Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.

Kristinna Vuori profile photo

Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.

Pauline and Stanley Foster Distinguished Chair

Research Assistant Professor(s)

Kristiina Vuori's Research Focus

Cancer, Brain Cancer, Breast Cancer, Leukemia/Lymphoma, Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Prostate Cancer

Dr. Vuori's research is aimed at unraveling the cell mechanisms of the most life-threatening aspect of cancer, which is cancer metastasis. Metastasis is responsible for nearly all deaths in cancer patients, and understanding of the mechanisms that turn a cancer from a locally growing tumor into highly metastatic cancer cells will provide clues how to prevent this step in cancer progression. All cells in our body stick to one another and to the packaging material, or extracellular matrix, around them. This adhesion is essential for cell survival; if cells become detached from their microenvironment, they will die through a process known as apoptosis. This phenomenon, which is called adhesion dependency of survival, is one of the safeguards that maintain the integrity and normal function of tissues, and prevent cells from becoming cancerous. Normal cells cannot detach from their tissue and establish themselves somewhere else, because they will die on the way. Yet cancer cells somehow get around this requirement; they trespass aggressively into other tissues and metastasize to distant sites in the body without dying. Dr. Vuori’s work is aimed at identifying the molecular mechanisms that in normal cells makes them adhesion-dependent; false action of the very same mechanisms is likely to be the key step in allowing cancer cells to metastasize.

Kristiina Vuori's Bio

Kristiina Vuori earned her M.D. and Ph.D. at University of Oulu, Finland. After completion of internship and residency, she received postdoctoral training at the Institute and was appointed to faculty in 1996. Dr. Vuori was selected as a PEW Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences in 1997. She has been co-Director of the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, housed at Sanford Burnham Prebys, since its inception in 2005. She was appointed Deputy Director of the Institute's NCI-Designated Cancer Center in 2003, and Director of the Cancer Center in 2006. In 2008, she was appointed Executive Vice President for Scientific Affairs at Sanford Burnham Prebys. She was President of the Institute from 2010 to 2022.

TMC Accessory


Sceptrin, a marine natural compound, inhibits cell motility in a variety of cancer cell lines.

Cipres A, O'Malley DP, Li K, Finlay D, Baran PS, Vuori K

ACS Chem Biol 2010 Feb 19 ;5(2):195-202

Critical role for caspase-8 in epidermal growth factor signaling.

Finlay D, Howes A, Vuori K

Cancer Res 2009 Jun 15 ;69(12):5023-9

Cell biology. Two lipids that give direction.

Côté JF, Vuori K

Science 2009 Apr 17 ;324(5925):346-7

Show All Select Publications

Detection of Genomic Structural Variations Associated with Drug Sensitivity and Resistance in Acute Leukemia.

Finlay D, Murad R, Hong K, Lee J, Pang AWC, Lai CY, Clifford B, Burian C, Mason J, Hastie AR, Yin J, Vuori K

Cancers (Basel) 2024 Jan 18 ;16(2)

Single-cell multiomics reveals the complexity of TGFβ signalling to chromatin in iPSC-derived kidney organoids.

Davis JL, Kennedy C, Clerkin S, Treacy NJ, Dodd T, Moss C, Murphy A, Brazil DP, Cagney G, Brougham DF, Murad R, Finlay D, Vuori K, Crean J

Commun Biol 2022 Nov 27 ;5(1):1301

Discovery of novel furanylbenzamide inhibitors that target oncogenic tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 in leukemia cells.

Raveendra-Panickar D, Finlay D, Layng FI, Lambert LJ, Celeridad M, Zhao M, Barbosa K, De Backer LJS, Kwong E, Gosalia P, Rodiles S, Holleran J, Ardecky R, Grotegut S, Olson S, Hutchinson JH, Pasquale EB, Vuori K, Deshpande AJ, Cosford NDP, Tautz L

J Biol Chem 2022 Jan ;298(1):101477

Cell adhesion suppresses autophagy via Src/FAK-mediated phosphorylation and inhibition of AMPK.

Zhao M, Finlay D, Kwong E, Liddington R, Viollet B, Sasaoka N, Vuori K

Cell Signal 2022 Jan ;89:110170

The ubiquitin ligase RNF5 determines acute myeloid leukemia growth and susceptibility to histone deacetylase inhibitors.

Khateb A, Deshpande A, Feng Y, Finlay D, Lee JS, Lazar I, Fabre B, Li Y, Fujita Y, Zhang T, Yin J, Pass I, Livneh I, Jeremias I, Burian C, Mason JR, Almog R, Horesh N, Ofran Y, Brown K, Vuori K, Jackson M, Ruppin E, Deshpande AJ, Ronai ZA

Nat Commun 2021 Sep 13 ;12(1):5397

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