Bernard Futscher, PhD

Assistant Research Scientist
Cancer Center
Pharmacology & Toxicology
FAX: 520-626-5462
Arizona Cancer Center 3925

The Futscher lab’s primary research focus is cancer epigenetics. We use comprehensive genomic approaches to investigate the epigenomic dysfunction that drives human cancer. The use of genome-wide approaches guarantees the capture of all of the information regarding epigenetic change in human cancer.

From this comprehensive data of the normal and diseased human epigenomes, we employ advanced in silico and molecular biological approaches to generate new knowledge and discover the decisive epigenetic events that drive human carcinogenesis. The long-term objective of these studies is the development of epigenetic markers for toxicant exposure, disease detection and prognostication, and the identification of novel targets for molecularly directed cancer therapy.


1. Futscher B.W., Oshiro M.M., Wozniak R.J., Holtan N., Hanigan C.L., Duan H., & Domann F.E.: Role for DNA methylation in the control of cell type-specific maspin expression. Nature Genetics 31: 175-179, 2002. (Associated commentary appears on pages 123-124.)PMID: 12021783

2. Oshiro M.M., Watts G.S., Wozniak R.J., Junk D.J., Munoz-Rodriguez J., Domann F.E., & Futscher B.W.: Mutant p53 and aberrant cytosine methylation cooperate to silence gene expression. Oncogene 22: 3624-3634, 2003. PMID: 12789271

3. Novak P., Jensen T., Oshiro M.M., Wozniak R.J., Nouzova M., Watts G.S., Klimecki W.T., Kim C., & Futscher, B.W.: Epigenetic Inactivation of the HOXA Gene Cluster in Breast Cancer. Cancer Research 66(22): 10664-10670, 2006. PMID: 17090521.

4. Wozniak R.J., Klimecki W.T., Lau S.S., Feinstein Y., Futscher B.W.: 5-Aza-2’-deoxycytidine-mediated reductions in G9A histone methyltransferase and histone H3 K9 di-methylation levels are linked to tumor suppressor gene reactivation. Oncogene 26(1): 77-90, 2007. PMID: 16799634

5. Beltran A., Parikh S., Liu Y., Cuevas B.D., Johnson G.L., Futscher B.W., & Blancafort P.: Re-activation of a dormant tumor suppressor gene maspin by designed transcription factors. Oncogene 26(19): 2791-2798, 2007. PMID: 17057734

6. Watts G.S., Futscher B.W., Holtan N., DeGeest K., Domann F.E., Rose S.L.: DNA methylation changes in ovarian cancer are cumulative with disease progression and identify tumor stage. BMC Medical Genomics 2008, doi:10.1186/1755-8794-1-47. PMID: 18826610; PMCID: PMC2566571

7. Jensen T.J., Novak P., Eblin K.E., Gandolfi A.J., Futscher B.W.: Epigenetic Remodeling During Arsenical-Induced Malignant Transformation. Carcinogenesis, 2008, doi:10.1093/carcin/bgn102. PMID: 18448484

8. Junk J.J., Vrba L., Watts G.S., Oshiro M.M., Martinez J.D., Futscher B.W.: Different Mutant/Wild-Type p53 Combinations Cause a Spectrum of Increased Invasive Potential in Nonmalignant Immortalized Human Mammary Epithelial Cells. Neoplasia 10(5): 450-461, 2008. PMID: 18472962; PMCID: PMC2373910

9. Eblin K.E., Hau A.M., Jensen T.J., Futscher B.W., Gandolf, A.J.: The role of reactive oxygen species in arsenite and monomethylarsonous acid-induced signal transduction in human bladder cells: Acute studies. Toxicology 250(1): 47-54, 2008. PMID: 18588940; PMCID: PMC2567114

10. Eblin K.E., Jensen T.J., Wnek S.M., Buffington S.E., Futscher B.W., Gandolfi A.J.: Reactive oxygen species regulate properties of transformation in UROtsa cells exposed to monomethylarsonous acid by modulating MAPK signaling. Toxicology 255(1-2): 107-114, 2009. PMID: 19014992; PMCID: PMC2665711

11. Novak P., Jensen T., Oshiro M.M., Watts G., Kim C.J., Futscher B.W.: Agglomerative Epigenetic Aberrations are a Common Event in Human Breast Cancer. Cancer Research 68(20): 8616-8625, 2008. PMID: 18922938; NIHMSID: 66851

12. Vrba L., Junk D.J., Novak P., Futscher B.W.: p53 induces distinct epigenetic states at its direct target promoters. BMC Genomics 2008, doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-486. PMID: 18922938; PMCID: PMC2585595

13. Jensen T.J., Novak P., Eblin K.E., Gandolfi A.J., Futscher, B.W. Epigenetic Mediated Transcriptional Activation of WNT5A Participates in Arsenical-Associated Malignant Transformation. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2008, doi:10.1016/j.taap.2008.10.013. PMID: 19061910; NIHMSID: 113508

14. Novak P., Jensen T.J., Garbe J.C., Stampfer M.R., Futscher B.W.: Step-wise acquisition of DNA methylation changes during escape from defined proliferation barriers is linked to mammary epithelial cell immortalization, Cancer Research, 69(12): 5251-5258, 2009

15. Jensen, T.J., Novak P., Wnek S.M., Gandolfi A.J., Futscher B.W. Arsenicals Produce Stable Progressive Changes in DNA Methylation Patterns that are Linked to Malignant Transformation of Immortalized Urothelial Cells. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology in press


Originally posted: September 9, 2013
Last updated: September 3, 2015
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