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Our Mission

To serve patients, health care providers, research scientists, scholars, and society by providing excellence and innovation in diagnostic services and educational resources in a respectful, professional and culturally diverse atmosphere.

Our Vision

To become a preeminent leader in academic anatomic and clinical pathology while translating basic science discovery to improved clinical care.

Stephen P. Ethier, PhD.

Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Department of Medicine
Interim Director, Center for Genomic Medicine
Program Leader, Cancer Genes and Molecular Regulation Program
Office: Bioengineering Building 4th floor
Phone: (843) 876-2537


Advanced Education: 1982, PhD, University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, TN
Postdoctoral Training: 1982 - 1984: Fellowship, Chemical Carcinogenesis
The Michigan Cancer Foundation, Lathrup Village, MI
Primary Specialty: Breast Cancer


Cancer Genetics/Genomics and Molecular Regulation

The goals of the Ethier lab are to understand the genetic basis for the development and progression of human breast cancer and to understand how specific genetic alterations contribute to specific aspects of the transformed phenotype. For many years, the Ethier lab has worked to understand the nature of the altered signaling pathways activated by the HER-2 oncoprotein and by the epidermal growth factor receptor when it is over expressed in breast cancer cells. More recently, the lab has developed a focus on discovering novel oncogenes in human breast cancer by investigating specific genomic regions that are commonly increased in copy number in breast cancer. Current studies are centered on the 8p11 region of the genome, which is amplified in approximately 25% of all breast cancers. To date, three novel breast cancer oncogenes have been mapped to this region. The Ethier lab is using state-of-the-science bioinformatics methodologies to better understand the mechanistic basis for the transforming properties of newly discovered breast cancer oncogenes. More recently, the Ethier lab has expanded its focus to genome wide studies of breast and other cancers. Genome wide sequencing and screening platforms are being used to distinguish novel oncogenes from passenger genes, and to identify novel oncogenomic targets. These screening strategies are also being used to identify synthetic lethal interactions between genef1clgenomic factors •m cancer cells to lay the ground work for therapeutic strategies using multiple targeted drugs.


  1. Yang, Z.Q., Streicher, K.L., Ray, M.E., Abrams, J. and Ethier, S.P. “Multiple interacting oncogenes on the 8p11-p12 amplicon in human breast cancer.” Cancer Research, 66(24): 11632-43, 2006.
  2. Streicher, K.L., Willmarth, N.E., Garcia, J., Boerner, J.L., Dewey, T.G., Ethier S.P. “Activation of a nuclear factor kappaB/interleukin-1 positive feedback loop by amphiregulin in human breast cancer cells.” Mol Cancer Res., 5(8):847-61, 2007.
  3. Willmarth, N.E., Baillo, A., Dziubinski, M.L., Wilson, K., Riese II, D.J., Ethier, S.P. “Altered EGFR Localization and Degradation in Human Breast Cancer Cells with an Amphiregulin/EGFR Autocrine Loop.” Cell Signal., 21(2):212-9, 2008.
  4. Yang, Z.Q., Liu, G., Bollig-Fischer, A., Haddad, R., Tarca, A.L., Ethier, S.P. “Methylation-associated silencing of SFRP1 with an 8p11-12 amplification inhibits canonical and non-canonical WNT pathways in breast cancers.” International Journal of Cancer, 125(7):1613-1621, 2009.
  5. Bollig-Fischer, A., Dziubinski, M., Boyer, A, Haddad, R., Giroux, C., and Ethier, S.P. HER-2 signaling in the progressive acquisition of growth factor independence and regulation of biological networks associated with cell transformation. Cancer Research, 70: 7862-7873, 2010.
  6. Baillo, A., Giroux, C., and Ethier, S.P. Knock-down of Amphiregulin Inhibits Cellular invasion in Inflammatory Breast Cancer. J. Cell. Physiol. 226:2691-2701, 2011. PubMed PMID: 21302279
  7. Bollig-Fischer, A., Ethier, S.P. Oncogene activation induces metabolic transformation resulting in insulin-independence in human breast cancer cells. PLoS One 6(3) e17959, 2011. PubMed PMID: 21437235

Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. Neuropathology Laboratory (Brain Bank)

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Chairman Dr. Steven L. Carroll
Message from the Chairman


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