News

August 2022 – Congratulations to Alexis Kiyanda for successfully presenting her BU STaRS research project “Differential protein expression of lamin A/C and cytokeratin-19 in black and white patients with prostate cancer“.

August 2022 – Check out our latest collaborative review articles on PanNET biomarkers: The Diagnostic and Prognostic Utility of Incorporating DAXX, ATRX, and Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) to the Evaluation of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PanNETs) in Human Pathology; Prognostic and predictive biomarkers for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in Surgical Pathology Clinics; Clinical implications of cell-of-origin epigenetic characteristics in non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in Journal of Pathology.

July 2022 – Thanks to Marija Stojanova for all her contributions to the lab and we wish her well in her new position!

June 2022 – We are excited to have Alexis Kiyanda join our lab this summer to participate in the Summer Training as Research Scholars Program (STaRS)!

May 2022 – Congratulations to Elizabeth Nelson and Griffin Salus for graduating from BU!

May 2022 – Congratulations to Griffin Salus for successfully defending his Master’s thesis titled “Lamin A/C Downregulation Alters Prostate Cancer Cellular Phenotypes” from the Program of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at BU.

April 2022Dr. Heaphy presented “Clinicopathological and molecular characteristics of ALT-positive cancers” virtually at the Telomeres and Cancer Biology International Conference hosted by the German Cancer Research Center (DFKZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital.

April 2022Congratulations to Elizabeth Nelson and Griffin Salus for presenting posters (in person) at Experimental Biology in Philadelphia, PA! Elizabeth presented “Investigating the Molecular and Phenotypic Differences in Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor (PanNET) Cells with Functional Loss of Either ATRX or DAXX” and Griffin presented “Lamin A/C Downregulation Alters Prostate Cancer Cellular Phenotypes“.

March 2022Dr. Heaphy has joined the Editorial Board of Endocrine-Related Cancer, the official flagship journal of the Society for Endocrinology.

February 2022Dr. Heaphy has been appointed the Chair of the Scientific Review & Research Committee for the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS).

February 2022 – Check out our latest collaborative articles deposited on the preprint servers bioRxiv and medRxiv: Novel plasma exosome biomarkers for prostate cancer progression in co-morbid metabolic disease (with Denis Lab at BU); Therapeutic vulnerability to ATR inhibition in concurrent NF1 and ATRX-deficient high-grade solid tumors (with Rodriguez Lab at UCLA); A high-throughput approach measures cell type-specific telomere lengths in fixed archival tissues from patient cohorts for research on prognosis (with Meeker Lab at Johns Hopkins).

February 2022Latest collaborative work in Ophthalmology with investigators at Wills Eye Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital confirms frequent mutations in ATRX, NF1, NRAS, and BRAF in conjunctival melanoma. Interestingly, loss of ATRX and ALT activation may represent early molecular alterations in conjunctival melanoma development.

January 2022 – Welcome to Dr. Joakin Mori – he joins the Heaphy Lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Mori recently completed his doctoral work in prostate cancer research at Tuskegee University.

November 2021 – Check out our latest collaborative review article highlighting the “Clinical implications of cell-of-origin epigenetic characterizes in non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors” in the Journal of Pathology.

October 2021 – Congratulations to Marija Stojanova for successfully presenting her poster at the BU Department of Medicine Evans Day that highlighted her research project “Cellular characterization of prostate cancer cells with functional loss of ATRX or DAXX“.

July 2021Molecular Minute article in Cancer Cytopathology written with Dr. Christopher VandenBussche (Johns Hopkins Hospital) in which we evaluate the current prognostic biomarkers in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, including ATRX/DAXX loss and ALT.

June 2021Our latest collaborative work with Dr. Fausto Rodriguez and colleagues at Johns Hopkins Hospital was published in Modern Pathology. We demonstrate that, in addition to ATRX loss, ALT-positive tumors harboring SMARCAL1 alterations are prevalent in giant cell GBM.

June 2021 – Along with Dr. Josh Campbell and Dr. Rachel Flynn, the Heaphy Lab is honored to receive a BU CTSI Integrated Pilot Grant! The overall goal of this pilot project is to identify coding and non-coding genomic alterations in the racially and socioeconomically diverse patient population surgically treated for prostate cancer at Boston Medical Cancer.

April 2021Wonderful international collaboration with colleagues from the US, The Netherlands, Italy, and Republic of Korea to evaluate biomarkers in non-functional PanNETS. Our manuscript ATRX/DAXX and alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT) are prognostically independent from ARX/PDX1 expression and tumour size was recently published in Gut

January 2021 – Congratulations to Elizabeth Nelson for receiving funding for the Spring semester through the Boston University Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)!

January 2021 – We are excited to have two undergraduate students, Elizabeth Nelson and Griffin Salus, join our lab. Welcome Elizabeth and Griffin!

December 2020 – Congratulations to our collaborators at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Elizabeth Platz and Dr. Alan Meeker, for being awarded an R01 from the National Cancer Institute titled “Stromal senescence in lethal prostate cancer: a novel target for prognosis and therapy“. We are excited to collaborate with them on this important study!

November 2020 – Congratulations to Elizabeth Nelson for being awarded a top poster award in Cancer Biology at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS)! Her poster described her research from this summer as part of the STaRS program!

September 2020 – We are thankful to be selected for a Shipley Prostate Cancer Pilot Grant from the Boston University School of Medicine! We are excited to evaluate telomere length alterations and nuclear lamin dysfunction in the diverse patient population at Boston Medical Center.

September 2020Dr. Heaphy has been appointed as a member on the Shipley Advisory Committee for the Shipley Prostate Cancer Research Center at Boston University. It will be exciting to help continue to expand the footprint of prostate cancer research on campus.

June 2020Dr. Heaphy has been appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. We look forward to establishing collaborations with our clinical and basic science colleagues in the Department.


June 2020 – We are excited to have two undergraduate students, Elizabeth Nelson and Rachel Choate, virtually join our lab this summer to participate in the Summer Training as Research Scholars Program (STaRS). Welcome Elizabeth and Rachel!


March 2020 – Through collaborative efforts, the Heaphy Lab has contributed to studies in prostate cancer that were published back-to-back this month in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention! Check out High extra-tumoral mast cell counts are associated with a higher risk of adverse prostate cancer outcomes and Racial difference in prostate cancer cell telomere lengths in men with higher-grade prostate cancer: a clue to the racial disparity in prostate cancer outcomes.


February 2020 – We are thankful and excited to be selected for a BU-BMC Cancer Center Pilot and Feasibility Program sponsored by ACS! We will be working on Modeling Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) as a distinct molecular subclass of cancer.

February 2020 – Congratulations to our colleague, Dr. Jessica Petrick, for being selected for a BU-BMC Cancer Center Pilot and Feasibility Program sponsored by ACS! We are excited to collaborate with her and her team to evaluate Helicobacter Pylori and Colorectal Cancer in African American Women.

January 2020 – We are really excited that Marija Stojanova has decided to join our lab as a Research Assistant/Lab Manager. She will be instrumental in getting the Heaphy lab off the ground at BU/BMC. Welcome, Marija!

November  2019Coming this week: the Heaphy Lab will be at the Boston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical Center!

October 2019Today is definitely bittersweet – Johns Hopkins has been an outstanding place….we will miss our colleagues and friends, but look forward to future collaborations!