The Toker Laboratory


Alex Toker is a Professor in the Department of Pathology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, and Chief of the Division of Signal Transduction in Departments of Medicine, Pathology and Cancer Center. The lab has membership in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences PhD Program, the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and the Ludwig Center at Harvard.

Our research focuses on the cell and molecular biology of cancer. We are investigating the mechanisms by which signaling pathways impact tumor cell survival, invasion and metastasis. We are also studying metabolic alterations in tumor cells and how these lead to vulnerabilities that can be used to target tumors with specific therapies.  Our goal is to decipher the complex mechanisms by which these pathways impact cancer progression, with the ultimate goal of developing drugs that interfere with malignancy.

Annual Manning-Toker-Dibble labs Retreat at Oliver Lodge, Lake 

Winnipesaukee, NH, September 25-27. 3 days of science, fun

and games! Photos here

Alex gave a talk at the PTEN and its Pathways Symposium at BIDMC, Sept 24-25. 

Toker Lab Summer BBQ August 2019. Burgers, dogs and s’mores!

Toker Lab Summer Fun Day at the Barnstable County Fair on

Cape Cod, July 27! Rides, goats, deep fried stuff, and so much more!!

Alex and Emily Erickson attended the FASEB Science Research

Conference on Protein Kinases and Protein Phosphorylation in 

Palm Springs, July 7-12. Alex gave a talk, and Emily presented

a short talk. Alex is the co-chair of this SRC in 2021 along with

Anton Bennett, Yale U.  

Renee attended the Gordon Research Conference on Polyamines In Waterville Valley, NH. Renee was selected for a short talk, and won a travel award! Congrats Renee!

Alex gave a talk at the Center for Therapeutic Innovation International Showcase meeting at the University of Bath, UK, on June 25th. 

Alex and Hui attended and presented at a symposium at

Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research on June 21st

to celebrate Lew Cantley’s 70th birthday AND the approval

of the PIK3CA inhibitor Piqray!! So many old friends and

colleagues to celebrate with!

Ther lab bids farewell to Richard Thornton who heads off to Princeton for his PhD studies. Best of luck Richard!

The lab welcomes new research assistant Amber Chopelas. Welcome Amber!!

The lab welcomes back new BBS graduate student Alissandra Hillis who joins the Toker lab for her PhD research. Welcome Ali!!

Sam attended and presented a poster at the CSHL Meeting on Mechanisms of Metabolic Signaling

Alex receives a new R01 award from the National Cancer Institute!

Alex is part of a DFCI/HSPH/BIDMC team that receives a grant award from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to study the targeting of androgen receptor in breast cancer patients.

Renee receives an award from the PEO, the Philanthropic 

Educational Organization, devoted to advancing women in science. 

Congrats Renee!!

Adrija Navarro receives best poster prize at the annual

Landry Cancer Biology Consortium Symposium. Congrats to Adrija!!

Sam Barritt and Adrija Navarro pass their pre-qualifying

exams with flying colors!! Congrats!!

Lab Ski Trip at Gunstock, NH! Alpine and Nordic skiing,

and some apes-ski! Photos here. 

Lab Dim Sum outing on St Patrick’s Day, of course! Yum!!

Team building and nerdy fun Lab outing at Boda Borg!

Alex receives a 2019 Exceptional Project Grant Award from the 

Breast Cancer Alliance, to study precision medicine approaches to 

target triple negative breast cancer!

The lab ‘celebrates’ another New England Patriots Super Bowl Victory! 

That’s 6 for the home town team!! 

Alex gave a seminar in the Cancer Genetics and Genomics

Department at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center,

University of Buffalo, NY. 

The lab welcomes Alissandra Hillis for her second rotation in the HMS BBS Program. Welcome Ali!


The lab bids farewell to Veronica Cocetta and Cecilia Perrone. Best of luck Veronica and Ceci!

Alex gave a talk at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dec 3-7, in the session on Metabolic Reprogramming in Breast Cancer

Alex gave a seminar at NYU School of Medicine, Perlmutter 

Cancer Center

Toker Lab annual Halloween Party! A lot of black

and some gold this year! Photos here!

Hui gave a talk at the first DF/HCC Preclinical Cancer Science 

Symposium in the Jimmy Fund Auditorium at the DFCI! Renee

won a best poster prize!

The Red Sox win the World Series and the Toker lab celebrates!

Alex gave a talk at the 58th Annual ABR Meeting in Bologna, Italy. 

The Annual Manning-Toker-Dibble Labs Retreat at Oliver Lodge,

Meredith, New Hampshire. Three days of science and fun! Photos here!

Alex gave the Keynote Lecture at the University of Torino 

Annual Research Day, hosted by Prof. Emilio Hirsch.    

Alex won the 2018 BBS Award for Mentoring and attended

the annual program retreat with his students.

Congrats, Alex!

Toker lab Summer Fun Day, thwarted by the rain..

Bowling, flatbread and drinks! Photos here.

The lab welcomes Veronica Cocetta, PhD student

from the University of Padova. Welcome Veronica!!

The lab welcomes back Adrija Navarro who joins

the Toker Lab for her PhD. Welcome back Adrija!!

Alex gave a talk at the FASEB Summer Research Conference on Cell Signaling in Cancer: From Mechanisms to Therapy, June 3-8, Steamboat Springs, CO. Emily Cohen gave a short talk, and Emily Erickson presented a poster. Photos here

Alex gave a talk at the Dana Farber / Harvard Cancer Center Symposium on Cancer Metabolism, May 23.  

The lab welcomes Georgia Stirtz for her third rotation in the BBS graduate program. Welcome Georgia!

Hui gave a talk at the annual Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Breast and Gynecologic Symposium, March 16. 

Paper published! Congrats to Emilie Clement! Skp2-dependent reactivation of AKT drives resistance to PI3K inhibitors. Emilie Clement,  Hiroyuki Inuzuka, Naoe T. Nihira, Wenyi Wei, Alex Toker. Science Signaling 2018: Vol. 11, Issue 521, eaao3810 DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aao3810

    View the Summary, Abstract, Full Text and download PDF

Toker Lab Annual Ski trip at Waterville Valley, NH, March 5th 2018!

Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, drinks and only one minor injury!

See more pics here

Renee Geck and recent Toker lab alumni Evan Lien and Kristin Brown attended and presented posters at the Keystone Symposium on Tumor Metabolism in SnowBird, Utah, January 21 2018. 

The lab welcomes Adrija Navarro for her second rotation in the BBS program. Welcome Adrija!

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