Garth Powis, D. Phil.

Garth Powis D. Phil., headshot

Garth Powis, D. Phil.

Jeanne and Gary Herberger Leadership Chair in Cancer Research

Research Assistant Professor(s)

Garth Powis' Research Focus

Solid tumors exist in a stressed environment for cell growth. In order to survive, cancer cells initiate specific adaptive and constitutive changes allowing them to adapt to the hostile hypoxic environment, escape cell death and increase formation of new blood vessels and metastasis. All of these responses lead to highly aggressive tumors that are resistant to therapy. In order to identify novel targets for therapeutic intervention that is applicable to a wide variety of tumor types, our lab studies the mechanisms that enable cancer cells to survive stress.

Garth Powis' Bio

Powis is a native of the U.K., where he trained at Oxford University. He worked at the Mayo Clinic, becoming deputy chair of Pharmacology; at University of Arizona Cancer Center as director of Basic Research; and most recently at MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he served as chair of Experimental Therapeutics and director of the Center for Targeted Therapy.

Powis is a molecular and translational pharmacologist with more than 350 publications and 15 patents. His research focuses on the mechanisms that enable cancer cells to survive stress. Powis’ work has resulted in three novel cancer drugs currently in clinical trials. The expertise he brings to SBP encompasses all stages of cancer drug discovery and development, from early target identification to clinical studies with cancer patients.


1970: Merton College, Oxford, United Kingdom, D. Phil., Biochemistry and Pharmacology 
1967: Birmingham University, England, United Kingdom, B.Sc., Hons. (1st Class), Biochemistry and Pharmacology


CMSN Accessory


AMPKα modulation in cancer progression: multilayer integrative analysis of the whole transcriptome in Asian gastric cancer.

Kim YH, Liang H, Liu X, Lee JS, Cho JY, Cheong JH, Kim H, Li M, Downey TJ, Dyer MD, Sun Y, Sun J, Beasley EM, Chung HC, Noh SH, Weinstein JN, Liu CG, Powis G

Cancer Res 2012 May 15 ;72(10):2512-21

Imexon induces an oxidative endoplasmic reticulum stress response in pancreatic cancer cells.

Sheveleva EV, Landowski TH, Samulitis BK, Bartholomeusz G, Powis G, Dorr RT

Mol Cancer Res 2012 Mar ;10(3):392-400

Effect of KRAS oncogene substitutions on protein behavior: implications for signaling and clinical outcome.

Ihle NT, Byers LA, Kim ES, Saintigny P, Lee JJ, Blumenschein GR, Tsao A, Liu S, Larsen JE, Wang J, Diao L, Coombes KR, Chen L, Zhang S, Abdelmelek MF, Tang X, Papadimitrakopoulou V, Minna JD, Lippman SM, Hong WK, Herbst RS, Wistuba II, Heymach JV, Powis G

J Natl Cancer Inst 2012 Feb 8 ;104(3):228-39

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An Inhibitor of the Pleckstrin Homology Domain of CNK1 Selectively Blocks the Growth of Mutant KRAS Cells and Tumors.

Indarte M, Puentes R, Maruggi M, Ihle NT, Grandjean G, Scott M, Ahmed Z, Meuillet EJ, Zang S, Lemos R Jr, Du-Cuny L, Layng FIAL, Correa RG, Bankston LA, Liddington RC, Kirkpatrick L, Powis G

Cancer Res 2019 Jun 15 ;79(12):3100-3111

A Fluorescence-Based High-Throughput Assay for the Identification of Anticancer Reagents Targeting Fructose-1,6-Bisphosphate Aldolase.

Cho EJ, Devkota AK, Stancu G, Edupunganti R, Powis G, Dalby KN

SLAS Discov 2018 Jan ;23(1):1-10

Modeling of Patient-Derived Xenografts in Colorectal Cancer.

Katsiampoura A, Raghav K, Jiang ZQ, Menter DG, Varkaris A, Morelli MP, Manuel S, Wu J, Sorokin AV, Rizi BS, Bristow C, Tian F, Airhart S, Cheng M, Broom BM, Morris J, Overman MJ, Powis G, Kopetz S

Mol Cancer Ther 2017 Jul ;16(7):1435-1442

Systematic approach identifies RHOA as a potential biomarker therapeutic target for Asian gastric cancer.

Chang HR, Nam S, Lee J, Kim JH, Jung HR, Park HS, Park S, Ahn YZ, Huh I, Balch C, Ku JL, Powis G, Park T, Jeong JH, Kim YH

Oncotarget 2016 Dec 6 ;7(49):81435-81451

Efficacy of the combination of MEK and CDK4/6 inhibitors in vitro and in vivo in KRAS mutant colorectal cancer models.

Lee MS, Helms TL, Feng N, Gay J, Chang QE, Tian F, Wu JY, Toniatti C, Heffernan TP, Powis G, Kwong LN, Kopetz S

Oncotarget 2016 Jun 28 ;7(26):39595-39608

Definition of a Novel Feed-Forward Mechanism for Glycolysis-HIF1α Signaling in Hypoxic Tumors Highlights Aldolase A as a Therapeutic Target.

Grandjean G, de Jong PR, James B, Koh MY, Lemos R, Kingston J, Aleshin A, Bankston LA, Miller CP, Cho EJ, Edupuganti R, Devkota A, Stancu G, Liddington RC, Dalby K, Powis G

Cancer Res 2016 Jul 15 ;76(14):4259-4269

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