Trudy G. Oliver, PhD

Research Interests

  • Lung Cancer
  • Mouse Models of Cancer
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Mechanisms of Chemotherapy Resistance
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Oncogene and Tumor Suppressor Function
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Drug Combinations
  • Cisplatin
  • Genes, p53
  • Genes, myc


Lab Website


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Oncological Sciences - Associate Professor
  • Cancer Center Programs: Cell Response & Regulation

Academic Office Information

  • 801-213-4221
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute
    2000 Circle of Hope, Room: HCI Rm 2717
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Academic Bio

Biography: Dr. Oliver received her PhD from Duke University in 2005 in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology as a graduate student in Dr. Rob Wechsler-Reya's lab. In 2005, she studied in Dr. Terry Van Dyke's lab as a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for six months. She then completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship (2006-2011) in Dr. Tyler Jack's lab at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, MA. Dr. Oliver joined the University of Utah and Huntsman Cancer Institute in 2011. She is now Associate Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences. Dr. Oliver has received many awards including a Valedictorian scholarship from Oklahoma Baptist University, a National Science Foundation graduate student fellowship, and two postdoctoral fellowships from ASPET-Merck and the Ludwig Foundation at MIT. As an independent investigator, she has received awards from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, American Cancer Society, and American Lung Association. She has served as an Associate Scientific Advisor for Science Translational Medicine.

Research: Dr. Oliver's research is devoted to understandingmechanisms of cancer biology with a focus on lung cancer. As a graduate student in the lab of Rob Wechsler-Reya at Duke, she studied the developmental origins of the childhood brain tumor, medulloblastoma, where she identified mechanisms of tumor progression in mouse models of the disease. As a postdoctoral fellow with Tyler Jacks at MIT, she studied mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance in lung cancer. As an independent investigator, she has developed novel mouse models of squamous and small cell lung cancer. Her experimental approaches include an integration of mouse genetics, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, genomics, preclinical therapeutics, and in vivo imaging. This work will contribute to our understanding of lung cancer subtypes with the goal of identifying novel targets to improve patient outcome.

Teaching and Mentoring: Dr. Oliver has been active in graduate student and medical school teaching. She co-taught a class with Dr. Bryan Welm on Development and Cancer, and gives regular lectures on the topics of apoptosis & cell death pathways, transcription factors in cancer including MYC and p53, and kinase signaling and targeted cancer therapeutics. Dr. Oliver's trainees have received a number of prestigious awards. These include the Susan Cooper Jones Postdoc of the Year Award, an NIH NCI F99/K00 Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award, and the School of Medicine Undergraduate of the Year award. In addition, Oliver lab trainees have won a number of travel awards including to Keystone Symposia, the John Weis Memorial Graduate Student Award, and selection as a recipient to the 68th Annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting in Germany.

Administration: Dr. Oliver is an active member of the Cell Response and Regulation program. Dr. Oliver has served on the Molecular Biology PhD program Admissions and Advising Committees. She has served as Co-Chair for the Department of Oncological Sciences junior faculty search committee and has contributed to HCI's small animal imaging capabilities through multiple efforts.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cancer Biology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Postdoctoral Fellowship University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Cancer Biology
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training Duke University
Pharmacology and Cancer Biology
Undergraduate Oklahoma Baptist University

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Zhang W, Girard L, Zhang Y, Haruki T, Papari-Zareei M, Stastny V, Ghayee HK, Pacak K, Oliver TG, Minna JD, Gazdar AF (2018). Heterogeneity of SCLC tumors and in vitro models having high and low neuroendocrine phenotypes. Transl Lung Cancer Res, 7(1), 32-49.
  2. Mollaoglu G, Guthrie MR, Bohm S, Bragelmann J, Can I, Ballieu PM, Marx A, George J, Heinen C, Chalishazar MD, Cheng H, Ireland AS, Denning KE, Mukhopadhyay A, Vahrenkamp JM, Berrett KC, Mosbruger TL, Wang J, Kohan JL, Salama ME, Witt BL, Peifer M, Thomas RK, Gertz J, Johnson JE, Gazdar AF, Wechsler-Reya RJ, Sos ML, Oliver TG (2017). MYC Drives Progression of Small Cell Lung Cancer to a Variant Neuroendocrine Subtype with Vulnerability to Aurora Kinase Inhibition. Cancer Cell, 31(2), 270-285.
  3. Cardnell RJ, Li L, Sen T, Bara R, Tong P, Fujimoto J, Ireland AS, Guthrie MR, Bheddah S, Banerjee U, Kalu NN, Fan YH, Dylla SJ, Johnson FM, Wistuba II, Oliver TG, Heymach JV, Glisson BS, Wang J, Byers LA (2017). Protein expression of TTF1 and cMYC define distinct molecular subgroups of small cell lung cancer with unique vulnerabilities to aurora kinase inhibition, DLL3 targeting, and other targeted therapies. Oncotarget, 8(43), 73419-73432.
  4. Oliver TG, Patel J, Akerley W (2015). Squamous Non-small Cell Lung Cancer as a Distinct Clinical Entity. Am J Clin Oncol, 38(2), 220-6.
  5. Terry MR, Arya R, Mukhopadhyay A, Berrett KC, Clair PM, Witt B, Salama ME, Bhutkar A, Oliver TG (2015). Caspase-2 impacts lung tumorigenesis and chemotherapy response in vivo. Cell Death Differ, 22(5), 719-30.
  6. Masin M, Vazquez J, Rossi S, Groeneveld S, Samson N, Schwalie PC, Deplancke B, Frawley LE, Gouttenoire J, Moradpour D, Oliver TG, Meylan E (2014). GLUT3 is induced during epithelial-mesenchymal transition and promotes tumor cell proliferation in non-small cell lung cancer. Cancer Metab, 2, 11.
  7. Mukhopadhyay A, Berrett KC, Kc U, Clair PM, Pop SM, Carr SR, Witt BL, Oliver TG (2014). Sox2 cooperates with Lkb1 loss in a mouse model of squamous cell lung cancer. Cell Rep, 8(1), 40-9.
  8. Curry NL, Mino-Kenudson M, Oliver TG, Yilmaz OH, Yilmaz VO, Moon JY, Jacks T, Sabatini DM, Kalaany NY (2013). Pten-null tumors cohabiting the same lung display differential AKT activation and sensitivity to dietary restriction. Cancer Discov, 3(8), 908-21.
  9. Oliver TG, Meylan E, Chang GP, Xue W, Burke JR, Humpton TJ, Hubbard D, Bhutkar A, Jacks T (2011). Caspase-2-mediated cleavage of Mdm2 creates a p53-induced positive feedback loop. Mol Cell, 43(1), 57-71.
  10. Xue W, Meylan E, Oliver TG, Feldser DM, Winslow MM, Bronson R, Jacks T (2011). Response and resistance to NF-kappaB inhibitors in mouse models of lung adenocarcinoma. Cancer Discov, 1(3), 236-47.
  11. Oliver TG, Mercer KL, Sayles LC, Burke JR, Mendus D, Lovejoy KS, Cheng MH, Subramanian A, Mu D, Powers S, Crowley D, Bronson RT, Whittaker CA, Bhutkar A, Lippard SJ, Golub T, Thomale J, Jacks T, Sweet-Cordero EA (2010). Chronic cisplatin treatment promotes enhanced damage repair and tumor progression in a mouse model of lung cancer. Genes Dev, 24(8), 837-52.
  12. Doles J, Oliver TG, Cameron ER, Hsu G, Jacks T, Walker GC, Hemann MT (2010). Suppression of Rev3, the catalytic subunit of Pol{zeta}, sensitizes drug-resistant lung tumors to chemotherapy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107(48), 20786-91.
  13. Cowley DO, Rivera-Perez JA, Schliekelman M, He YJ, Oliver TG, Lu L, OQuinn R, Salmon ED, Magnuson T, Van Dyke T (2009). Aurora-A kinase is essential for bipolar spindle formation and early development. Mol Cell Biol, 29(4), 1059-71.
  14. Schliekelman M, Cowley DO, OQuinn R, Oliver TG, Lu L, Salmon ED, Van Dyke T (2009). Impaired Bub1 function in vivo compromises tension-dependent checkpoint function leading to aneuploidy and tumorigenesis. Cancer Res, 69(1), 45-54.
  15. Fogarty MP, Emmenegger BA, Grasfeder LL, Oliver TG, Wechsler-Reya RJ (2007). Fibroblast growth factor blocks Sonic hedgehog signaling in neuronal precursors and tumor cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 104(8), 2973-8.
  16. Oliver TG, Read TA, Kessler JD, Mehmeti A, Wells JF, Huynh TT, Lin SM, Wechsler-Reya RJ (2005). Loss of patched and disruption of granule cell development in a pre-neoplastic stage of medulloblastoma. Development, 132(10), 2425-39.
  17. Oliver TG, Grasfeder LL, Carroll AL, Kaiser C, Gillingham CL, Lin SM, Wickramasinghe R, Scott MP, Wechsler-Reya RJ (2003). Transcriptional profiling of the Sonic hedgehog response: a critical role for N-myc in proliferation of neuronal precursors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 100(12), 7331-6.


  1. Bragelmann J, Bohm S, Guthrie MR, Mollaoglu G, Oliver TG, Sos ML (2017). Family matters: How MYC family oncogenes impact small cell lung cancer. [Review]. Cell Cycle, 16(16), 1489-1498.
  2. Mukhopadhyay A, Oliver TG (2015). Mighty mouse breakthroughs: a Sox2-driven model for squamous cell lung cancer. [Review]. Molecular & Cellular Oncology, 2(2), e969651.
  3. Oliver TG, Wechsler-Reya RJ (2004). Getting at the root and stem of brain tumors. [Review]. Neuron, 42(6), 885-8.