Sid Puram, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Head and Neck Surgery

Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program
Cancer Biology Program
Computational and Systems Biology Program
Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program

  • 314-362-9943

  • Couch Research Building, Room 6110, 4515 McKinley Ave, St Louis MO 63110




  • tumor heterogeneity; single cell; spatial transcriptomics; head and neck cancer; signaling

  • Understanding the role of tumor heterogeneity in cancer biology, including its contributions to cancer development, growth, metastasis, and treatment resistance mechanisms, in order to translate these insights into new diagnostics and novel therapeutics

Research Abstract:

Our lab is dedicated to understanding the importance of tumor heterogeneity in cancer biology, in particular cancers of the head and neck, which represents the 6th leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Using single cell sequencing techniques as well as more traditional biochemistry and cell biology approaches, we are interested in understanding the mechanisms and cellular states that underlie tumor growth, development, metastasis, and treatment resistance. In addition to providing fundamental insights into cancer biology, our goal is to translate these mechanistic insights into new diagnostics and therapeutics across oncology. Briefly, we hope to accomplish this goal through several major lines of research:

1) Characterize expression and epigenetic heterogeneity in head and neck cancer - Using cutting edge single cell techniques, which our lab has pioneered, we will investigate diversity present at the level of diverse individual cells, including malignant, stromal, and immune subpopulations. Although we have begun the difficult work of studying heterogeneity in oral cavity tumors, other subsite of HNSCC as well as other pathologies could greatly benefit from these studies. Future work will extend to deep analyses of epigenetic heterogeneity to complement studies of expression heterogeneity.

2) Develop in vitro and in vivo models to study head and neck cancer - Despite substantial interest there are few typified and widely accepted models of head and neck cancer. With access to numerous cell lines, we will characterize existing models in new ways using a combination of mutational and expression-based profiling, thereby validating how well these models recapitulate human tumors and their diversity. However, we are interested in developing more sophisticated models of these human cancers through patient-derived xenografts (PDX) and potentially syngeneic models that may better allow the immune system and its influence in head and neck cancer to be more accurately studied.

Selected Publications:

Puram SV*, Parikh AS, Tirosh I*. Single cell RNA-sequencing in head and neck cancer highlight a role for a partial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, Molecular and Cellular Oncology (2018). 5(3):e1448244.

Puram SV*, Tirosh I*, Parikh A*, Patel AP, Yizhak K, Gillespie S, Rodman C, Luo CC, Mroz EA, Emerick KS, Deschler DG, Varvares MA, Mylvaganam R, Rozenblatt-Rosen O, Rocco JW, Faquin WC, Lin DT, Regev A, Bernstein BE. Single-cell transcriptomic analysis of primary and metastatic tumor ecosystems in head and neck cancer, Cell 171(7): 1611-1624 (2017).

Puram SV, Rocco JW. Molecular biology of head and neck cancer, Hematology Oncology Clinics of North America 29(6): 971-992 (2015).

Puram SV*, Kim AH*, Park HY, Bonni A. The ubiquitin receptor S5a/Rpn10 links centrosomal proteasomes with dendrite development in the mammalian brain, Cell Reports 4(1): 19-30 (2013).

Last Updated: 8/14/2019 5:31:05 PM

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