The Karuna Ganesh Lab

The Karuna Ganesh Lab

Metastasis causes >90% of cancer death.  The emergence, persistence, therapy resistance and lethality of metastatic cancer is driven by dynamic and tenacious metastasis stem cells (MetScs). The Ganesh lab focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the emergence of regenerative plasticity during metastasis.  We employ cutting edge patient-derived organoid and mouse models of colorectal cancer, transcriptomic, epigenomic and single cell approaches, and mechanistic studies to: (1) elucidate how tumor invasion and dissemination induce phenotypic plasticity enabling the emergence of pro-metastatic regenerative traits (2) dissect the role of stromal cells, including immune cells, in promoting and constraining MetSC plasticity (3) define key signaling nodes that drive MetSC plasticity and develop therapeutic strategies for targeting such vulnerabilities and (4) collaborate with clinicians to understand mechanisms of therapy resistance in metastasis.

Karuna Ganesh

Karuna Ganesh, MD, PhD

Medical Oncologist

Assistant Professor

Research Focus

Physician-scientist Karuna Ganesh studies stem cell plasticity in metastasis, therapy resistance and tissue regeneration.


MD, PhD, University of Cambridge (UK)
Selected Achievements
  • Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award (2019)
  • Burroughs Wellcome Career Award for Medical Scientists (2019)
  • Josie Robertson Investigator (2019)
  • NIH/NCI K08 Clinician Scientist Career Development Award (2018)
  • Investigator, Stand Up to Cancer Colorectal Cancer Dream Team (2017)
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  • American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017)
  • Shulamit Katzman Endowed Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017)
  • Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Young Investigator Award (2016)
  • AACR Basic Cancer Research Fellowship (2016)
  • MRC-LMB PhD Scholarship (2006)
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship (2004)