Sheri L. Holmen, PhD

Research Interests

  • Glioma
  • Melanoma
  • Mouse Models of Cancer
  • Virology
  • Oncogenes
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor


Lab Website


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Oncological Sciences - Adjunct Associate Professor, Surgery - Professor
  • Divisions: General Surgery
  • Cancer Center Programs: Cell Response & Regulation

Academic Office Information

  • 801-213-4237
  • Huntsman Cancer Institute
    2000 Circle of Hope, Room: 5263
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Academic Bio

Sheri Holmen, PhD, is a Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator and member of the Cell Response and Regulation Program. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Utah School of Medicine, as well as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences.The Holmen Lab aims to define critical targets in cancer cells that can become the focus for therapeutic intervention. Because of the high cost of developing new therapies, it is essential to first identify which genetic alterations can be targeted productively. Current efforts utilize a genetic approach to address this question in tumors that are generally refractory to conventional therapies, including metastatic melanoma and glioblastoma. Identified targets are being further validated using pharmacological inhibitors of clinical importance such that laboratory findings can be quickly translated to the clinic.Dr. Holmen earned her bachelor's and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University followed by a PhD degree from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Her postdoctoral research was performed in the Laboratory of Cell Signaling and Carcinogenesis at the Van Andel Research Institute.

Education History

Type School Degree
Postdoctoral Fellowship Van Andel Research Institute
Postdoctoral Fellow
Doctoral Training Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Biomedical Science, Tumor Biology
Graduate Training Western Michigan University
Biomedical Science
Undergraduate Western Michigan University
Biomedical Science

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Joshi S, Wels C, Beham-Schmid C, Fukunaga-Kalabis M, Holmen SL, Otte M, Herlyn M, Waldhoer M, Schaider H (2015). Galpha13 mediates human cytomegalovirus-encoded chemokine receptor US28-induced cell death in melanoma. Int J Cancer, 137(6), 1503-8.
  2. Cohen AL, Holmen SL, Colman H (2013). IDH1 and IDH2 mutations in gliomas. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep, 13(5), 345.
  3. Robinson GL, Robinson JP, Lastwika KJ, Holmen SL, Vanbrocklin MW (2013). Akt signaling accelerates tumor recurrence following ras inhibition in the context of ink4a/arf loss. Genes Cancer, 4(11-12), 476-85.
  4. Merlino G, Flaherty K, Acquavella N, Day CP, Aplin A, Holmen S, Topalian S, Van Dyke T, Herlyn M (2013). Meeting report: The future of preclinical mouse models in melanoma treatment is now. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res, 26(4), E8-E14.
  5. Jenkins NC, Jung J, Liu T, Wilde M, Holmen SL, Grossman D (2013). Familial melanoma-associated mutations in p16 uncouple its tumor-suppressor functions. J Invest Dermatol, 133(4), 1043-51.
  6. Vanbrocklin MW, Robinson JP, Lastwika KJ, McKinney AJ, Gach HM, Holmen SL (2012). Ink4a/Arf loss promotes tumor recurrence following Ras inhibition. Neuro Oncol, 14(1), 34-42.
  7. Robinson JP, Vanbrocklin MW, McKinney AJ, Gach HM, Holmen SL (2011). Akt signaling is required for glioblastoma maintenance in vivo. Am J Cancer Res, 1(2), 155-167.
  8. Robinson JP, Vanbrocklin MW, Lastwika KJ, McKinney AJ, Brandner S, Holmen SL (2011). Activated MEK cooperates with Ink4a/Arf loss or Akt activation to induce gliomas in vivo. Oncogene, 30(11), 1341-50.
  9. McKinney AJ, Holmen SL (2011). Animal models of melanoma: a somatic cell gene delivery mouse model allows rapid evaluation of genes implicated in human melanoma. Chin J Cancer, 30(3), 153-62.
  10. Robinson JP, VanBrocklin MW, Guilbeault AR, Signorelli DL, Brandner S, Holmen SL (2010). Activated BRAF induces gliomas in mice when combined with Ink4a/Arf loss or Akt activation. Oncogene, 29(3), 335-44.
  11. VanBrocklin MW, Robinson JP, Lastwika KJ, Khoury JD, Holmen SL (2010). Targeted delivery of NRASQ61R and Cre-recombinase to post-natal melanocytes induces melanoma in Ink4a/Arflox/lox mice. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res, 23(4), 531-41.
  12. VanBrocklin MW, Verhaegen M, Soengas MS, Holmen SL (2009). Mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibition induces translocation of Bmf to promote apoptosis in melanoma. Cancer Res, 69(5), 1985-94.
  13. Vanbrocklin MW, Robinson JP, Whitwam T, Guilbeault AR, Koeman J, Swiatek PJ, Vande Woude GF, Khoury JD, Holmen SL (2009). Met amplification and tumor progression in Cdkn2a-deficient melanocytes. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res, 22(4), 454-60.
  14. Chen M, Payne WS, Hunt H, Zhang H, Holmen SL, Dodgson JB (2008). Inhibition of Marek's disease virus replication by retroviral vector-based RNA interference. Virology, 377(2), 265-72.
  15. Whitwam T, Vanbrocklin MW, Russo ME, Haak PT, Bilgili D, Resau JH, Koo HM, Holmen SL (2007). Differential oncogenic potential of activated RAS isoforms in melanocytes. Oncogene, 26(31), 4563-70.
  16. Chen M, Granger AJ, Vanbrocklin MW, Payne WS, Hunt H, Zhang H, Dodgson JB, Holmen SL (2007). Inhibition of avian leukosis virus replication by vector-based RNA interference. Virology, 365(2), 464-72.
  17. Wang P, Kong D, VanBrocklin MW, Peng J, Zhang C, Potter SJ, Gao X, Teh BT, Zhang N, Williams BO, Holmen SL (2006). Simplified method for the construction of gene targeting vectors for conditional gene inactivation in mice. Transgenics: Biological Analysis Through DNA Transfer, 4, 215-228.
  18. Park KS, Jeon SH, Kim SE, Bahk YY, Holmen SL, Williams BO, Chung KC, Surh YJ, Choi KY (2006). APC inhibits ERK pathway activation and cellular proliferation induced by RAS. J Cell Sci, 119(Pt 5), 819-27.
  19. Sanchez-Perez L, Kottke T, Diaz RM, Ahmed A, Thompson J, Chong H, Melcher A, Holmen S, Daniels G, Vile RG (2005). Potent selection of antigen loss variants of B16 melanoma following inflammatory killing of melanocytes in vivo. Cancer Res, 65(5), 2009-17.
  20. Holmen SL, Robertson SA, Zylstra CR, Williams BO (2005). Wnt-independent activation of beta-catenin mediated by a Dkk1-Fz5 fusion protein. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 328(2), 533-9.
  21. Holmen SL, Zylstra CR, Mukherjee A, Sigler RE, Faugere MC, Bouxsein ML, Deng L, Clemens TL, Williams BO (2005). Essential role of beta-catenin in postnatal bone acquisition. J Biol Chem, 280(22), 21162-8.
  22. Ai M, Holmen SL, Van Hul W, Williams BO, Warman ML (2005). Reduced affinity to and inhibition by DKK1 form a common mechanism by which high bone mass-associated missense mutations in LRP5 affect canonical Wnt signaling. Mol Cell Biol, 25(12), 4946-55.
  23. Holmen SL, Williams BO (2005). Essential role for Ras signaling in glioblastoma maintenance. Cancer Res, 65(18), 8250-5.
  24. Bromberg-White JL, Webb CP, Patacsil VS, Miranti CK, Williams BO, Holmen SL (2004). Delivery of short hairpin RNA sequences by using a replication-competent avian retroviral vector. J Virol, 78(9), 4914-6.
  25. Holmen SL, Giambernardi TA, Zylstra CR, Buckner-Berghuis BD, Resau JH, Hess JF, Glatt V, Bouxsein ML, Ai M, Warman ML, Williams BO (2004). Decreased BMD and limb deformities in mice carrying mutations in both Lrp5 and Lrp6. J Bone Miner Res, 19(12), 2033-40.
  26. Holmen SL, Salic A, Zylstra CR, Kirschner MW, Williams BO (2002). A novel set of Wnt-Frizzled fusion proteins identifies receptor components that activate beta -catenin-dependent signaling. J Biol Chem, 277(38), 34727-35.
  27. Holmen SL, Melder DC, Federspiel MJ (2001). Identification of key residues in subgroup A avian leukosis virus envelope determining receptor binding affinity and infectivity of cells expressing chicken or quail Tva receptor. J Virol, 75(2), 726-37.
  28. Holmen SL, Federspiel MJ (2000). Selection of a subgroup A avian leukosis virus [ALV(A)] envelope resistant to soluble ALV(A) surface glycoprotein. Virology, 273(2), 364-73.
  29. Holmen SL, Salter DW, Payne WS, Dodgson JB, Hughes SH, Federspiel MJ (1999). Soluble forms of the subgroup A avian leukosis virus [ALV(A)] receptor Tva significantly inhibit ALV(A) infection in vitro and in vivo. J Virol, 73(12), 10051-60.
  30. Holmen SL, Vanbrocklin MW, Eversole RR, Stapleton SR, Ginsberg LC (1995). Efficient lipid-mediated transfection of DNA into primary rat hepatocytes. In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim, 31(5), 347-51.