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Trudy G. Oliver

Trudy G. Oliver, PhD

Languages spoken: English

Academic Information

Departments Adjunct - Oncological Sciences

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Lung Cancer
  • Mouse Models of Cancer
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Mechanisms of Chemotherapy Resistance
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Oncogene and Tumor Suppressor Function
  • Genes, p53
  • Myc

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 with tenure and a Huntsman Cancer Institute Endowed Chair in Cancer Research 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, American Lung Association and the Lung Cancer Research Foundation. She has served as an Associate Scientific Advisor for Science Translational Medicine.

Research: Dr. Oliver's research is devoted to understanding mechanisms of cancer biology with a focus on lung cancer. As a graduate student 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 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, the James W Prahl Memorial Graduate Student 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. She currently serves as a member of the Clinical Research Executive Committee and the Department of Oncological Sciences Executive Committee.

Education History

Postdoctoral Fellowship Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Visiting Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Doctoral Training Duke University
Oklahoma Baptist University

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Hamad SH, Montgomery SA, Simon JM, Bowman BM, Spainhower KB, Murphy RM, Knudsen ES, Fenton SE, Randell SH, Holt JR, Hayes DN, Witkiewicz AK, Oliver TG, Major MB, Weissman BE (2022). TP53, CDKN2A/P16, and NFE2L2/NRF2 regulate the incidence of pure- and combined-small cell lung cancer in mice. Oncogene.
  2. Cargill KR, Stewart CA, Park EM, Ramkumar K, Gay CM, Cardnell RJ, Wang Q, Diao L, Shen L, Fan YH, Chan WK, Lorenzi PL, Oliver TG, Wang J, Byers LA (2021). Targeting MYC-enhanced glycolysis for the treatment of small cell lung cancer. Cancer Metab, 9(1), 33.
  3. Ciampricotti M, Karakousi T, Richards AL, Quintanal-Villalonga A, Karatza A, Caeser R, Costa EA, Allaj V, Manoj P, Spainhower KB, Kombak FE, Sanchez-Rivera FJ, Jaspers JE, Zavitsanou AM, Maddalo D, Ventura A, Rideout WM, Akama-Garren EH, Jacks T, Donoghue MTA, Sen T, Oliver TG, Poirier JT, Papagiannakopoulos T, Rudin CM (2021). Rlf-Mycl gene fusion drives tumorigenesis and metastasis in a mouse model of small cell lung cancer. Cancer Discov, 11, 3214-3229.
  4. Olsen RR, Ireland AS, Kastner DW, Groves SM, Spainhower KB, Pozo K, Kelenis DP, Whitney CP, Guthrie MR, Wait SJ, Soltero D, Witt BL, Quaranta V, Johnson JE, Oliver TG (2021). ASCL1 represses a SOX9+ neural crest stem-like state in small cell lung cancer. Genes Dev, 35(11-12), 847-869.
  5. Huang F, Huffman KE, Wang Z, Wang X, Li K, Cai F, Yang C, Cai L, Shih TS, Zacharias LG, Chung A, Yang Q, Chalishazar MD, Ireland AS, Stewart CA, Cargill K, Girard L, Liu Y, Ni M, Xu J, Wu X, Zhu H, Drapkin B, Byers LA, Oliver TG, Gazdar AF, Minna JD, DeBerardinis RJ (2020). Guanosine triphosphate links MYC-dependent metabolic and ribosome programs in small-cell lung cancer. J Clin Invest, 131(1).
  6. Tsabar M, Mock CS, Venkatachalam V, Reyes J, Karhohs KW, Oliver TG, Regev A, Jambhekar A, Lahav G (2019). A Switch in p53 Dynamics Marks Cells That Escape from DSB-Induced Cell Cycle Arrest. Cell Rep, 32(5), 107995.
  7. Ireland AS, Micinski AM, Kastner DW, Guo B, Wait SJ, Spainhower KB, Conley CC, Chen OS, Guthrie MR, Soltero D, Qiao Y, Huang X, Tarapcsk S, Devarakonda S, Chalishazar MD, Gertz J, Moser JC, Marth G, Puri S, Witt BL, Spike BT, Oliver TG (2020). MYC Drives Temporal Evolution of Small Cell Lung Cancer Subtypes by Reprogramming Neuroendocrine Fate. Cancer Cell, 38(1), 60-78.e12.
  8. Ireland AS, Oliver TG (2020). Neutrophils Create an ImpeNETrable Shield between Tumor and Cytotoxic Immune Cells. Immunity, 52(5), 729-731.
  9. Poirier JT, George J, Owonikoko TK, Berns A, Brambilla E, Byers LA, Carbone D, Chen HJ, Christensen CL, Dive C, Farago AF, Govindan R, Hann C, Hellmann MD, Horn L, Johnson JE, Ju YS, Kang S, Krasnow M, Lee J, Lee SH, Lehman J, Lok B, Lovly C, MacPherson D, McFadden D, Minna J, Oser M, Park K, Park KS, Pommier Y, Quaranta V, Ready N, Sage J, Scagliotti G, Sos ML, Sutherland KD, Travis WD, Vakoc CR, Wait SJ, Wistuba I, Wong KK, Zhang H, Daigneault J, Wiens J, Rudin CM, Oliver TG (2020). New Approaches to SCLC Therapy: From the Laboratory to the Clinic. J Thorac Oncol, 15(4), 520-540.
  10. Melnikova M, Wauer US, Mendus D, Hilger RA, Oliver TG, Mercer K, Gohlke BO, Erdmann K, Niederacher D, Neubauer H, Buderath P, Wimberger P, Kuhlmann JD, Thomale J (2020). Diphenhydramine increases the therapeutic window for platinum drugs by simultaneously sensitizing tumor cells and protecting normal cells. Mol Oncol, 14(4), 686-703.
  11. Stewart CA, Gay CM, Xi Y, Sivajothi S, Sivakamasundari V, Fujimoto J, Bolisetty M, Hartsfield PM, Balasubramaniyan V, Chalishazar MD, Moran C, Kalhor N, Stewart J, Tran H, Swisher SG, Roth JA, Zhang J, de Groot J, Glisson B, Oliver TG, Heymach JV, Wistuba I, Robson P, Wang J, Byers LA (2020). Single-cell analyses reveal increased intratumoral heterogeneity after the onset of therapy resistance in small-cell lung cancer. Nat Cancer, 1, 423-436.
  12. Cable J, Finley L, Tu BP, Patti GJ, Oliver TG, Vardhana S, Mana M, Ericksen R, Khare S, DeBerardinis R, Stockwell BR, Edinger A, Haigis M, Kaelin W (2019). Leveraging insights into cancer metabolism-a symposium report. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1462(1), 5-13.
  13. Chalishazar MD, Wait SJ, Huang F, Ireland AS, Mukhopadhyay A, Lee Y, Schuman SS, Guthrie MR, Berrett KC, Vahrenkamp JM, Hu Z, Kudla M, Modzelewska K, Wang G, Ingolia NT, Gertz J, Lum DH, Cosulich SC, Bomalaski JS, DeBerardinis RJ, Oliver TG (2019). MYC-Driven Small-Cell Lung Cancer is Metabolically Distinct and Vulnerable to Arginine Depletion. Clin Cancer Res, 25(16), 5107-5121.
  14. Dammert MA, Brgelmann J, Olsen RR, Bhm S, Monhasery N, Whitney CP, Chalishazar MD, Tumbrink HL, Guthrie MR, Klein S, Ireland AS, Ryan J, Schmitt A, Marx A, Ozreti L, Castiglione R, Lorenz C, Jachimowicz RD, Wolf E, Thomas RK, Poirier JT, Bttner R, Sen T, Byers LA, Reinhardt HC, Letai A, Oliver TG, Sos ML (2019). MYC paralog-dependent apoptotic priming orchestrates a spectrum of vulnerabilities in small cell lung cancer. Nat Commun, 10(1), 3485.
  15. Guo B, Oliver TG (2019). Partners in Crime: Neutrophil-CTC Collusion in Metastasis. Trends Immunol, 40(7), 556-559.
  16. Rudin CM, Poirier JT, Byers LA, Dive C, Dowlati A, George J, Heymach JV, Johnson JE, Lehman JM, MacPherson D, Massion PP, Minna JD, Oliver TG, Quaranta V, Sage J, Thomas RK, Vakoc CR, Gazdar AF (2019). Molecular subtypes of small cell lung cancer: a synthesis of human and mouse model data. Nat Rev Cancer, 19(5), 289-297.
  17. 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.
  18. Brgelmann J, Bhm S, Guthrie MR, Mollaoglu G, Oliver TG, Sos ML (2017). Family matters: How MYC family oncogenes impact small cell lung cancer. Cell Cycle, 16(16), 1489-1498.
  19. Mollaoglu G, Guthrie MR, Bhm S, Brgelmann 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Mukhopadhyay A, Oliver TG (2015). Mighty mouse breakthroughs: a Sox2-driven model for squamous cell lung cancer. Mol Cell Oncol, 2(2), e969651.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Xue W, Meylan E, Oliver TG, Feldser DM, Winslow MM, Bronson R, Jacks T (2011). Response and resistance to NF-κB inhibitors in mouse models of lung adenocarcinoma. Cancer Discov, 1(3), 236-47.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. Cowley DO, Rivera-Prez 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. Oliver TG, Wechsler-Reya RJ (2004). Getting at the root and stem of brain tumors. Neuron, 42(6), 885-8.
  35. 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. Sutherland KD, Ireland AS, Oliver TG (2022). Killing SCLC: insights into how to target a shapeshifting tumor. [Review]. Genes Dev, 36(5-6), 241-258.


  1. Tyler E. Jacks, Wen Xue, Etienne Meylan, Trudy Gale Oliver, David Feldser, Monte Winslow (2015). METHODS AND PRODUCTS RELATED TO LUNG CANCER. U.S. Patent No. 20150150892. Washington, D.C.:U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.