The University of Chicago
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Chicago, Illinois 60637
Phone: (773) 834-8309

The Latest


March 2019

New publication:”Autophagy, Cancer Stem Cells & Drug Resistance”.  The Journal of Pathology 247: 708-718 (2019) is featured on the cover of the journal.

November 2018

Members of the Y-Me organization, including Ginger Rugai and Katie McAlindon who raise money for breast cancer research through their annual softball tournament (see August 2018) visit the Macleod Lab to hear about our research and how we use the money raised.

November 2018

Dr. Macleod is Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Chicago Chapter Scientist of the month!

November SOTM: Kay Macleod

October 2018

At the annual meeting of CABTRAC, Dr. Macleod takes over as CABTRAC President for 2019. Next year’s meeting is October 11-13 in Baltimore, MD. Watch this space for more news!

Dr. Macleod attends the annual Forbeck Scholar Retreat in Lake Geneva, WI where mentoring some of the smartest minds in cancer research is the order of the day!

August 2018

The Macleod Lab taking part (speaking, providing informational materials) in the annual Y-Me Softball Tournament in Mount Greenwood Park, South Chicago to raise money for breast cancer research.

May 2018

New publication: “Functions of autophagy in the tumor microenvironment and cancer metastasis” Erin E. Mowers, Marina N. Sharifi & Kay F. MacleodThe FEBs Journal 285 (10) 1751-1766 (2018) Featured on the journal cover.

Multi-Disciplinary Training Grant in Cancer Research – Annual symposium.

Former Macleod Lab graduate student, Dr. Ben Spike, Assistant Professor, Department of Oncological Sciences, The Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah makes a return visit to UChicago to give a seminar and serve as poster judge for our annual MTCR T32 symposium. Seen here with current Macleod Lab grad student Maya Springer (left) .

May 2018

Maya and Lauren attend the Cell symposium on “Multifaceted Mitochondria” in San Diego and meet up with Macleod Alum, Erin Mowers, PhD (below)!

April 2018

Dr. Macleod presents our work at the annual AACR meeting in a talk entitled “Autophagy in Tumor Progression to Metastasis”. Hear her talk here:

January 2018

Dr. Macleod attends and speaks at the snowy Keystone meeting on Tumor Metabolism at Snowbird Mountain, Utah!

New publications: (1) “Dia1-dependent adhesions are required by epithelial tissues to initiate invasion” Tim B Fessenden, Yvonne Beckham, Gio Ramirez-San Juan, Mathew Perez-Neut, Aparajita H. Chourasia, Kay F. Macleod, Patrick W. Oakes & Margaret L. Gardel.  J. Cell Biol. 217 (4) 1485 – 1502 (2018). Featured on the journal cover.

(2) “Active and dynamic mitochondrial S-depalmitoylation revealed by targeted fluorescent probes” Rahul S. Kathayat, Yang Cao, Pablo D. Elvira, Patrick Sandoz, Maria-Eugenia Zaballa, Maya Z. Springer, Lauren E Drake, Kay F. Macleod, Gisou van der Goot & Bryan C. Dickinson. Nat. Comm. 9 (1) 334 – 38 (2018).

December 2017

Maya Springer (Macleod Lab Graduate student) is awarded the 2017-2018 Elaine Ehrman award for excellence in cancer research by a graduate student.

New Publication: “mTOR and HDAC inhibitors converge on the TXNIP/thioredoxin pathway to cause catastrophic oxidative stress and regression of RAS-driven tumors” Clare Malone, Chloe Emerson, Rachel Ingraham, William Barbosa, Stephanie Guerra, Kay F. Macleod, Ophelia Maertens & Karen Cichowski.  Cancer Discovery 7, 1450-1463 (2017).

October 2017

Dr. Macleod is the Keynote speaker at the Vancouver Autophagy Symposium organized by the Genome Sciences Center of the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver Canada.

June 2017

Dr. Macleod, at the invitation of the Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai, NY gives a seminar on “Autophagy & Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer”.

April 2017

Dr. Macleod, at the invitation of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University gives a seminar on “Autophagy & Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer”.

September 2017

New publication: “Autophagy gene Atg7 regulates ultraviolet radiation-induced inflammation and skin tumorigenesis” Lei Qiang, Ashley Sample, Christopher R. Shea, Keyoumars Soltani, Kay F. Macleod & Yu-Ying He.  Autophagy 13 (12), 2086-2103 (2017).

August 2017

New publications: (1) “Expanding perspectives on the significance of mitophagy in cancer” Lauren E. Drake, Maya Z. Springer, Logan P. Poole, Casey J. Kim & Kay F MacleodSeminars in Cancer Biology 47, 110-147 (2017).

(2) “Small molecules inhibit STAT3 activation, autophagy, and cancer cell anchorage-independent growth” Donghui Zhou, Maya Z Springer, David Xu, Degang Liu, Andy Hudmon, Kay F Macleod & Samy O Meroueh. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 25 (12) 2995-3005 (2017).

February 2017

Dr. Macleod, at the invitation of the Department of Cell & Molecular Biology, Northwestern University gives a seminar on “Autophagy & Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cancer”.

December 2016

New publications: (1) “Autophagic degradation of focal adhesions underlies metastatic cancer dissemination” Marina N. Sharifi, Erin E. Mowers & Kay F. MacleodMolecular & Cellular Oncology 4 (2) e1198299 (2017).

(2) “Mitophagy: Mechanisms and Role in Human Disease” Maya Z. Springer & Kay F. Macleod. Journal of Pathology 240 (3): 253-55 (2016).

September 2016

We published an in-depth review of the role of autophagy in metastasis in Oncogene. This timely review covers roles for autophagy in tumor cell migration and invasion, cancer stem cells, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, resistance to anoikis, tumor cell dormancy, anti-tumor immune surveillance and other emerging functions for autophagy in metastasis.

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June 2016

UChicagoBSD Womens’ Crush Wednesday after last week’s graduation ceremony during which Marina Sharifi (front left), Michelle Beaton (back right), Aparajita Hoskote Chourasia (front right), Lauren Olson (back left) and Erin Mowers (back middle) officially became Ph.D.s!

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May 2016

Our paper “Autophagy promotes focal adhesion disassembly and cell motility of metastatic tumor cells through the direct interaction of paxillin with LC3” is published on-line in Cell Reports.

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Some media coverage of our work!

May 5th  2016

Erin successfully defends her Ph.D. thesis May 5th! Congrats Erin!

April 2016

Maya presents her data at AACR in New Orleans.

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Also attending AACR in New Orleans are (below, from left to right): Maya Zafrir Springer (current Macleod Lab graduate student), Stephen Tait (fellow mitochondriac from the University of Glasgow), Ben Spike (former Macleod Lab graduate student and currently Assistant Professor at the Huntsman Cancer Institute) and Huiping Liu (former Macleod Lab graduate student and currently Assistant Professor at Case Western University).

AACR Bourbon street

 April 12th 2016.

Lauren successfully defends her Ph.D. thesis April 12th! Congrats Lauren!


Post-defense celebrations (left to right): Maya Zafrir Springer, Erin Mowers, Lauren Drake, Logan Poole, Casey Kim, Chanelle Robinzine.

March 2016

Dr. Macleod presents our work at the Banbury meeting on “Autophagy & Cancer” organized by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

February 2016

Aparajita successfully defends her Ph.D. thesis February 25th! Congrats Aparajita! Good luck in San Diego!

AHC defense Feb 2016

Post-thesis defense celebrations begin! From left to right: Jordan Storber, Logan Poole, Chanelle Robinzine, Erin Mowers, Marina Sharifi (holding baby Aria – Aparajita’s wee one!), Maya Zafrir Springer, Lauren Drake, Aparajita, Dan Rabe (Rosner Lab), Brendan Horton (Gajewski Lab).

January 2016

Dr. Macleod gives a talk at the Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute entitled: “Autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction in tumor progression and metastasis”.

December 2015

Dr. Macleod is quoted in a piece in Nature Methods on how to measure autophagy:

Dr. Macleod gives a talk at the Simon Cancer Center, Indiana University on “Autophagy in Cell Migration and Metastasis”.

 November 2015

ANSWER CANCER fund-raising video for the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center:

 October 2015

10333427_10207878130657202_1657240788293319472_oAs part of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dr. Macleod talks to 5th-8th graders about breast cancer and self-awareness at Ashburn Elementary School! So many great questions from smart young minds!

Our work gets reported in SCIENCELife!

Dr. Macleod is the Keynote Speaker at a symposium on “Mechanisms of Metastasis” at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah.  Her talk was entitled ” Control of Cell Migration and Metastasis by Autophagy”

September 2015

Dr. Macleod attends the Banbury Center meeting on “Mitochondria and Cancer” at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories.

New publication: “Tumor Suppressor Functions of BNip3 and Mitophagy” Autophagy (2015).

August 2015

August 29th Y-Me Softball Tournament to raise money for breast cancer research

July 2015

July 21st, Dr. Macleod presents our research at the Cell symposium on “Multifaceted Mitochondria” in Chicago. Her talk was entitled: “BNip3-dependent mitophagy in liver metabolism and responses to nutrient deprivation.”


Aparajita’s paper is accepted into press at EMBO Reports.

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July 2nd 10 AM, Michelle Boland successfully defends her Ph.D. thesis! Congratulations Michelle!

April 2015

news-15-1-150x150Dr. Macleod chairs the major symposium on “Autophagy & Cancer” at the Annual Meeting of the AACR in Philadelphia. Her talk was entitled:”Contrasting consequences of autophagy deficiency and mitophagy deficiency in cancer.” Also speaking in this symposium were Dr. Beth Levine, Dr. Jorge Moscat and Dr. Ravi Amaravadi.

March 2015

Two new publications:

“Mitophagy & Cancer” Aparajita H. Chourasia, Michelle L. Boland & Kay F. Macleod.
Cancer & Metabolism 3 (4) (2015).

“Measuring autophagy in stressed cells” M.N. Sharifi, E.E. Mowers, L.E. Drake & K. F. Macleod. In “Stress Responses”, Methods in Molecular Biology, vol. 1292, pp129-150, chapter 10 (2015). Ed. Christine E Oslowski. ISBN 978-1-4939-2521-6. Humana Press, Springer Publishing Group.

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