BBS Faculty Member - Mario Suvà

Mario Suvà

Department of Pathology

Massachusetts General Hospital East
Molecular Pathology Unit
149 13th Street, Room 6010
Charlestown, MA 02129
Tel: 617-726-6247
Fax: 617-726-5684
Visit my lab page here.

My laboratory is focused on the biology of brain tumors, in particular glioblastoma and oligodendroglioma. My group is dissecting how cellular heterogeneity and plasticity contribute to tumor cell properties. We study primary human samples up to single-cell resolution and have established genetically and epigenetically relevant cellular models from patient tumors. We model how brain cancer cells exploit their plasticity to establish distinct epigenetic programs. Additionally, my laboratory will study how genetic events affecting genes involved in chromatin regulation rewire cancer cells identities to contribute to cellular transformation. Our prior experimental work has demonstrated that brain cancer cells exploit specific transcription factors, chromatin regulators and associated cellular networks to recapitulate primitive stem-like states that are responsible for key cancer cell properties, such as self-renewal and tumor-propagation. By understanding how these networks are exploited by cancer cells, and by highlighting specific chromatin factors that are required for cellular differentiation and reprogramming, we offer a complementary view to current attempts aimed at specific genetic events. Given the tremendous diversity of genetic aberrations in brain tumors, we seek to identify common programs integrated at the chromatin level that would offer novel therapeutic options in these dismal diseases.

Last Update: 8/11/2014


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Janiszewska M, Suvà ML, Riggi N, Houtkooper RH, Auwerx J, Clément-Schatlo V, Radovanovic I, Rheinbay E, Provero P, Stamenkovic I. Imp2 controls oxidative phosphorylation and is crucial for preserving glioblastoma cancer stem cells. Genes & Development. 2012 Sep 1;26(17):1926-44.

Suvà ML, Riggi N and Bernstein BE. Epigenetic reprogramming in cancer. Science. 2013 Mar 29;339(6127):1567-70.

Rheinbay E,
Suvà ML, Gillespie SM, Wakimoto H, Patel AP, Shahid M, Oksuz O, Rabkin SD, Martuza RL, Rivera MN, Louis DN, Kasif S, Chi AS, Bernstein BE. Chromatin profiles reveal an aberrant transcription factor network connected to Wnt signaling and essential for glioblastoma stem cell maintenance. Cell Reports. 2013 May 30;3(5):1567-79.

Suvà ML*, Rheinbay E*, Gillespie SM, Patel AP, Wakimoto H, Rabkin SD, Chi AS, Cahill DP, Nahed BV, Curry WT, Martuza RL, Rivera MN, Riggi N, Rossetti N, Kasif S, Beik S, Kadri S, Tirosh I, Wortman I, Shalek A, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Regev A, Louis DN, Bernstein BE. Reconstructing and reprogramming the tumor propagating potential of glioblastoma stem-like cells. Cell. 2014 Apr 24. 157(3):580-94.

Patel AP, Tirosh I, Trombetta JJ, Shalek AK, Gillespie SM, Wakimoto H, Cahill DP, Nahed BV, Curry WT, Martuza RL, Louis DN, Rozenblatt-Rosen O,
Suvà ML*, Regev A*, Bernstein BE*. Single-cell RNA-seq highlights intra-tumoral heterogeneity in primary glioblastoma. Science 2014 Jun 20;344(6190):1396-401. (*co-senior authorship)

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