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Sheri L. Holmen

Sheri L. Holmen, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Primary - Surgery , Adjunct - Oncological Sciences

Divisions: General Surgery

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

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

Sheri Holmen, PhD, is a Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator and Co-Director of the Melanoma Disease Oriented Research Team (MDOT). She is a 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.

Dr. Holmen’s Lab aims to define critical targets in cancer cells that can become the focus for therapeutic intervention. 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

Postdoctoral Fellowship Van Andel Research Institute
Postdoctoral Fellow
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Graduate Training Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Orlow I, Sadeghi KD, Edmiston SN, Kenney JM, Lezcano C, Wilmott JS, Cust AE, Scolyer RA, Mann GJ, Lee TK, Burke H, Jakrot V, Shang P, Ferguson PM, Boyce TW, Ko JS, Ngo P, Funchain P, Rees JR, OConnell K, Hao H, Parrish E, Conway K, Googe PB, Ollila DW, Moschos SJ, Hernando E, Hanniford D, Argibay D, Amos CI, Lee JE, Osman I, Luo L, Kuan PF, Aurora A, Gould Rothberg BE, Bosenberg MW, Gerstenblith MR, Thompson C, Bogner PN, Gorlov IP, Holmen SL, Brunsgaard EK, Saenger YM, Shen R, Seshan V, Nagore E, Ernstoff MS, Busam KJ, Begg CB, Thomas NE, Berwick M, InterMEL Consortium (2023). InterMEL: An international biorepository and clinical database to uncover predictors of survival in early-stage melanoma. PLoS One, 18(4), e0269324. (Read full article)
  2. Luo L, Shen R, Arora A, Orlow I, Busam KJ, Lezcano C, Lee TK, Hernando E, Gorlov I, Amos C, Ernstoff MS, Seshan VE, Cust AE, Wilmott J, Scolyer RA, Mann G, Nagore E, Funchain P, Ko J, Ngo P, Edmiston SN, Conway K, Googe PB, Ollila D, Lee JE, Fang S, Rees JR, Thompson CL, Gerstenblith M, Bosenberg M, Gould Rothberg B, Osman I, Saenger Y, Reynolds AZ, Schwartz M, Boyce T, Holmen S, Brunsgaard E, Bogner P, Kuan PF, Wiggins C, Thomas NE, Begg CB, Berwick M, InterMEL (2022). Landscape of mutations in early stage primary cutaneous melanoma: An InterMEL study. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res, 35(6), 605-612. (Read full article)
  3. McNeal AS, Belote RL, Zeng H, Urquijo M, Barker K, Torres R, Curtin M, Shain AH, Andtbacka RH, Holmen S, Lum DH, McCalmont TH, VanBrocklin MW, Grossman D, Wei ML, Lang UE, Judson-Torres RL (2021). BRAFV600E induces reversible mitotic arrest in human melanocytes via microrna-mediated suppression of AURKB. Elife, 10. (Read full article)
  4. Parkman GL, Foth M, Kircher DA, Holmen SL, McMahon M (2021). The role of PI3'-lipid signalling in melanoma initiation, progression and maintenance. Exp Dermatol, 31, 43-56. (Read full article)
  5. Burnett WJ, Burnett DM, Parkman G, Ramstead A, Contreras N, Gravley W, Holmen SL, Williams MA, VanBrocklin MW (2021). Prior Exposure to Coxsackievirus A21 Does Not Mitigate Oncolytic Therapeutic Efficacy. Cancers (Basel), 13(17). (Read full article)
  6. Wang X, Haaland B, Hu-Lieskovan S, Colman H, Holmen SL (2021). First line immunotherapy extends brain metastasis free survival, improves overall survival, and reduces the incidence of brain metastasis in patients with advanced melanoma. Cancer Rep (Hoboken), 4, e1419. (Read full article)
  7. Patton EE, Mueller KL, Adams DJ, Anandasabapathy N, Aplin AE, Bertolotto C, Bosenberg M, Ceol CJ, Burd CE, Chi P, Herlyn M, Holmen SL, Karreth FA, Kaufman CK, Khan S, Kobold S, Leucci E, Levy C, Lombard DB, Lund AW, Marie KL, Marine JC, Marais R, McMahon M, Robles-Espinoza CD, Ronai ZA, Samuels Y, Soengas MS, Villanueva J, Weeraratna AT, White RM, Yeh I, Zhu J, Zon LI, Hurlbert MS, Merlino G (2021). Melanoma models for the next generation of therapies. Cancer Cell, 39(5), 610-631. (Read full article)
  8. Hong A, Piva M, Liu S, Hugo W, Lomeli SH, Zoete V, Randolph CE, Yang Z, Wang Y, Lee JJ, Lo SJ, Sun L, Vega-Crespo A, Garcia AJ, Shackelford DB, Dubinett SM, Scumpia PO, Byrum SD, Tackett AJ, Donahue TR, Michielin O, Holmen SL, Ribas A, Moriceau G, Lo RS (2020). Durable Suppression of Acquired MEK Inhibitor Resistance in Cancer by Sequestering MEK from ERK and Promoting Antitumor T-cell Immunity. Cancer Discov, 11(3), 714-735. (Read full article)
  9. Valiente M, Van Swearingen AED, Anders CK, Bairoch A, Boire A, Bos PD, Cittelly DM, Erez N, Ferraro GB, Fukumura D, Gril B, Herlyn M, Holmen SL, Jain RK, Joyce JA, Lorger M, Massague J, Neman J, Sibson NR, Steeg PS, Thorsen F, Young LS, Varelija D, Vultur A, Weis-Garcia F, Winkler F (2020). Brain Metastasis Cell Lines Panel: A Public Resource of Organotropic Cell Lines. Cancer Res, 80(20), 4314-4323. (Read full article)
  10. Andreou T, Rippaus N, Wronski K, Williams J, Taggart D, Cherqui S, Sunderland A, Kartika YD, Egnuni T, Brownlie RJ, Mathew RK, Holmen SL, Fife C, Droop A, Lorger M (2018). Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy for Brain Metastases Using Myeloid Cell-Specific Gene Promoters. J Natl Cancer Inst, 112(6), 617-627. (Read full article)
  11. Leachman SA, Hornyak TJ, Barsh G, Bastian BC, Brash DE, Cleaver JE, Cooper CD, DOrazio JA, Fujita M, Holmen SL, Indra AK, Kraemer KH, Le Poole IC, Lo RS, Lund AW, Manga P, Pavan WJ, Setaluri V, Stemwedel CE, Kulesz-Martin MF (2019). Melanoma to Vitiligo: The Melanocyte in Biology & Medicine-Joint Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin/PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research Annual Meeting. J Invest Dermatol, 140(2), 269-274. (Read full article)
  12. Kircher DA, Trombetti KA, Silvis MR, Parkman GL, Fischer GM, Angel SN, Stehn CM, Strain SC, Grossmann AH, Duffy KL, Boucher KM, McMahon M, Davies MA, Mendoza MC, VanBrocklin MW, Holmen SL (2019). AKT1E17K Activates Focal Adhesion Kinase and Promotes Melanoma Brain Metastasis. Mol Cancer Res, 17(9), 1787-1800. (Read full article)
  13. Teerlink CC, Huff C, Stevens J, Yu Y, Holmen SL, Silvis MR, Trombetti K, Zhao H, Grossman D, Farnham JM, Wen J, Facelli JC, Thomas A, Babst M, Florell SR, Meyer L, Zone JJ, Leachman S, Cannon-Albright LA (2018). A Nonsynonymous Variant in the GOLM1 Gene in Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma. J Natl Cancer Inst, 110(12), 1380-1385. (Read full article)
  14. Kumar D, Rahman H, Tyagi E, Liu T, Li C, Lu R, Lum D, Holmen SL, Maschek JA, Cox JE, VanBrocklin MW, Grossman D (2018). Aspirin Suppresses PGE2 and Activates AMP Kinase to Inhibit Melanoma Cell Motility, Pigmentation, and Selective Tumor Growth In Vivo. Cancer Prev Res (Phila), 11(10), 629-642. (Read full article)
  15. Philip B, Yu DX, Silvis MR, Shin CH, Robinson JP, Robinson GL, Welker AE, Angel SN, Tripp SR, Sonnen JA, VanBrocklin MW, Gibbons RJ, Looper RE, Colman H, Holmen SL (2018). Mutant IDH1 Promotes Glioma Formation In Vivo. Cell Rep, 23(5), 1553-1564. (Read full article)
  16. Yu Y, Schleich K, Yue B, Ji S, Lohneis P, Kemper K, Silvis MR, Qutob N, van Rooijen E, Werner-Klein M, Li L, Dhawan D, Meierjohann S, Reimann M, Elkahloun A, Treitschke S, Drken B, Speck C, Mallette FA, Zon LI, Holmen SL, Peeper DS, Samuels Y, Schmitt CA, Lee S (2018). Targeting the Senescence-Overriding Cooperative Activity of Structurally Unrelated H3K9 Demethylases in Melanoma. Cancer Cell, 33(2), 322-336.e8. (Read full article)
  17. Hong A, Moriceau G, Sun L, Lomeli S, Piva M, Damoiseaux R, Holmen SL, Sharpless NE, Hugo W, Lo RS (2018). Exploiting Drug Addiction Mechanisms to Select against MAPKi-Resistant Melanoma. Cancer Discov, 8(1), 74-93. (Read full article)
  18. Robinson JP, Rebecca VW, Kircher DA, Silvis MR, Smalley I, Gibney GT, Lastwika KJ, Chen G, Davies MA, Grossman D, Smalley KSM, Holmen SL, VanBrocklin MW (2017). Resistance mechanisms to genetic suppression of mutant NRAS in melanoma. Melanoma Res, 27(6), 545-557. (Read full article)
  19. Gardner LJ, Ward M, Andtbacka RHI, Boucher KM, Bowen GM, Bowles TL, Cohen AL, Grossmann K, Hitchcock YJ, Holmen SL, Hyngstrom J, Khong H, McMahon M, Monroe MM, Ross CB, Suneja G, Wada D, Grossman D (2017). Risk factors for development of melanoma brain metastasis and disease progression: a single-center retrospective analysis. Melanoma Res, 27(5), 477-484. (Read full article)
  20. Shin CH, Robinson JP, Sonnen JA, Welker AE, Yu DX, VanBrocklin MW, Holmen SL (2017). HBEGF promotes gliomagenesis in the context of Ink4a/Arf and Pten loss. Oncogene, 36(32), 4610-4618. (Read full article)
  21. Yang H, Kircher DA, Kim KH, Grossmann AH, VanBrocklin MW, Holmen SL, Robinson JP (2017). Activated MEK cooperates with Cdkn2a and Pten loss to promote the development and maintenance of melanoma. Oncogene, 36(27), 3842-3851. (Read full article)
  22. Cohen JV, Tawbi H, Margolin KA, Amravadi R, Bosenberg M, Brastianos PK, Chiang VL, de Groot J, Glitza IC, Herlyn M, Holmen SL, Jilaveanu LB, Lassman A, Moschos S, Postow MA, Thomas R, Tsiouris JA, Wen P, White RM, Turnham T, Davies MA, Kluger HM (2016). Melanoma central nervous system metastases: current approaches, challenges, and opportunities. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res, 29(6), 627-642. (Read full article)
  23. Ray A, Williams MA, Meek SM, Bowen RC, Grossmann KF, Andtbacka RH, Bowles TL, Hyngstrom JR, Leachman SA, Grossman D, Bowen GM, Holmen SL, VanBrocklin MW, Suneja G, Khong HT (2016). A phase I study of intratumoral ipilimumab and interleukin-2 in patients with advanced melanoma. Oncotarget, 7(39), 64390-64399. (Read full article)
  24. Robinson GL, Philip B, Guthrie MR, Cox JE, Robinson JP, VanBrocklin MW, Holmen SL (2016). In vitro visualization and characterization of wild type and mutant IDH homo- and heterodimers using Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation. Cancer Res Front, 2(2), 311-329. (Read full article)
  25. Kircher DA, Arave RA, Cho JH, Holmen SL (2016). Melanoma metastases caught in the AKT. Mol Cell Oncol, 3(2), e1128516. (Read full article)
  26. Cho JH, Robinson JP, Arave RA, Burnett WJ, Kircher DA, Chen G, Davies MA, Grossmann AH, VanBrocklin MW, McMahon M, Holmen SL (2015). AKT1 Activation Promotes Development of Melanoma Metastases. Cell Rep, 13(5), 898-905. (Read full article)
  27. Joshi S, Wels C, Beham-Schmid C, Fukunaga-Kalabis M, Holmen SL, Otte M, Herlyn M, Waldhoer M, Schaider H (2015). Gα13 mediates human cytomegalovirus-encoded chemokine receptor US28-induced cell death in melanoma. Int J Cancer, 137(6), 1503-8. (Read full article)
  28. Shin CH, Grossmann AH, Holmen SL, Robinson JP (2015). The BRAF kinase domain promotes the development of gliomas in vivo. Genes Cancer, 6(1-2), 9-18. (Read full article)
  29. 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. (Read full article)
  30. 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. (Read full article)
  31. Cohen AL, Holmen SL, Colman H (2013). IDH1 and IDH2 mutations in gliomas. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep, 13(5), 345. (Read full article)
  32. 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. (Read full article)
  33. 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. (Read full article)
  34. 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. (Read full article)
  35. 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. (Read full article)
  36. 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. (Read full article)
  37. 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. (Read full article)
  38. 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. (Read full article)
  39. 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. (Read full article)
  40. 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. (Read full article)
  41. 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. (Read full article)
  42. 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. (Read full article)
  43. 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. (Read full article)
  44. 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. (Read full article)
  45. 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. 4, 215-228.
  46. Holmen SL, Williams BO (2005). Essential role for Ras signaling in glioblastoma maintenance. Cancer Res, 65(18), 8250-5. (Read full article)
  47. 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. (Read full article)
  48. 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. (Read full article)
  49. 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. (Read full article)
  50. 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. (Read full article)
  51. 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. (Read full article)
  52. 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. (Read full article)
  53. 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. (Read full article)
  54. 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. (Read full article)
  55. 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. (Read full article)
  56. 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. (Read full article)
  57. 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. (Read full article)


  1. Karz A, Dimitrova M, Kleffman K, Alvarez-Breckenridge C, Atkins MB, Boire A, Bosenberg M, Brastianos P, Cahill DP, Chen Q, Ferguson S, Forsyth P, Glitza Oliva IC, Goldberg SB, Holmen SL, Knisely JPS, Merlino G, Nguyen DX, Pacold ME, Perez-Guijarro E, Smalley KSM, Tawbi HA, Wen PY, Davies MA, Kluger HM, Mehnert JM, Hernando E (2022). Melanoma central nervous system metastases: An update to approaches, challenges, and opportunities. [Review]. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res, 35(6), 554-572. (Read full article)
  2. Kircher DA, Silvis MR, Cho JH, Holmen SL (2016). Melanoma Brain Metastasis: Mechanisms, Models, and Medicine.LID - 10.3390/ijms17091468 [doi]LID - E1468 [pii]. [Review]. Int J Mol Sci, 17(9). (Read full article)

Conference Proceedings

  1. Holmen SL, Rank KB, Stapleton SR, Ginsberg LC (1994). Luciferase as a reporter gene for the expression of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in mammalian cells. (Peer-Reviewed). Proceedings, Eighth National Conference on Undergraduate Research, 3, 923-927.


  1. Parkman GL, Kircher DA, Stehn CM, McMahon M, Holmen SL (2020). Model-dependent outcomes: Sex as a biological variable in preclinical mouse models of melanoma. [Letter to the editor]. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res, 34(3), 655-658. (Read full article)