Corey Speers Laboratory

The Speers laboratory research includes nomination and validation of expression-based signatures to predict patients that need treatment intensification and signatures to identify patient who will not need further adjuvant therapy for breast cancer. Moreover, our translational work has credentialed a number of novel targets for the treatment of estrogen and progesterone receptor-negative, HER2-negative “triple-negative” breast cancer, a particularly aggressive and difficult to treat form of breast cancer. As PI or co-Investigator on several university-, industry-, private foundation- and NIH-funded grants, we remain active in the radiation and breast cancer research arena by looking for more effective, targeted therapies for women with breast cancer. These targeted therapies include PARP-inhibitors, BET bromodomain inhibitors, and androgen receptor antagonists as agents for radiosensitization. We have also utilized kinome screens to identify novel targets for the treatment of aggressive breast cancers, including triple-negative breast cancer. Finally, we are also interested in the mechanisms of treatment resistance that include modulation of breast tumor initiating cells and understanding novel layers of cancer biology, including the role of long non-coding RNA in triple-negative breast cancer.


Breast Cancer

Clinical and scientific interests include using genomic and proteomic approaches to identify women who are at high risk for breast cancer recurrence and who may benefit from treatment intensification. Interests also include molecularly based signatures to identifying women who are cured after breast conserving surgery and who may not require adjuvant radiation.

Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

Radiation therapy for breast cancer- Interest includes identifying novel molecular targets for chemo‐ and radio-sensitization in women with triple‐negative or basal‐like breast cancer, including those molecules critical for maintaining breast cancer stem cells.

Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer

Radiation therapy for prostate cancer- Interest includes the identification of molecular targets relevant for the systemic progression and radiation sensitization of prostate cancer.

Recent Publications

  • Andrea M. Pesch, Lori J. Pierce, and Corey W. Speers. Modulating the Radiation Response for Improved Outcomes in Breast Cancer. JCO Precision Oncology 2021:5, 245-264
  • Speers C, Chang SL, Pesch A, Ritter C, Olsen E, Chandler B, Moubadder L, Liu M, Cameron M, Michmerhuizen A, Wilder-Romans K, Zhao SG, Nyati S, Bartelink H, Feng FY, Pierce LJ. A Signature That May Be Predictive of Early Versus Late Recurrence After Radiation Treatment for Breast Cancer That May Inform the Biology of Early, Aggressive Recurrences. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020 Nov 1;108(3):686-696. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.05.015. Epub 2020 May 17. PMID: 32434041.
  • Michmerhuizen AR, Chandler B, Olsen E, Wilder-Romans K, Moubadder L, Liu M, Pesch AM, Zhang A, Ritter C, Ward ST, Santola A, Nyati S, Rae JM, Hayes D, Feng FY, Spratt D, Wahl D, Eisner J, Pierce LJ, Speers C. Seviteronel, a Novel CYP17 Lyase Inhibitor and Androgen Receptor Antagonist, Radiosensitizes AR-Positive Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Feb 11;11:35. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.00035. PMID: 32117061; PMCID: PMC7027396.
  • Pesch AM, Hirsh N, Chandler BC, Michmerhuizen AR, Ritter CL, Androsiglio M, Wilder-Romans K, Liu M, Gersch C, Larios JM, Pierce LJ, Rae JM, Speers C. Short Term CDK4/6 Inhibition Radiosensitizes Estrogen Receptor Positive Breast Cancers. Clin Cancer Res. 2020 Sep 23:clincanres.2269.2020. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2269. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32967938.
  • Michmerhuizen AR, Speers C. Degrading AR-Dependent Cancers: Expanding the Role of PROTACs. Neoplasia. 2020 Oct;22(10):533-535. doi: 10.1016/j.neo.2020.07.005. PMID: 32928364.
  • Goodman C, Speers CW. The role of circulating tumor cells in breast cancer and implications for radiation treatment decisions. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2020 Aug 31:S0360-3016(20)34134-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2020.08.039. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32882354.
  • Michmerhuizen, A.R., Spratt, D.E., Pierce, L.J. et al. ARe we there yet? Understanding androgen receptor signaling in breast cancer. npj Breast Cancer 6, 47 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41523-020-00190-9

Join Us

Please contact Corey Speers, MD, PhD if you are interested in working with the Speers Lab.

Lab Alumni

  • Marlie Androsiglio, BS
  • Meleah Cameron, BS
  • Benjamin Chandler, MS, PhD
  • Nicole Hirsh, BS
  • Alexa Jelley, BS
  • Leah Moubadder, BS, MPH
  • Eric Olsen, BS
  • Cassandra Ritter, BS
  • Alyssa Santola, BS
  • Tanner Ward, BS
  • Connor Ward
  • Amanda Zhang, BS

Lab Honors and Awards

  • Pharmacological Sciences (T32) Training Program (Kassidy, 2021 - present)
  • Genome Science Training Program (Breanna, 2021 – present)
  • Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Graduation with High Honors (Nicole, 2021)
  • Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Graduation with Honors (Cassie, 2021)
  • Undergraduate Research Symposium Poster Honorable Mention (Cassie, 2021)
  • Rackham Merit Fellowship (Kassidy, 2020)
  • AACR Women in Cancer Research (WICR) Scholar Award (Andrea, 2021)
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship (Anna, 2020-2021)
  • AACR-Bristol Myers Squibb Scholar-In-Training Award (Anna, 2021)
  • AACR Scholar-in-Training Award (Andrea, 2021)
  • NCI Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral (F31) Fellowship (Andrea, 2020-2023)
  • Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant (Anna, Andrea, Ben)
  • Rackham Graduate Student Travel Grant (Anna, Andrea, Ben)
  • Aspire, Advance, and Achieve Mentoring Award Nominee (Anna, 2020)
  • AACR Scholar-in-Training Award (Anna, Ben; 2020)
  • Rackham Graduate School Margaret Ayers Host Award (Andrea, 2020)
  • Center for the Education of Women+ Irma M. Wyman Fellowship (Andrea, 2020)
  • NIH Training Program in Translational Research (T32-GM113900; Anna 2019-2021)
  • Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) Travel Award (Ben, 2019)
  • 2nd Place Poster Presentation – 46th Annual Pharmacology Research Colloquium (Andrea, 2019)
  • 1st Place Poster Presentation – PSTP 39th Annual Symposium (Andrea, 2019)
  • AACR Undergraduate Scholar Award (Cassie, 2019 - 2021)
  • Rogel Cancer Center Poster Award (Cassie, Meleah 2018)
  • Graduate Research Engagement Opportunity Program (Ben, 2018)
  • Pharmacological Sciences (T32) Training Program (Andrea, 2018 – 2020)
  • NIH Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Grant (T32-GM007315; Anna 2018-2019)
  • Proteome Informatics of Cancer Training Program (PICTP-T32) (Ben, 2017-2019)
  • Benard Maas Fellowship (Andrea, 2017)
  • Cancer Biology Training Grant (Ben, 2016-2017)