Research > Faculty Alphabetical > Mark Watson, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Pathology and Immunology
1029 CSRB
Office: (314) 454-7919
Lab: (314) 454-7053
Pub Med Search


Our laboratory is interested in characterizing sets of human genes whose expression pattern may be used to design new diagnostic tests and treatment strategies for solid tumors. We are using high-density oligonucleotide arrays (GeneChips) to perform gene expression profiling on biopsy specimens from patients with breast, pancreatic, prostate, lung, and other carcinomas. Patterns of gene expression are correlated with traditional histopathology data and clinical outcomes to identify diagnostic signatures. In a related project, we are using Laser Capture Microdissection and transcript amplification to examine gene expression profiles in subsets of tumor cells (e.g. carcinoma in situ versus invasive cancer) within a single, histologically complex tumor specimen. The goal of this work is to elucidate the transcriptional regulatory networks involved in the malignant progression of epithelial tumors such as breast and prostate cancer.

A second research interest involves further characterization of a family of genes located on chromosome 11q13 and associated with human breast cancer. Mammaglobin and mammaglobin B, two novel genes isolated in our laboratory, as well as lipophilin A, lipophilin B, and CC10 all encode small, secreted epithelial proteins that may form combinatorial heteromers. Mammaglobin gene expression is restricted to the human mammary epithelium. More significantly, mammaglobin is expressed at elevated levels in almost 80% of human breast tumors. Understanding the function of mammaglobin and these other homologous proteins as well as the mechanisms controlling their tissue-specific expression will provide new insights into breast development and tumorigenesis. Furthermore, if over-expression of mammaglobin is contributory to breast cancer progression, results from these studies may identify therapeutic targets for modulating aberrant mammaglobin gene expression or protein function.

Service to the University

2005 - PresentDirector, Laboratory for Clinical Genomics
2000 - PresentDirector, American College of Surgeons Cooperative Oncology Group (ACOSOG) Central Specimen Bank
1999 - PresentDirector, Siteman Cancer Center Multiplexed Gene Analysis (GeneChip) Core Facility
1997 - PresentDirector, Siteman Cancer Center Tissue Procurement Core Facility

DBBS Graduate Program Affiliation

Molecular Genetics Program

Diagnostic Expertise

Molecular Pathology
Medical Genomics

Clinical Interest

Laboratory and Genomic Medicine - DNA Diagnostics
Laboratory and Genomic Medicine - Informatics & Statistics

Selected Publications

Grigsby PW, Watson M, Powell MA, Zhang Z, Rader JS.. Gene expression patterns in advanced human cervical cancer. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 16:562-567, 2006 Abstract

Sharma MK, Watson MA, Lyman M, Perry A, Aldape KD, Deak F, Gutmann DH. Matrilin-2 expression distinguishes clinically relevant subsets of pilocytic astrocytoma.. Neurology. 66:127-130, 2006 Abstract

Potti A, Mukherjee S, Petersen R, Dressma, HK, Bild A, Koontz J, Kratzke R, Watson MA, Kelley M, Gin. A genomic strategy to refine prognosis in early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer. N Engl J Med. 355:570-580, 2006 Abstract

Luzzi, VI, Holtschlag, V, Watson, MA. Gene expression profiling of primary tumor cell populations using laser capture microdissection, RNA transcript amplification, and GeneChip microarrays. Methods Mol Biol. 293:187-207., 2005 Abstract

Sharma MK, Zehnbauer BA, Watson MA, Gutmann DH. RAS pathway activation and an oncogenic RAS mutation in sporadic pilocytic astrocytoma.. Neurology. 65:1335-1336, 2005 Abstract

Yu J, Shannon, WD, Watson MA, McLeod, H. Gene expression profiling of the irinotecan pathway in colorectal cancer.. Clin Cancer Res. 11: 2053-2062, 2005 Abstract

Bernstein JL, Godbold JH, Raptis G, Watson MA, Levinson B, Aaronson SA, Fleming TP. Identification of mammaglobin as a novel serum marker for breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 11:6528-6535., 2005 Abstract

Lusis EA, Watson MA, Chicoine MR, Lyma, M, Roerig P, Reifenberger G, Gutmann DH, Perry A. Integrative genomic analysis identifies NDRG2 as a candidate tumor suppressor gene frequently inactivated in clinically aggressive meningioma. Cancer Res. 65:7121-7126, 2005 Abstract

Kidd EA, Yu J, Li X, Shannon WD, Watson, MA, McLeod HL. Variance in the expression of 5-Fluorouracil pathway genes in colorectal cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 11: 2612-2619, 2005 Abstract

Hesselbrock DR, Kurpios N, Hassell, JA, Watson, MA, Fleming, TP. PEA3, AP-1, and a Unique Repetitive Sequence all are Involved in Transcriptional Regulation of the Breast Cancer-Associated Gene, Mammaglobin. Breast Cancer Res. and Treat. 89: 289-296., 2005 Abstract

Chen ZM, Crone KG, Watson MA, Pfeifer JD, Wang HL. Identification of a unique gene expression signature that differentiates hepatocellular adenoma from well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. J Surg Pathol. 29:1600-1608, 2005 Abstract

Past Trainees

Assistant Professors
Alison Woodworth, PhD

In Trainings
Angela Ferguson, PhD