• Researcher Profile

    Ramesh A. Shivdasani, MD, PhD


    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School


    Gastrointestinal Cancer

    Office phone: 617-632-5746
    Fax: 617-582-7198

    Preferred contact method: appointment phone

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    Research Department

    Medical Oncology/Solid Tumor Oncology


    Gastrointestinal cancers

    Area of Research

    Development and differentiation of the gastrointestinal epithelium; targeted molecular therapies.

    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    450 Brookline Avenue
    Boston, MA 02215


    Dr. Shivdasani received his medical and graduate degrees from The University of Michigan School in 1989. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, his fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and post-doctoral research training at The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Childrens Hospital Boston.

    In 1996, he joined the staff of Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he is a medical oncologist and laboratory investigator in the Gastrointestinal Cancer Center.

    Dr. Shivdasani's research focuses on normal mechanisms of development and cell differentiation in the gastrointestinal tract and new targets for treatment of intestinal tumors.

    Recent Awards

    • Association of American Physicians, 2009
    • American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2005
    • Harvard Medical School Class of 2007 teaching award, Best Tutor of the Year, 2004
    • Brian ODell Memorial Research Award (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), 2003


    Development and differentiation of the gastrointestinal epithelium; targeted molecular therapies.

    Dr. Shivdasanis laboratory studies mechanisms of cell differentiation in the gastrointestinal epithelium. The research combines methods in molecular and cell biology with generation and analysis of genetically engineered mouse lines. The laboratory aims to elucidate and characterize genetic pathways that control differentiation of fetal and adult gastrointestinal epithelium.

    Present efforts include characterizing specific functions of the Wnt, Hedgehog and Notch signaling pathways and how these pathways intersect with tissue-restricted transcription factors.

    Dr. Shivdasani also directs a Translational Research laboratory that unites several Dana-Farber efforts in gastrointestinal cancers under a single umbrella. To acquire and exploit new molecular insights for biologically targeted cancer therapy, this laboratory investigates clinically annotated samples of gastric, colorectal and GI neuroendocrine tumors for polymorphisms, mutations and phenotypic alterations.

    Select Publications

    • Verzi MP, Stanfel MN, Moses KA, Kim B-M, Zhang Y, Schwartz RJ, Shivdasani RA [corresponding author], Zimmer WE. Role of the homeobox transcription factor Bapx1 in mouse distal stomach development. Gastroenterology 2009; 136:1701-1710.
    • Firestein R, Bass AJ, Kim S-Y, Dunn IF, Silver SJ, Guney I, Freed E, Ligon AH, Vena N, Ogino S, Chheda MG, Tamayo P, Finn S, Shrestha Y, Boehm JS, Jain S, Bojarski E, Mermel C, Barretina J, Chan JA, Baselga J, Tabernero J, Root DE, Fuchs CS, Loda M, Shivdasani RA, Meyerson M, Hahn WC. CDK8 is a colorectal cancer oncogene that regulates -catenin signaling. Nature 2008; 455:547-551.
    • Verzi MP, Khan AH, Ito S, Shivdasani RA. The forkhead transcription factor Foxq1 controls mucin gene expression and secretory granule biogenesis in mouse stomach surface mucous cells. Gastroenterology 2008; 135:591-600.
    • Schulze H, Dose M, Korpal M, Meyer I, Italiano JE Jr, Shivdasani RA. RanBP10 is a cytoplasmic guanine nucleotide-exchange factor that modulates non-centrosomal microtubules. J Biol Chem 2008; 283:14109-14119.
    • Kulke MH, Freed E, Chiang D, Philips J, Zahrieh D, Glickman JN, Shivdasani RA. High-resolution analysis of genetic alterations in small bowel carcinoid tumors reveals areas of recurrent amplification and loss. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2008; 47:591-603.
    • Choi MY, Romer AI, Wang Y, Wu MP, Ito S, Leiter AB, Shivdasani RA. Requirement of the tissue-restricted homeodomain transcription factor Nkx6.3 in differentiation of gastrin-producing G-cells in the stomach antrum. Mol Cell Biol 2008; 28:3208-3218.
    • Van Dyck F, Braem CV, Chen Z, Declercq J, Deckers R, Kim B-M, Ito S, Wu MK, Cohen DE, Dewerchin M, Derua R, Waelkens E, Fiette L, Roebroek A, Schuit F, Van de Ven WJM, Shivdasani RA. Loss of PlagL2 transcription factor affects lacteal uptake of chylomicrons. Cell Metabolism 2007; 6:406-413.
    • Junt T, Schulze H, Chen Z, Massberg S, Goerge T, Krueger A, Richardson J, Wagner DD, Graf T, Italiano JE, Shivdasani RA [corresponding author], von Andrian UH. Dynamic visualization of thrombopoiesis within bone marrow. Science 2007; 317:1767-1770.
    • Kim B-M, Miletich I, Mao J, McMahon AP, Sharpe PA, Shivdasani RA. Independent functions and mechanisms for homeobox gene Barx1 in patterning mouse stomach and spleen. Development 2007; 134:3603-3613.
    • Choi MY, Romer AI, Hu M, Lepourcelet M, Mechoor A, Yesilaltay A, Krieger M, Gray PA, Shivdasani RA. A dynamic expression survey identifies transcription factors relevant in mouse digestive tract development. Development 2006; 133:4119-4129.
    • Kim B-M, Buchner G, Miletich I, Sharpe PT, Shivdasani RA. The stomach mesenchymal transcription factor Barx1 specifies gastric epithelial identity through inhibition of transient Wnt signaling. Dev Cell 2005; 8:611-622.
    • Souglakos J, Philips J, Wang R, Marwah S, Silver M, Tzardi M, Silver J, Ogino S, Hooshmand S, Kwak E, Freed E, Meyerhardt JA, Saridaki Z, Georgoulias V, Finkelstein D, Fuchs CS, Kulke MH, Shivdasani RA. Prognostic and predictive value of common mutations for treatment response and survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Br J Cancer 2009; 101:465-472.
    • Pomerantz MM, Ahmadiyeh N, Jia L, Herman P, Verzi MP, Beckwith CA, Chan JA, Haiman CA, Yan C, Henderson BE, Frenkel B, Barretina J, Bass A, Tabernero J, Baselga J, Shivdasani RA, Coetzee GA, Freedman ML. The 8q24 cancer risk variant rs6983267 demonstrates long-range interaction with MYC in colorectal cancer. Nat Genet 2009; 41:882-884.
    • Mao J, Kim B-M*, Rajurkar M, Shivdasani RA, McMahon AP. Hedgehog signaling controls mesenchymal growth in the developing mammalian digestive tract. Development 2010; In Press.


    • Kim, Byeong-Moo, PhD


    • Verzi, Michael, PhD
    • Kim, Tae-Hee, PhD
    • Ediger, Tracy, MD, PhD
    • Horst, David, MD
    • Sulahian, Rita, Ph.D.
    • Yadav, Vikas, Ph.D.
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