Mario R. Capecchi, PhD

Research Interests

  • Molecular Genetics
  • Cancer


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Biology - Professor, Human Genetics - Distinguished Professor, Oncological Sciences - Adjunct Professor
  • Cancer Center Programs: Nuclear Control of Cell Growth & Differentiation

Academic Bio

Mario Capecchi, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Human Genetics and adjunct professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah. He is an active participant in the Sarcoma Services Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute, and member of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program.

Capecchi studies cancer models (experimental versions of cancer) recreated in mice. In 2007, Capecchi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology for his contributions to the development of "mouse knockout technology." He has a particular interest in the study of sarcomas and focuses on unraveling the function of Hox, associated with cancer.

Capecchi received a bachelor's degree from Antioch College, Ohio, and a PhD from Harvard University, Massachusetts.

Education History

Type School Degree
Doctoral Training Harvard University
Undergraduate Antioch College
Chemistry and Physics

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Patel N, Wang J, Shiozawa K, Jones KB, Zhang Y, Prokop JW, Davenport GG, Nihira NT, Hao Z, Wong D, Brandsmeier L, Meadows SK, Sampaio AV, Werff RV, Endo M, Capecchi MR, McNagny KM, Mak TW, Nielsen TO, Underhill TM, Myers RM, Kondo T, Su L (2019). HDAC2 Regulates Site-Specific Acetylation of MDM2 and Its Ubiquitination Signaling in Tumor Suppression. iScience, 13, 43-54.
  2. De S, Van Deren D, Peden E, Hockin M, Boulet A, Titen S, Capecchi MR (2018). Two distinct ontogenies confer heterogeneity to mouse brain microglia. Development, 145(13).
  3. Banito A, Li X, Laporte AN, Roe JS, Sanchez-Vega F, Huang CH, Dancsok AR, Hatzi K, Chen CC, Tschaharganeh DF, Chandwani R, Tasdemir N, Jones KB, Capecchi MR, Vakoc CR, Schultz N, Ladanyi M, Nielsen TO, Lowe SW (2018). The SS18-SSX Oncoprotein Hijacks KDM2B-PRC1.1 to Drive Synovial Sarcoma. Cancer Cell, 33(3), 527-541.e8.
  4. Langer EM, Kendsersky ND, Daniel CJ, Kuziel GM, Pelz C, Murphy KM, Capecchi MR, Sears RC (2017). ZEB1-repressed microRNAs inhibit autocrine signaling that promotes vascular mimicry of breast cancer cells. Oncogene, 37(8), 1005-1019.
  5. Barrott JJ, Illum BE, Jin H, Hedberg ML, Wang Y, Grossmann A, Haldar M, Capecchi MR, Jones KB (2017). Paracrine osteoprotegerin and β-catenin stabilization support synovial sarcomagenesis in periosteal cells. J Clin Invest, 128(1), 207-218.
  6. Barrott JJ, Zhu JF, Smith-Fry K, Susko AM, Nollner D, Burrell LD, Pozner A, Capecchi MR, Yap JT, Cannon-Albright LA, Deng X, Jones KB (2017). The Influential Role of BCL2 Family Members in Synovial Sarcomagenesis. Mol Cancer Res, 15(12), 1733-1740.
  7. Xu C, Qi X, Du X, Zou H, Gao F, Feng T, Lu H, Li S, An X, Zhang L, Wu Y, Liu Y, Li N, Capecchi MR, Wu S (2017). piggyBac mediates efficient in vivo CRISPR library screening for tumorigenesis in mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114(4), 722-727.
  8. Barrott JJ, Kafchinski LA, Jin H, Potter JW, Kannan SD, Kennedy R, Mosbruger T, Wang WL, Tsai JW, Araujo DM, Liu T, Capecchi MR, Lazar AJ, Jones KB (2016). Modeling synovial sarcoma metastasis in the mouse: PI3'-lipid signaling and inflammation. J Exp Med, 213(13), 2989-3005.
  9. Jones KB, Barrott JJ, Xie M, Haldar M, Jin H, Zhu JF, Monument MJ, Mosbruger TL, Langer EM, Randall RL, Wilson RK, Cairns BR, Ding L, Capecchi MR (2016). The impact of chromosomal translocation locus and fusion oncogene coding sequence in synovial sarcomagenesis. Oncogene, 35(38), 5021-32.
  10. Barrott JJ, Illum BE, Jin H, Zhu JF, Mosbruger T, Monument MJ, Smith-Fry K, Cable MG, Wang Y, Grossmann AH, Capecchi MR, Jones KB (2015). β-catenin stabilization enhances SS18-SSX2-driven synovial sarcomagenesis and blocks the mesenchymal to epithelial transition. Oncotarget, 6(26), 22758-66.
  11. Quist T, Jin H, Zhu JF, Smith-Fry K, Capecchi MR, Jones KB (2014). The impact of osteoblastic differentiation on osteosarcomagenesis in the mouse. Oncogene, 34(32), 4278-84.
  12. Goodwin ML, Jin H, Straessler K, Smith-Fry K, Zhu JF, Monument MJ, Grossmann A, Randall RL, Capecchi MR, Jones KB (2014). Modeling alveolar soft part sarcomagenesis in the mouse: a role for lactate in the tumor microenvironment. Cancer Cell, 26(6), 851-862.
  13. Jones KB, Datar M, Ravichandran S, Jin H, Jurrus E, Whitaker R, Capecchi MR (2012). Toward an understanding of the short bone phenotype associated with multiple osteochondromas. J Orthop Res, 31(4), 651-7.
  14. Straessler KM, Jones KB, Hu H, Jin H, van de Rijn M, Capecchi MR (2012). Modeling clear cell sarcomagenesis in the mouse: cell of origin differentiation state impacts tumor characteristics. Cancer Cell, 23(2), 215-27.


  1. Zhang X, Wei X, Wu Y, Wang Y, Tan C, Hu X, Li N, Capecchi MR, Wu S (2016). Genome-wide piggyBac transposon mediated screening reveals genes related to reprogramming. [Letter to the editor]. Protein Cell, 8(2), 134-139.