Gail Sonenshein, PhD


Professor of Developmental, Molecular & Chemical Biology



BS, Chemistry, Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute
PhD, Biology, MIT
Postdoctoral Training, Institut de Recherche Scient sur le Cancer; Tufts University School of Medicine


Campus: Boston
Office: Jaharis 808
Laboratory: Jaharis 801

Contact Information

Office Phone: 617-636-4091
Lab Phone: 617-636-4061
E-mail   Send an e-mail


Research Website  Lab Research Page
Recent Publications  Abstract in PubMed

Graduate Programs

Cell, Molecular & Developmental Biology


Research Synopsis

I maintain an active research program and participate in graduate training through teaching. I no longer accept dissertation students.

For over 25 years, our research has focused on elucidating the roles of nuclear oncogenes in cancer. My group has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the Myc oncogene, including the first demonstration of dysregulated cell cycle control of c-Myc gene expression in cancers driven by Ras signaling and the ability of c-Myc to prevent differentiation of cells, which has been shown critical for maintenance of the undifferentiated phenotype of stem cells. Our finding that c-Myc gene transcription is regulated by NF-κB led  us to focus on this family of transcription factors. We discovered that NF-κB protects B cells from apoptosis and made the unexpected observation that NF-κB is aberrantly expressed in breast cancer and promotes tumor cell survival, which has been extended to many cancers. These findings opened the way to targeting NF-κB pathways for cancer treatment. Currently the lab is investigating the mechanisms of activation of NF-κB, the cross-talk between estrogen receptor a and NF-κB and identifying downstream NF-κB targets mediating a more invasive phenotype in breast cancer, and the mechanisms of action of the novel tumor suppressor protein lysyl oxidase propeptide, and the anti-tumorigenic effects of green tea polyphenols.


Lab Members

Sonia Das, Postdoctoral Scholar Send an e-mail Lab Research Page
Nora Mineva, Research Associate Send an e-mail  Lab Research Page
Ninon Becquart, PREP Scholar Send an e-mail Lab Research Page

Apply to the Sackler School


The priority application deadlines are as follows:

December 1: Basic Science Division PhD Programs

February 15: Building Diversity in Biomedical Sciences

March 31: Post-Baccalaureate Research Program

May 1: Clinical & Translational Science, MS in Pharmacology & Drug Development

June 15: Online Certificate in Fundamentals of Clinical Care Research