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Esther A. Obeng, MD, PhD
Esther A. Obeng, MD, PhD

Esther A. Obeng, MD, PhD

Assistant Member, St. Jude Faculty




BS - (Biology) University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
PhD - (Microbiology and Immunology) University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
MD - University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
Internship and Residency – (Pediatrics) Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Fellowship – (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology) Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA

Honors and Awards

  • 2019  Gertrude B. Elion Cancer Research Award
  • 2018  American Society for Clinical Investigation Young Physician Scientist Award
  • 2014  Harold Amos Medical Faculty Career Development Award (American Society of Hematology and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
  • 2000  Howard Hughes Medical Institute Predoctoral Fellowship in Biological Sciences

Research Interests

  • Functional genomics
  • Splicing factor mutations in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)
  • Clonal hematopoiesis
  • Epigenetic regulator mutations in MDS
  • Identification of targeted therapies for bone marrow failure syndromes 

Selected Publications

Kamens JL, Nance S, Koss C, Xu B, Cotton A, Lam JW, Garfinkle EAR, Nallagatla P, Smith AMR, Mitchell S, Ma J, Currier D, Wright WC, Kavdia K, Pagala VR, Kim W, Wallace LM, Cho JH, Fan Y, Seth A, Twarog N, Choi JK, Obeng EA, Hatley ME, Metzger ML, Inaba H, Jeha S, Rubnitz JE, Peng J, Chen T, Shelat AA, Guy RK, Gruber TA. Proteasome inhibition targets the KMT2A transcriptional complex in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nat Commun Feb 13;14(1):809, 2023. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-36370-x. PMID: 36781850

Lasry A, Nadorp B, Fornerod M, Nicolet D, Wu H, Walker CJ, Sun Z, Witkowski MT, Tikhonova AN, Guillamot-Ruano M, Cayanan G, Yeaton A, Robbins G, Obeng EA, Tsirigos A, Stone RM, Byrd JC, Pounds S, Carroll WL, Gruber TA, Eisfeld AK, Aifantis I. An inflammatory state remodels the immune microenvironment and improves risk stratification in acute myeloid leukemia. Nat Cancer Jan;4(1):27-42, 2023. doi: 10.1038/s43018-022-00480-0. Epub 2022 Dec 29. PMID: 36581735

Potts KS, Cameron RC, Metidji A, Ghazale N, Wallace LM, Leal-Cervantes A, Palumbo R, Barajas JM, Gupta V, Aluri S, Pradhan K, Myers J, McKinstry M, Bai X, Choudhary GS, Shastri A, Verma AK, Obeng EA*, Bowman TV*. Splicing factor deficits render hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells sensitive to STAT3 inhibition. Cell Reports Cell Rep Dec 13;41(11):111825, 2022. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111825. #co-corresponding authors

Ganuza M, Hall T, Myers J, Nevitt C, Sánchez-Lanzas R, Chabot A, Ding J, Kooienga E, Caprio C, Finkelstein D, Kang G, Obeng E, McKinney-Freeman S. Murine foetal liver supports limited detectable expansion of life-long haematopoietic progenitors. Nat Cell Biol Oct;24(10):1475-1486, 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41556-022-00999-5. Epub 2022 Oct 6. PMID: 36202972

Hall TD, Kim H, Dabbah M, Myers JA, Crawford JC, Morales-Hernandez A, Caprio CE, Sriram P, Kooienga E, Derecka M, Obeng EA, Thomas PG, McKinney-Freeman S. Murine fetal bone marrow does not support functional hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells until birth. Nat Commun Sep 15;13(1):5403.bdoi, 2022. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-33092-4. PMID: 36109585

Freiwan A, Zoine J, Crawford JC, Vaidya A, Schattgen SA, Myers J, Patil SL, Khanlari M, Inaba H, Klco JM, Mullighan CG, Krenciute G, Chockley P, Naik S, Langfitt D, Mamonkin M, Obeng EA, Thomas PG, Gottschalk S, Velasquez MP. Engineering Naturally Occurring CD7 Negative T Cells for the Immunotherapy of Hematological Malignancies. Blood Aug 1;blood.2021015020, 2022. doi: 10.1182/blood.2021015020. PMID: 35914226

Fornerod M, Ma J, Noort S, Liu Y, Walsh MP, Shi L, Nance S, Liu Y, Wang Y, Song G, Lamprecht T, Easton J, Mulder HL, Yergeau D, Myers J, Kamens JL, Obeng EA, Pigazzi M, Jarosova M, Kelaidi C, Polychronopoulou S, Lamba JK, Baker SD, Rubnitz JE, Reinhardt D, van den Heuvel-Eibrink MM, Locatelli F, Hasle H, Klco JM, Downing JR, Zhang J, Pounds S, Zwaan CM, Gruber TA. Integrative Genomic Analysis of Pediatric Myeloid-Related Acute Leukemias Identifies Novel Subtypes and Prognostic Indicators. Blood Cancer Discovery Sep 9;2(6):586-599, 2021. PMID: 34778799.

Cheruiyot A, Li S, Nonavinkere Srivatsan S, Ahmed T, Chen Y, Lemacon DS, Li Y, Yang Z, Wadugu BA, Warner WA, Pruett-Miller SM, Obeng EA, Link DC, He D, Xiao F, Wang X, Bailis JM, Walter MJ, You Z. Nonsense-Mediated RNA Decay Is a Unique Vulnerability of Cancer Cells Harboring SF3B1 or U2AF1 Mutations. Cancer Research Sep 1;81(17):4499-4513, 2021. PMID: 34215620.

Abdulhay NJ, Fiorini C, Verboon JM, Ludwig LS, Ulirsch JC, Zieger B, Lareau CA, Mi X, Roy A, Obeng EA, Erlacher M, Gupta N, Gabriel SB, Ebert BL, Niemeyer CM, Khoriaty RN, Ancliff P, Gazda HT, Wlodarski MW, Sankaran VG. Impaired human hematopoiesis due to a cryptic intronic GATA1 splicing mutation. J Exp Med. 2019 Mar 26. pii: jem.20181625. PMID: 30914438.

Yin S, Gambe RG, Sun J, Martinez AZ, Cartun ZJ, Regis FFD, Wan Y, Fan J, Brooks AN, Herman SEM, Ten Hacken E, Taylor-Weiner A, Rassenti LZ, Ghia EM, Kipps TJ, Obeng EA, Cibulskis CL, Neuberg D, Campagna DR, Fleming MD, Ebert BL, Wiestner A, Leshchiner I, DeCaprio JA, Getz G, Reed R, Carrasco RD, Wu CJ, Wang L. A Murine Model of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Based on B Cell-Restricted Expression of Sf3b1 Mutation and Atm Deletion. Cancer Cell Feb 11;35(2):283-296.e5, 2019. PMID: 30712845.

Lee SC, North K, Kim E, Jang E, Obeng EA, Lu SX, Liu B, Inoue D, Yoshimi A, Ki M, Yeo M, Zhang XJ, Kim MK, Cho H, Chung YR, Taylor J, Durham BH, Kim YJ, Pastore A, Monette S, Palacino J, Seiler M, Buonamici S, Smith PG, Ebert BL, Bradley RK, Abdel-Wahab O. Synthetic Lethal and Convergent Biological Effects of Cancer-Associated Spliceosomal Gene Mutations. Cancer Cell Aug 13;34(2):225-241.e8, 2018. doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2018.07.003.

Hofmann I, Geer MJ, Vögtle T, Crispin A, Campagna DR, Barr A, Calicchio ML, Heising S, van Geffen JP, Kuijpers MJE, Heemskerk JWM, Eble JA, Schmitz-Abe K, Obeng EA, Douglas M, Freson K, Pondarré C, Favier R, Jarvis GE, Markianos K, Turro E, Ouwehand WH, Mazharian A, Fleming MD, Senis YA. Congenital macrothrombocytopenia with focal myelofibrosis due to mutations in human G6b-B is rescued in humanized mice. Blood Jun 13, 2018. pii: blood-2017-08-802769. doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-08-802769. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:29898956

Paolella BR, Gibson WJ, Urbanski LM, Alberta JA, Zack TI, Bandopadhayay P, Nichols CA, Agarwalla PK, Brown MS, Lamothe R, Yu Y, Choi PS, Obeng EA, Heckl D, Wei G, Wang B, Tsherniak A, Vazquez F, Weir BA, Root DE, Cowley GS, Buhrlage SJ, Stiles CD, Ebert BL, Hahn WC, Reed R, Beroukhim R. Copy-number and gene dependency analysis reveals partial copy loss of wild-type SF3B1 as a novel cancer vulnerability. Elife Feb 8;6, 2017. pii: e23268. doi: 10.7554/eLife.23268

Obeng EA, Chappell RJ, Seiler M, Chen MC, Campagna DR, Schmidt PJ, Schneider RK, Lord AM, Wang L, Gambe RG, McConkey ME, Ali AM, Raza A, Yu L, Buonamici S, Smith PG, Mullally A, Wu CJ, Fleming MD, Ebert BL. Physiologic expression of SF3B1K700E causes impaired erythropoiesis, aberrant splicing, and sensitivity to therapeutic spliceosome modulation. Cancer Cell 30(3):404-17, 2016.

Green AL, Yi J, Bezler N, Pikman Y, Tubman VN, Obeng EA, O'Neil T, Mersereau R, Morrissey L, Billett AL. A Prospective Cohort Quality Improvement Study to Reduce the Time to Antibiotics for New Fever in Neutropenic Pediatric Oncology Inpatients. Pediatr Blood Cancer 63(1):112-7, 2016.

Obeng EA, Ebert BL. Charting the "Splice" Routes to MDS. Cancer Cell 27(5):607-9, 2015.

Obeng EA, Harney KM, Moniz T, Arnold A, Neufeld EJ, Trenor CC 3rd. Pediatric heparin-induced thrombocytopenia: prevalence, thrombotic risk, and application of the 4Ts scoring system. J Pediatr 166(1):144-50, 2015.

Obeng EA, Carlson LM, Gutman DM, Harrington WJ Jr, Lee KP, Boise LH. Proteasome inhibitors induce a terminal unfolded protein response in multiple myeloma cells. Blood 107(12):4907-16, 2006.

Obeng EA, Boise LH. Caspase-12 and Caspase-4 are not required for caspase-dependent endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis. J Biol  Chem 280(33):29578-87, 2005.

DM, Cepero E, Obeng EA, Boise LH, Lichtenheld MG. R115777 induces Ras-independent apoptosis of myeloma cells via multiple intrinsic pathways. Mol Cancer Ther 3(2):179–186, 2004.

Last update: March 2023