Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.

Kristinna Vuori profile photo

Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D.

Pauline and Stanley Foster Presidential Chair

Fax: (858) 795-5272

Research Assistant Professor(s)

Kristiina Vuori's Research Focus

Cancer, Brain Cancer, Breast Cancer, Leukemia/Lymphoma, Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Prostate Cancer

Dr. Vuori's research is aimed at unraveling the cell mechanisms of the most life-threatening aspect of cancer, which is cancer metastasis. Metastasis is responsible for nearly all deaths in cancer patients, and understanding of the mechanisms that turn a cancer from a locally growing tumor into highly metastatic cancer cells will provide clues how to prevent this step in cancer progression. All cells in our body stick to one another and to the packaging material, or extracellular matrix, around them. This adhesion is essential for cell survival; if cells become detached from their microenvironment, they will die through a process known as apoptosis. This phenomenon, which is called adhesion dependency of survival, is one of the safeguards that maintain the integrity and normal function of tissues, and prevent cells from becoming cancerous. Normal cells cannot detach from their tissue and establish themselves somewhere else, because they will die on the way. Yet cancer cells somehow get around this requirement; they trespass aggressively into other tissues and metastasize to distant sites in the body without dying. Dr. Vuori’s work is aimed at identifying the molecular mechanisms that in normal cells makes them adhesion-dependent; false action of the very same mechanisms is likely to be the key step in allowing cancer cells to metastasize.

Kristiina Vuori's Bio

Kristiina Vuori earned her M.D. and Ph.D. at University of Oulu, Finland. After completion of internship and residency, she received postdoctoral training at Sanford-Burnham and was appointed to faculty in 1996. Dr. Vuori was selected as a PEW Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences in 1997. She has been co-Director of the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics, housed at SBP, since its inception in 2005. She was appointed Deputy Director of the Institute's NCI-Designated Cancer Center in 2003, and Director of the Cancer Center in 2006. In 2008, she was appointed Executive Vice President for Scientific Affairs at SBP. She has been President of the Institute since April 2010.

TMC Accessory


Sceptrin, a marine natural compound, inhibits cell motility in a variety of cancer cell lines.

Cipres A, O'Malley DP, Li K, Finlay D, Baran PS, Vuori K

ACS Chem Biol 2010 Feb 19 ;5(2):195-202

Critical role for caspase-8 in epidermal growth factor signaling.

Finlay D, Howes A, Vuori K

Cancer Res 2009 Jun 15 ;69(12):5023-9

Cell biology. Two lipids that give direction.

Côté JF, Vuori K

Science 2009 Apr 17 ;324(5925):346-7

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Eco-physiological responses of copepods and pteropods to ocean warming and acidification.

Engström-Öst J, Glippa O, Feely RA, Kanerva M, Keister JE, Alin SR, Carter BR, McLaskey AK, Vuori KA, Bednaršek N

Sci Rep 2019 Mar 18 ;9(1):4748

Network Rewiring in Cancer: Applications to Melanoma Cell Lines and the Cancer Genome Atlas Patients.

Ding KF, Finlay D, Yin H, Hendricks WPD, Sereduk C, Kiefer J, Sekulic A, LoRusso PM, Vuori K, Trent JM, Schork NJ

Front Genet 2018 ;9:228

Selective imaging of cathepsin L in breast cancer by fluorescent activity-based probes.

Poreba M, Rut W, Vizovisek M, Groborz K, Kasperkiewicz P, Finlay D, Vuori K, Turk D, Turk B, Salvesen GS, Drag M

Chem Sci 2018 Feb 28 ;9(8):2113-2129

Oxidative stress and antioxidant defense responses in Acartia copepods in relation to environmental factors.

Glippa O, Engström-Öst J, Kanerva M, Rein A, Vuori K

PLoS One 2018 ;13(4):e0195981

Nonlinear mixed effects dose response modeling in high throughput drug screens: application to melanoma cell line analysis.

Ding KF, Petricoin EF, Finlay D, Yin H, Hendricks WPD, Sereduk C, Kiefer J, Sekulic A, LoRusso PM, Vuori K, Trent JM, Schork NJ

Oncotarget 2018 Jan 12 ;9(4):5044-5057

Differential Response of Glioma Stem Cells to Arsenic Trioxide Therapy Is Regulated by MNK1 and mRNA Translation.

Bell JB, Eckerdt F, Dhruv HD, Finlay D, Peng S, Kim S, Kroczynska B, Beauchamp EM, Alley K, Clymer J, Goldman S, Cheng SY, James CD, Nakano I, Horbinski C, Mazar AP, Vuori K, Kumthekar P, Raizer J, Berens ME, Platanias LC

Mol Cancer Res 2018 Jan ;16(1):32-46

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