, Uhlenbruch Y, Vieth V, Grünewald TGP, Dirksen U. Ewing Sarcoma-Diagnosis, Treatment, Clinical Challenges and Future Perspectives. J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 14;10(8):1685. DOI: 10.3390/jcm10081685. PMCID: PMC8071040. PMID: 33919988
Saygideger-Kont Y, Minas TZ, Jones H, Hour S, Celik H, Temel I, Han J, Atabey N, Erkizan HV, Toretsky JA, Üren A. Ezrin Enhances EGFR Signaling and Modulates Erlotinib Sensitivity in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells. Neoplasia. 2016 Feb;18(2):111-20. doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2016.01.002. PubMed PMID: 26936397.
Minas TZ, Han J, Javaheri T, Hong SH, Schlederer M, Saygide?er-Kont Y, Celik H, Mueller KM, Temel I, Özdemirli M, Kovar H, Erkizan HV, Toretsky J, Kenner L, Moriggl R, Üren A. YK-4-279 effectively antagonizes EWS-FLI1 induced leukemia in a transgenic mouse model. Oncotarget. 2015 Nov 10;6(35):37678-94. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.5520. PubMed PMID: 26462019; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4741957.
Zöllner SK, Rössig C, Toretsky JA. Synovial sarcoma is a gateway to the role of chromatin remodeling in cancer. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2015 Sep;34(3):417-28. doi: 10.1007/s10555-015-9575-z. PubMed PMID: 26277104.
Selvanathan SP, Graham GT, Erkizan HV, Dirksen U, Natarajan TG, Dakic A, Yu S, Liu X, Paulsen MT, Ljungman ME, Wu CH, Lawlor ER, Üren A, Toretsky JA. Oncogenic fusion protein EWS-FLI1 is a network hub that regulates alternative splicing. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Mar 17;112(11):E1307-16. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500536112. Epub 2015 Mar 3. PubMed PMID: 25737553; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4371969.
Erkizan HV, Schneider JA, Sajwan K, Graham GT, Griffin B, Chasovskikh S, Youbi SE, Kallarakal A, Chruszcz M, Padmanabhan R, Casey JL, Üren A, Toretsky JA. RNA helicase A activity is inhibited by oncogenic transcription factor EWS-FLI1.Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Jan;43(2):1069-80. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku1328. Epub 2015 Jan 6. PubMed PMID: 25564528; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4333382.
Celik H, Sajwan KP, Selvanathan SP, Marsh BJ, Pai AV, Kont YS, Han J, Minas TZ, Rahim S, Erkizan HV, Toretsky JA, Üren A. Ezrin Binds to DEAD-Box RNA Helicase DDX3 and Regulates Its Function and Protein Level. Mol Cell Biol. 2015 Sep;35(18):3145-62. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00332-15. Epub 2015 Jul 6. PubMed PMID: 26149384; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4539380.
Toretsky JA, Wright PE. Assemblages: functional units formed by cellular phase separation. J Cell Biol. 2014 Sep 1;206(5):579-88. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201404124. Review. PubMed PMID: 25179628; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4151146.
Shah N, Wang J, Selich-Anderson J, Graham G, Siddiqui H, Li X, Khan J, Toretsky J. PBX1 is a favorable prognostic biomarker as it modulates 13-cis retinoic acid-mediated differentiation in neuroblastoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Aug 15;20(16):4400-12. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-1486. Epub 2014 Jun 19. PubMed PMID: 24947929; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4134768.
The Toretsky Laboratory is grateful to many philanthropies for support over the years. Our success has been built on your trust along with your ability to share our vision of using multidisciplinary research to better target cancer.
Ongoing supporters include:
Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc.
Hyundai Hope on Wheels
Previous supporters have included:
Burroughs Wellcome Clinical Scientist Award in Translational Research
Go 4 the Goal
Make Some Noise Foundation
Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative
Amschwand Sarcoma Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Friend’s of Colin
St. Baldrick's Foundation
Alan B. Slifka Foundation
Your tax dollars supported us through these NIH grants: