Lopa Mishra, M.D. is currently Director, Center for Translational Medicine, Department of Surgery at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Heatlh Sciences. Dr. Mishra was at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas from December 2009 until 2015, as Professor and Chair of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. In 2010, she was named holder of the endowed position: Del & Dennis McCarthy Distinguished Professorship. Dr. Mishra also served as Associate Director of the Texas Digestive Diseases Center, an NCI-funded, multi-investigator program project in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. Her research has led to more than 200 peer review articles. She has mentored over 70 physicians and scientists- many to leadership positions in academic medicine and science.
Dr. Mishra's work is in developing new therapeutics targeting liver cancer. She discovered that that the TGF-β pathway is the effector pathway for the human stem cell syndrome with an 800fold risk of cancer (Beck-Wiedmann Syndrome), Science 2003,2005, PNAS, 2008, JNCI 2012, JCI, 2013, 2016-in press. Dr. Mishra's linking of TGF-β signaling with changes in E-cadherin and β-catenin for the first time in a human disease provide important clues to a common basis for the development of human liver and gastrointestinal cancers. Her current focus on mechanistic studies identifying key signaling pathways in foregut cancers, which has led her to explore new therapeutics targeted at liver and gastrointestinal cancer. Studies have yielded potentially powerful insights into the origins of lethal hepatocellular carcinoma, 40% of which are clonal and could arise from STICs, thus providing key insights using TGF-beta signaling to target subpopulations who could respond to treatment.