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Christina M. Ferrer, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Assistant Professor in Pharmacology (tenure-track) Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center


655 W. Baltimore St Bressler Research Building Rm 10-039

Phone (Primary):


Education and Training

University of Central Florida, BS, Biological Sciences, 2007

Barry University, MS, Biomedical Sciences, 2009

Drexel University College of Medicine, PhD, Molecular and Cell Biology & Genetics, 2015

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, Postdoctoral Study, 2020

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School, Instructor in Medicine, 2022


Our lab studies metastatic initiation, dissemination, and outgrowth with a particular focus on the mechanisms regulating this progress in pancreatic cancer. We use a combination of genetic, pharmacological, in vitro and in vivo  techniques to study the cell intrinsic and microenvironmental mechanisms that enhance the survival of metastatic tumors. Our goal is to identify novel therapeutic targets to target dissemination cells, existing metastases and overcome chemoresistance.

To find out more about our research:

Research/Clinical Keywords

cancer metastasis, pancreatic cancer, metastasis-initiating cells, dissemination, pancreatic cancer metastasis

Highlighted Publications

Ferrer, C. M., Lynch, T. P., Sodi, V., Falcone, J. N., Schwab, L., Peacock, D., Vocadlo, D.J., Seagroves, T. N., and Reginato, M. J. Nutrient sensor O-GlcNAcylation regulates cancer metabolism and survival stress signaling via regulation of HIF-1 pathway. Molecular Cell (2014) Jun 5;54(5):820-31.

Ferrer, C. M. and Reginato, M. J. Cancer Metabolism: Crosstalk between Signaling and O-GlcNAcylation; InCancer Genomics and Proteomics: Methods and Protocols; Narendra Wajapeyee (Editor). Humana Press; (2014) vol. 1176,2nd ed, XII, 304 p.

Ferrer, C. M., and Reginato, M. J. Sticking to Sugars at the Metastatic Site: Sialyltransferase ST6GalNAc2 acts as Breast Cancer Metastasis Suppressor. Cancer Discovery (2014) Mar; 4(3):275-7.

Ferrer, C. M., and Reginato, M. J. Sweet Connections: O-GlcNAcylation links cancer metabolism and survival. Molecular & Cellular Oncology (2015) Jan-Mar; 2(1): e961809.

Ferrer, C. M., Lu, T. Sinclair, D. A., and Reginato, M. J. O-GlcNAcylation regulates cancer cell invasion via the NAD+-dependent longevity protein SIRT1. Oncogene (2016) Jan 26;36(4):559-569.

Ferrer, C.M., Sodi, V.L., and Reginato, M. J. O-GlcNAcylation in Cancer Biology: Linking Metabolism and Signaling. Journal of Molecular Biology (2016) Aug 14;428(16):3282-3294.

Ferrer, C.M.*, Alders, M. *, Postma, A.V. *, Park, S., Klein, M.A., Pajkrt, E., Glas, A., van Koningsbruggen, S., Christoffels, V.M., Mannens, M.A.M., M., Knegt, L., Etchegaray, J.P., Denu, J.M., Mostoslavsky, G., van Maarle, M.C., Mostoslavsky, R. An inactivating mutation in the histone deacetylase SIRT6 causes human perinatal lethality. Genes & Development (2018) Mar 1;32(5-6):373-388. (cover image featured in issue).

*Ferrer, C.M., Cho, H., Boon, R.,  Bernasocchi T., Wong, L.P., Cetinbas, M., Haggerty, E.R., Mitsiades, I., Wojtkiewicz, G.R., McLoughlin, D.E., Aboushousha, R., Abdelhamid, H., Kugel, S., Rheinbay, E., Sadreyev, R.I., Juric, D., Janssen-Heininger, Y.M., *Mostoslavsky, R. The glutathione S-transferase Gstt1 drives survival and dissemination in metastases. Nature Cell Biology (2024) (in press). *Co-corresponding authors.

Additional Publication Citations

Lynch, T.P., Ferrer, C.M., Jackson, S.R., Shahriari, K.S., Vosseller, K., and Reginato, M.J. Critical role of O-GlcNAc transferase in prostate cancer invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Journal of Biological Chemistry (2012) Mar 30;287(14):11070-81

Sodi, V.L., Bacigalupa, Z.A., Ferrer, C.M., Lee, J.V., Gocal, W.A., Mukhopadhyay, D., Wellen, K.E., Ivan, M., Reginato, M.J. Nutrient sensor O-GlcNAc transferase controls cancer lipid metabolism via SREBP-1 regulation. Oncogene (2018) Feb 15;37(7):924-93.

Etchegaray, J.P., Zhong, L., Li, C., Tomoyoshi, N., Van Rechem, C., Ross, K.N., Samarakkody, A., Ji, F., Ferrer, C., Nechaev, S., Sadreyev, R.I., Goren, A., Ramaswamy, S., Whetstine, J.R., Roeder, R.G., Mostoslavsky, R. The histone deacetylase SIRT6 controls transcription elongation via promoter-proximal pausing. Molecular Cell (2019) Aug 22;75(4):683-699.

Chang, A.R., Ferrer, C.M., Mostoslavsky, R. SIRT6, a Mammalian deacylase with multitasking abilities. Physiological Reviews (2020, invited review) Jan 1;100(1):145-169.

Choi, J., Sebastian, C., Ferrer, C., Lewis, C.A., Sade-Feldman, M., LaSalle, T., Gonye, A., Lopez,  B.G.C., Abdelmoula, W.M., Regan, M.S., Cetinbas, M., Pascual, G., Wojtkiewicz, G.R., Silveira, G.G., Boon, R., Ross, K.N., Tirosh, I., Saladi, S.V., Ellisen, L.W., Sadreyev, R.I., Benitah, S.A., Agar, N.Y.R., Hacohen, N., and Mostoslavsky, R. Glycolytic tumor propagating cells drive squamous cell carcinoma by enhancing antioxidant response capacity. Nature Metabolism (2021) Feb 3;(2):182-195.

Sebastián, C., Ferrer, C., Choi, J.E., Serra, M., Ducano, N., Shah, M.S., Isella, C., Maldi, E., Desai, N., Capen, D.E., Medico, E., Cetinbas, M., Sadreyev, R.I., Brown, D., Rivera, M.N., Sapino, A., Breault, D.T., and Mostoslavsky, R. A quiescent intestinal stem cell as the cell-of-origin for the Warburg effect in intestinal cancer. Nature Communications (2022) 2022 Mar 21;13(1):1503.

Linder, S.J., Bernasocchi, T., Martinez-Pastor, B., Sullivan, K.D., Galbraith, M.D., Lewis, C.M., Ferrer, C.M., Boon, R., Shroff, S., Oliviera-Costa, J.P., Silveira, G.S., Ross, K.N., Massri, R., Stott, S.L., Gottlieb, E., Espinosa, J.M., Mostoslavsky, R. Inhibiting P5CS, a rate limiting enzyme in proline metabolism, allows proliferation of glutamine restricted cancer cells. Nature Metabolism, (2023) Dec;5(12):2131-2147.

Links of Interest