Our Faculty

Alexander Muir, PhD

Our group is interested in understanding the metabolic adaptations that allow cancer cells to grow and proliferate, causing tumor growth. To understand how cancer cell metabolism works to fuel tumor growth, we use metabolomics techniques to catalog what nutrients are in the microenvironment of tumors. This provides us with a "menu" of nutrients that cancer cells could potentially metabolize to fuel their growth. Once we know the "menu" for different tumor types, we then use a variety of experimental tools from metabolomics to CRISPR gene editing to determine which nutrients cancer cells actually consume from the "menu", and which metabolic pathways process these nutrients. From these experiments, we are delineating the biochemical underpinnings of cancer cell growth.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Post-doctoral fellow - Tumor Metabolism
2019

University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
PhD - Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology
2015

University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
BA/BA - Biology/Romance Languages and Literature
2009

Cell-programmed nutrient partitioning in the tumour microenvironment.
Reinfeld BI, Madden MZ, Wolf MM, Chytil A, Bader JE, Patterson AR, Sugiura A, Cohen AS, Ali A, Do BT, Muir A, Lewis CA, Hongo RA, Young KL, Brown RE, Todd VM, Huffstater T, Abraham A, O'Neil RT, Wilson MH, Xin F, Tantawy MN, Merryman WD, Johnson RW, Williams CS, Mason EF, Mason FM, Beckermann KE, Vander Heiden MG, Manning HC, Rathmell JC, Rathmell WK. Cell-programmed nutrient partitioning in the tumour microenvironment. Nature. 2021 05; 593(7858):282-288.
PMID: 33828302

Arginase Therapy Combines Effectively with Immune Checkpoint Blockade or Agonist Anti-OX40 Immunotherapy to Control Tumor Growth.
Badeaux MD, Rolig AS, Agnello G, Enzler D, Kasiewicz MJ, Priddy L, Wiggins JF, Muir A, Sullivan MR, Van Cleef J, Daige C, Vander Heiden MG, Rajamanickam V, Wooldridge JE, Redmond WL, Rowlinson SW. Arginase Therapy Combines Effectively with Immune Checkpoint Blockade or Agonist Anti-OX40 Immunotherapy to Control Tumor Growth. Cancer Immunol Res. 2021 04; 9(4):415-429.
PMID: 33500272

Netrin G1 Promotes Pancreatic Tumorigenesis through Cancer-Associated Fibroblast-Driven Nutritional Support and Immunosuppression.
Francescone R, Barbosa Vendramini-Costa D, Franco-Barraza J, Wagner J, Muir A, Lau AN, Gabitova L, Pazina T, Gupta S, Luong T, Rollins D, Malik R, Thapa RJ, Restifo D, Zhou Y, Cai KQ, Hensley HH, Tan Y, Kruger WD, Devarajan K, Balachandran S, Klein-Szanto AJ, Wang H, El-Deiry WS, Vander Heiden MG, Peri S, Campbell KS, Astsaturov I, Cukierman E. Netrin G1 Promotes Pancreatic Tumorigenesis through Cancer-Associated Fibroblast-Driven Nutritional Support and Immunosuppression. Cancer Discov. 2021 02; 11(2):446-479.
PMID: 33127842

Publisher Correction: Keap1 mutation renders lung adenocarcinomas dependent on Slc33a1.
Romero R, Sánchez-Rivera FJ, Westcott PMK, Mercer KL, Bhutkar A, Muir A, González Robles TJ, Rodríguez SL, Liao LZ, Ng SR, Li L, Colón CI, Naranjo S, Beytagh MC, Lewis CA, Hsu PP, Bronson RT, Vander Heiden MG, Jacks T. Publisher Correction: Keap1 mutation renders lung adenocarcinomas dependent on Slc33a1. Nat Cancer. 2020 Sep; 1(9):935.
PMID: 35121957

Keap1 mutation renders lung adenocarcinomas dependent on Slc33a1.
Romero R, Sánchez-Rivera FJ, Westcott PMK, Mercer KL, Bhutkar A, Muir A, González-Robles TJ, Lamboy-Rodríguez SA, Liao LZ, Ng SR, Li L, Colón CI, Naranjo S, Beytagh MC, Lewis CA, Hsu PP, Bronson RT, Vander Heiden MG, Jacks T. Keap1 mutation renders lung adenocarcinomas dependent on Slc33a1. Nat Cancer. 2020 06; 1(6):589-602.
PMID: 34414377

Isolation and Quantification of Metabolite Levels in Murine Tumor Interstitial Fluid by LC/MS.
Sullivan MR, Lewis CA, Muir A. Isolation and Quantification of Metabolite Levels in Murine Tumor Interstitial Fluid by LC/MS. Bio Protoc. 2019 Nov 20; 9(22):e3427.
PMID: 33654924

Quantification of microenvironmental metabolites in murine cancers reveals determinants of tumor nutrient availability.
Sullivan MR, Danai LV, Lewis CA, Chan SH, Gui DY, Kunchok T, Dennstedt EA, Vander Heiden MG, Muir A. Quantification of microenvironmental metabolites in murine cancers reveals determinants of tumor nutrient availability. Elife. 2019 04 16; 8.
PMID: 30990168

Increased Serine Synthesis Provides an Advantage for Tumors Arising in Tissues Where Serine Levels Are Limiting.
Sullivan MR, Mattaini KR, Dennstedt EA, Nguyen AA, Sivanand S, Reilly MF, Meeth K, Muir A, Darnell AM, Bosenberg MW, Lewis CA, Vander Heiden MG. Increased Serine Synthesis Provides an Advantage for Tumors Arising in Tissues Where Serine Levels Are Limiting. Cell Metab. 2019 06 04; 29(6):1410-1421.e4.
PMID: 30905671

Microenvironmental regulation of cancer cell metabolism: implications for experimental design and translational studies.
Muir A, Danai LV, Vander Heiden MG. Microenvironmental regulation of cancer cell metabolism: implications for experimental design and translational studies. Dis Model Mech. 2018 08 07; 11(8).
PMID: 30104199

TOR complex 2-regulated protein kinase Ypk1 controls sterol distribution by inhibiting StARkin domain-containing proteins located at plasma membrane-endoplasmic reticulum contact sites.
Roelants FM, Chauhan N, Muir A, Davis JC, Menon AK, Levine TP, Thorner J. TOR complex 2-regulated protein kinase Ypk1 controls sterol distribution by inhibiting StARkin domain-containing proteins located at plasma membrane-endoplasmic reticulum contact sites. Mol Biol Cell. 2018 08 15; 29(17):2128-2136.
PMID: 29927351

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