Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Phone: (603) 862-3782
Office: Molecular, Cellular, & Biomedical Sciences, Rudman Hall Rm 185, Durham, NH 03824

My research focuses on understanding the roles of STATs and related transcription factors in breast and ovarian cancer and we use that knowledge to identify drugs to target the pathways associated with these transcription factors. In my lab, we use a 3D culturing system to mimic advanced stages of cancer. Moreover, we use a combination of wet lab experiments and bioinformatics to identify possible drugs for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancer.

Courses Taught

  • BCHM/BENG/BMS 825/725: Cell Pheno & Tissue Eng Lab
  • BCHM/BENG/BMS 825/725/825/725: Cell Pheno & Tissue Eng Lab
  • BCHM/BMS 825/725: Cell Pheno & Tissue Eng Lab
  • BCHM/CHBE 825/725: Cell Pheno & Tissue Eng Lab
  • BMCB 401: Persp Biochem/Mole&Cell Bio
  • BMCB 605: Principles of Cell Biology
  • BMCB 799H: Honors Senior Thesis
  • BMS 725: Cell Pheno & Tissue Eng Lab
  • BMS 790: Undergrad Teaching Experience
  • BMS 799H: Senior Honors Thesis
  • GEN 799H: Honors Senior Thesis
  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience
  • INCO 790: Advanced Research Experience
  • MCBS 999: Doctoral Research


  • Ph.D., Cell and Developmental Biology, Harvard University
  • B.S., Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • B.S., Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Research Interests

  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell Lines
  • Cellular Biology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Drug Resistance
  • Molecular Biology
  • Ovarian Cancer

Selected Publications

  • Stevens, L. E., Peluffo, G., Qiu, X., Temko, D., Fassl, A., Li, Z., . . . Polyak, K. (2023). JAK-STAT Signaling in Inflammatory Breast Cancer Enables Chemotherapy-Resistant Cell States.. Cancer Res, 83(2), 264-284. doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-22-0423

  • Heppler, L. N., Attarha, S., Persaud, R., Brown, J. I., Wang, P., Petrova, B., . . . Frank, D. A. (2022). The antimicrobial drug pyrimethamine inhibits STAT3 transcriptional activity by targeting the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 298(2), 101531. doi:10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101531

  • Brown, J. R., Walker, S. R., Heppler, L. N., Tyekucheva, S., Nelson, E. A., Klitgaard, J., . . . Frank, D. A. (2021). Targeting constitutively active STAT3 in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: A clinical trial of the STAT3 inhibitor pyrimethamine with pharmacodynamic analyses. American Journal of Hematology, 96(4). doi:10.1002/ajh.26084

  • Matissek, S. J., Han, W., Karbalivand, M., Sayed, M., Reilly, B. M., Mallat, S., . . . Elsawa, S. F. (2021). Epigenetic targeting of Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia cells with BET inhibitors synergizes with BCL2 or histone deacetylase inhibition. EPIGENOMICS, 13(02), 129-144. doi:10.2217/epi-2020-0189

  • Walker, D. F., Lacroix, S. J., Makar, Y., & Walker, S. R. (2020). Abstract 6077: The role of STAT3 and Snai2 in ovarian cancer metastasis. In Cancer Research Vol. 80 (pp. 6077). American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). doi:10.1158/1538-7445.am2020-6077

  • Izar, B., Tirosh, I., Stover, E. H., Wakiro, I., Cuoco, M. S., Alter, I., . . . Regev, A. (2020). A single-cell landscape of high-grade serous ovarian cancer.. Nat Med, 26(8), 1271-1279. doi:10.1038/s41591-020-0926-0

  • Chmielecki, J., Crago, A. M., Rosenberg, M., O'Connor, R., Walker, S. R., Ambrogio, L., . . . Meyerson, M. (2013). Whole-exome sequencing identifies a recurrent NAB2-STAT6 fusion in solitary fibrous tumors.. Nat Genet, 45(2), 131-132. doi:10.1038/ng.2522

  • Marotta, L. L. C., Almendro, V., Marusyk, A., Shipitsin, M., Schemme, J., Walker, S. R., . . . Polyak, K. (2011). The JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway is required for growth of CD44⁺CD24⁻ stem cell-like breast cancer cells in human tumors.. J Clin Invest, 121(7), 2723-2735. doi:10.1172/JCI44745

  • Nelson, E. A., Walker, S. R., Weisberg, E., Bar-Natan, M., Barrett, R., Gashin, L. B., . . . Frank, D. A. (2011). The STAT5 inhibitor pimozide decreases survival of chronic myelogenous leukemia cells resistant to kinase inhibitors.. Blood, 117(12), 3421-3429. doi:10.1182/blood-2009-11-255232

  • Keese, C. R., Wegener, J., Walker, S. R., & Giaever, I. (2004). Electrical wound-healing assay for cells in vitro.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 101(6), 1554-1559. doi:10.1073/pnas.0307588100

  • Most Cited Publications