Paper Published in Cancer Discovery

March 24, 2019



Research led by Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Koen Galenkamp is published in Cancer Discovery. This paper provides insight into how intracellular pH is regulated in pancreatic cancer.  Check it out!

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Dr. Koen Galenkamp Awarded TRDRP Fellowship

January 2, 2020



Congratulations to Koen Galenkamp, a postdoctoral trainee in the laboratory for being awarded a 3-year fellowship from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program for his work on pH homeostasis in pancreatic cancer. We are very proud of you Koen!

Happy Holidays!!!

December 21, 2019



The lab headed over to Ballast Point Brewery with our friends from the Emerling lab to partake in some holiday cheer!

Paper Published in Developmental Cell

June 27, 2019



Research led by Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Szu-Wei Lee is published in Developmental Cell. This paper provides mechanistic and biological insight into inducible and constitutive forms of macropinocytosis in pancreatic tumors.  Check it out!

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Macropinocytosis Review Published in Trends in Cancer

May 20, 2019



The signaling events leading to macropinocytic induction in cancer cells are very complex. Dr. Yijuan Zhang, a Postdoctoral Associate in the lab has just published a review on this interesting topic.  Check it out:

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AACR NextGen Star Award Recognizes Macropinocytosis

April 4, 2019



AACR recognized our work on glutamine depletion and macropinocytosis by awarding Dr. Commisso with a NextGen Star Award. The excellent work on this exciting topic was developed by Dr. Szu-Wei Lee, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the lab. To read more about it, click here. To see the full list of 2019 AACR NextGen Stars, click here.

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Published Book Chapters on Macropinocytosis

February 18, 2019



In a series of manuscripts, we have provided updated technical approaches to study macropinocytosis in cancer. The first appears in Cancer Metabolism: Methods and Protocols and describes how to quantify macropinocytosis in vitro. The second is published in Pancreatic Cancer: Methods and Protocols and describes how to detect and quantify macropinosomes in vivo.

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Szu-Wei is awarded T32 Fellowship

January 20, 2019



Congratulations to Szu-Wei Lee, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Commisso lab for being awarded a T32 Fellowship for her work on macropinocytosis targets in pancreatic cancer. The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) (T32) supports grants to institutions to develop or enhance research training opportunities for pre and postdoctoral fellows to be trained in cancer research. Very proud of you Szu-Wei!!!

17th Annual SBP Postdoctoral Research Symposium

September 25, 2018



The Commisso laboratory had a great showing at this year's Postdoctoral Research Symposium. Yijuan Zhang did a great job presenting her poster about macropinocytosis in the tumor stroma and Koen Galenkamp presented some of his work focused on pancreatic cancer as part of his official Fishman Fund award.  It was an awesome event!

Koen awarded 2018 Fishman Fund Career Development Award

August 9, 2018



Congratulations to Koen Galenkamp, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab, for being awarded the 2018 Fishman Fund Career Development Award!! The Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute’s founders, Dr. William and Lillian Fishman, appreciated the important impact that postdoctoral scholars have on medical research, and were dedicated to fostering the career development of young scientists at the Institute.  Established in that commitment to professional growth, the Fishman Fund Career Development Awards are granted each year to outstanding SBP postdocs with clear visions for their careers and decided plans for achieving their professional goals.  This award provides financial support for the pursuit of professional development activities toward those career goals.

Victoria wins 2017 Eric Dudl Scholarship

November 20, 2017



Vicky Recouvreux, a postdoctoral fellow in the Commisso Lab, was awarded the Eric Dudl Scholarship, recognizing postdoctoral excellence in cancer research. She was presented the award by Dr. Garth Powis, the SBP Cancer Center Director at our annual Cancer Center Open House on November 9.  Congratulations to Vicky for the well-deserved award!  Click here to read the SBP Beaker Blog post written about Vicky's award.

16th Annual SBP Postdoctoral Research Symposium

September 22, 2017



The lab had a great showing at our annual SBP Postdoctoral Research Symposium.  Congratulations to our very own Koen for taking home the 1st prize for his poster presentation.  Great job!!

Koen Galenkamp



Szu-Wei Lee



Vicky Recouvreux



Newswise Press Release

August 28, 2017



Thanks to the Department of Defense for funding our pancreatic cancer research.  To read all about it, follow the link below.

Lab Happy Hour

July 13, 2017



Cheers to the summer!  The Commisso Lab enjoyed a few margaritas and tacos at En Fuego in Del Mar, California.  We said farewell to Nathalia who joined the lab on Day 1 and we wish her well in her new biotech position!! We also welcomed Yijuan to the lab, our newest Postdoctoral Associate that is studying new ways to improve pancreatic cancer therapies.

Tumor Metabolism: Mechanisms and Targets

February 14, 2017



Tumor metabolism and its implications in cancer development, progression and therapy is a rapidly moving field. Experts in various areas of cancer metabolism research will be convening in Whistler, B.C., Canada for the Keystone Symposium on Tumor Metabolism March 5-9. We will be presenting the latest exciting findings from our laboratory in the "Metabolic Strategies" session.

STRIVE Symposium

February 1, 2017



Every new medicine starts with a scientific idea. SBP is very supportive of ideas with experimental approaches that lead to a new technology, treatment, or cure for patients. This initiative, called STRIVE, was the focus of a recent symposium where Dr. Commisso presented the lab's work on developing a new macropinocytosis inhibitor for pancreatic cancer.

SBP Beaker Blog

October 11, 2016



Congratulations to Nathalia Cruz for her heartfelt and informative blog post about PurpleStride San Diego.

You can read her blog entry here!!!

PurpleStride San Diego

October 5, 2016



On October 2, the Commisso Lab participated in PurpleStride San Diego, a fundraising and awareness event organized by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  We raised money for this amazing cause together with our colleagues at SBP Medical Discovery Institute.  Here are some photos from the event!

PancWest Symposium

September 25, 2016



On Saturday, September 24, the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center hosted the biennial PancWest Symposium. The meeting was hosted by Dr. Andrew Lowy from UCSD and featured Sunil Hingorani as the Keynote Speaker.  The Commisso Lab was out in full force and we were able to showcase some of our most recent work in pancreatic cancer metabolism.  See you all in two years!!

UCSF Pancreas Center Symposium

September 18, 2016



On September 16, Dr. Commisso presented our latest work on the mechanisms driving metabolic adaptation in pancreatic cancer at the annual Pancreas Center Symposium hosted by UCSF.  The central theme of this year's meeting was cancer metabolism. 

Waging Hope Toward 2020 

September 1, 2016



On August 19-20, grantees gathered for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting in San Diego, CA.  The sessions were filled with exciting new research in pancreatic cancer and advances in therapy.  For the second year in a row, the scientific conference was held jointly with the annual volunteer meeting and it was a huge success.  Join us on October 2, 2016 as we help raise funds for PanCAN at PurpleStride San Diego, a major fundraising event.

Left: Waging hope with Dr. Rushika Perera (UCSF) and Dr. Jennifer Bailey (UT Houston).

Above: Southwestern theme volunteer and scientist event with Dr. Jonathan Brody (Thomas Jefferson) and Dr. Michael Vansaun (U of Miami).

Biotech All-Stars: San Diego Padres 

August 2, 2016



Our work was highlighted and honored by the San Diego Padres in their Biotech All-Stars series. Thanks to the Padres for the opportunity and for a great evening.

Our work was highlighted and honored by the San Diego Padres in their Biotech All-Stars series. Thanks to the Padres for the opportunity and for a great evening.

Check out the videos here and here!

The NIH RAS Initiative: RAS Dialogue 

June 6, 2016



Understanding the role of tumor heterogeneity in tumor progression and therapy is an important topic in cancer biology.  Read Dr. Commisso's RAS Dialogue blog entry about metabolic heterogeneity in pancreatic cancer.

AACR Annual Meeting 2016  

April 12, 2016



Dr. Commisso will be presenting the lab's work at the annual AACR meeting in New Orleans.  He will be presenting the lab's exciting work on how marcopinocytosis in regulated in pancreatic cancer at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Research Grants Presentation Session taking place on Tuesday, April 19th, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon A at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The Hilton New Orleans Riverside is located at 2 Poydras Street, two blocks north of Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.  Hope to see you there!!!!

Visit to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre  

March 20, 2016



ALT Blog  

December 18, 2015



Our work was featured in the ALT blog... check it out!!!!

PurpleStride San Diego  

September 20, 2015



The Commisso Lab was honored to take part in PurpleStride San Diego to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. Our team name was SBP Discovery and we managed to raise just over $800 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. It was a really sunny day and we had a great time at Mission Bay Park.  See everybody next year!!!


National Pancreatic Cancer Advocacy Day  

Advocacy Day 2015 took place on June 22 and 23 in the heart of Washington, D.C., with approximately 600 participants in attendance. Dr. Commisso was honored to be one of the scientists representing pancreatic cancer researchers. It was a day full of tears, joy and summer heat. It was a pleasure to meet all the survivors and families that participated, especially those from our California delegation! Thank you to California Members of Congress Scott Peters and Lois Capps for your continued support of NIH-funded cancer research.



July 8, 2015



May 15, 2015



A Visit to PanCAN Headquarters  

On May 12, Dr. Commisso was honored to visit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network headquarters in Manhattan Beach, CA.  It was a great experience to meet all the amazing people that are so passionate about finding solutions to this horrible disease.



It was a great opportunity to tell the story of how instrumental PanCAN has been to not only my career but to the wider-community as a whole when it comes to pancreatic cancer research funding.  It was fun to share a bit of our science with all the staff too!!!

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network - AACR Award   

April 30, 2015



The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network awarded 10 grants through their joint 2015 Research Grants Program to outstanding scientists throughout the country, supporting their novel research in the field of pancreatic cancer.


Dr. Commisso is honored to have received the Career Development Award to study the role of Na+/H+ exchange in pancreatic cancer.  Thanks again Pancan!!!



Protein Scavenging in Human Pancreatic Tumors  

Human Pancreatic Cancer Tumors Are Nutrient Poor and Tumor Cells Actively Scavenge Extracellular Protein


Jurre J. Kamphorst*, Michel Nofal*, Cosimo Commisso*, Sean R. Hackett, Wenyun Lu, Elda Grabocka, Matthew G. Vander Heiden, George Miller, Jeffrey A. Drebin, Dafna Bar-Sagi, Craig B. Thompson, and Joshua D. Rabinowitz. *equal contribution


In this issue of Cancer Research, we published a study where we examined the metabolism of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a poorly vascularized lethal KRAS-driven malignancy. We outline metabolomic comparisons of human PDAC and benign adjacent tissue and demonstrate active macropinocytosis in primary human PDAC specimens.  Overall, our findings argue that the scavenging of extracellular proteins is an important mode of nutrient uptake in PDAC.

February 1, 2015



© 2020 by Cosimo Commisso

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