Research Focus Area:
Carcinogenesis, Diagnosis/ Prognosis, Detection, Informatics, Treatment, Health Disparities
Oncology; histone epigenetics; metastatic melanoma; immunotherapy
Type of Research:
Research Interest Statement:
Dr. Nathan Avaritt is an Instructor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where he also completed his Ph.D. in 2014 with a focus on the epigenetic regulation of melanoma progression and on developing methods to effectively utilize fixed tissue samples for proteomics analysis. Since 2014, work by Dr. Avaritt and others in his team have expanded our understanding of epigenetic processes in melanoma to include mechanisms of survival and chemo-resistance, loss of cellular identity and dedifferentiation, and regulation of response to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. In early 2020, Dr. Avaritt relocated to the WPRCI to work alongside Dr. Alan Tackett on an NCI-funded research program. In this capacity, Dr. Avaritt's work has expanded further to include the metabolic reprogramming of the melanoma tumor microenvironment, tactics employed by tumor cells to account for nutrient competition, and the development of novel technology enabling the non-invasive diagnosis and prognosis of primary and metastatic melanoma tumors.
“Proteogenomic analysis of responders versus nonres”
07/01/21 – 06/30/23
Paidi SK, Troncoso JR, Raj P, [et al., including Avaritt NL]. Raman spectroscopy and machine learning reveals early tumor microenvironmental changes induced by immunotherapy. Cancer research. 2021. PMID: 34645610.
Allensworth-James M, Banik J, Odle A, [et al., including Avaritt N]. Control of the Anterior Pituitary Cell Lineage Regulator POU1F1 by the Stem Cell Determinant Musashi. Endocrinology. 2021 162(3). PMID: 33373440. PMCID: PMC7814296.
Firwana B, Avaritt N, Shields B, [et al.]. Do checkpoint inhibitors rely on gut microbiota to fight cancer?. Journal of oncology pharmacy practice : official publication of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners. 2018 24(6):468-472. PMID: 28625074.
Mahmoud F, Shields B, Makhoul I, [et al., including Avaritt N]. Immune surveillance in melanoma: From immune attack to melanoma escape and even counterattack. Cancer biology & therapy. 2017 18(7):451-469. PMID: 28513269. PMCID: PMC5639850.