New Opportunities for Modeling Drug Response in Solid Tumors Afforded by Single-Cell Genomics

2019 Emerging Leader Award

Peter A. Sims, PhD, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Peter A. Sims, PhD

Dr. Sims is studying glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer that is nearly universally lethal despite use of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Research has shown that each GBM tumor contains many different cell types with different sensitivities to therapy, which helps explain why GBM is so difficult to treat. Dr. Sims and his team are taking advantage of new technology that enables detailed analysis of thousands of individual tumor cells. Complementing these advances, they are developing a new platform for testing multiple drugs directly in patients’ tumor tissue and analyzing the response with single-cell resolution. The results of this project will permit more precise enrollment of patients into appropriate clinical trials and ultimately enable better predictions of therapeutic efficacy. Dr. Sims is Assistant Professor of Systems Biology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and serves as Director of the Single Cell Analysis Core. He is also Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Systems Biology and Associate Director of the J. P. Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center. He earned a PhD in chemistry and completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University.


Zhao W, Dovas A, Spinazzi EF, Levitin HM, Banu MA, Upadhyayula P, Sudhakar T, Marie T, Otten ML, Sisti MB, Bruce JN, Canoll P, Sims PA. Deconvolution of cell type-specific drug responses in human tumor tissue with single-cell RNA-seq. Genome Med. 2021.

Kenchappa RS, Dovas A, Argenziano MG, Meyer CT, Stopfer LE, Banu MA, Pereira B, Griffith J, Mohammad A, Talele S, Haddock A, Zarco N, Elmquist W, White F, Quaranta V, Sims P, Canoll P, Rosenfeld SS. Activation of STAT3 through combined SRC and EGFR signaling drives resistance to a mitotic kinesin inhibitor in glioblastoma. Cell Rep. 2022.