David Beebe, PhD

David Beebe, PhD

Co-leader, Project 2

While originally trained in engineering, David completed a five-year “re-training” in cell biology via an NIH K25 award (2004-09) which transitioned his lab to more biology and medically focused work. His retraining was cancer focused and led him to co-lead the Tumor Microenvironment Program within the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center from 2012-17. His lab is now focused on an integrated research process that works to match unmet biological and clinical needs with appropriate technology development and adaptation. His lab focused largely on building organotypic models of cancer and applying these models to understand the role of the tumor microenvironment in cancer initiation, progression and, recently, response to therapy. Increasingly their emphasis is on clinical diagnosis (and prediction of therapeutic response) through the analysis of patient samples (e.g. blood, tissue). Several current projects focus on building patient specific models that replicate in vivo structure/function relationships (e.g. lumen structure) in vitro.  Initially we focused on cancer cell/fibroblast interactions and more recently we have integrated vascular components into our models. Over the last couple years, they have begun to add immune components into our cancer models to enable study of emerging immunotherapies. Specifically, they have developed the ability to create patient-specific vascular and lymph models that allow us to evaluate patient specific responses. This work has resulted in several recent publications that provide the foundation for the proposed work. More recently he worked with Dr. Harari to adapt these methods to develop models relevant to head and neck cancer. This work is described in the preliminary results in this proposal. In parallel, they worked with Drs. Kimple and Lambert to examine the response to EGFR therapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells (Ayuso, 2019). Combined, these collaborations have begun to apply our models/methods to head and neck cancer. Overall, his lab has been productive with 300+ journal articles to date (over 34,000 citations, h-index 84, Google scholar), translational via co-founding multiple spin out companies  and innovative with +30 issued patents. He have trained over 60 graduate students and postdocs. I look forward to continuing my leadership role on Project 2 of the Wisconsin Head and Neck Cancer SPORE renewal application.




PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Electrical Engineering (1994)

MS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Electrical Engineering (1990)

BS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Electrical Engineering (1987)

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