People of the Toker Lab

Alex Toker, PhD

Alex Toker received a BSc from King's College, University of London, UK in 1987 and a PhD from the National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK in 1991. He conducted his post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Lewis Cantley, first in the Department of Physiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, then in the Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School and Division of Signal Transduction, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His first faculty appointment was as Staff Scientist at the Boston Biomedical Research Institute in 1997, where he was promoted to Principal Scientist in 1999. In 2000 he joined the faculty of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology. In 2003, he was promoted to Associate Professor and joined the faculty of the HMS PhD program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences. In 2010, he was promoted to Professor of Pathology at HMS. In 2014, he was appointed Chief of the Division of Signal Transduction in the Departments of Pathology and Medicine and Cancer Center at BIDMC

Other Activities:

  • Associate Editor, JBC
  • Member of Faculty of 1000
  • Ludwig Center at Harvard

Research Fellows and Instructors

Christian Dibble, PhD

Hui Liu, PhD

Hui Liu received her PhD from MIT in the laboratory of Richard Hynes. She was a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Lewis Cantley and Gerburg Wulf at BIDMC/HMS, and her current research in the Toker lab focuses on the INPP4B tumor suppressor in cancer. Hui is a recipient of a 2014 Susan G Komen fellowship award .

Christian Dibble received his PhD from the Harvard School of Public Health in the laboratory of Brendan Manning. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Lewis Cantley at BIDMC/HMS, and his current research focuses on the PI 3-K and Akt  signaling pathway in cancer metabolism. Christian was promoted to Instructor in Pathology at HMS in 2014, and is a recipient of a K99 Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award from the NCI.

Tom Thomas, PhD

Tom Thomas received his PhD from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA in the laboratory of John Yu. His current research in the Toker lab focuses on metabolic reprogramming in cancer with a focus on PI3K and AKT signaling.

Emily Cohen, PhD

Emily Cohen obtained her PhD from Yale University in the laboratory of Dan DiMaio. Her current research in the Toker lab focuses on resistance mechanisms to cancer therapies and cancer stem cells, and on metabolic reprogramming in the tumor vasculature. Her research is supported by a T32 NHLBI training award.


Renee Geck

Renee Geck received her BS degree from the George Fox University, Oregon. Her research focuses on arginine metabolism and reprogramming in breast cancer.

Emily Erickson

Emily Erickson received her BS degree from the Purdue University, Indiana. Her research focuses on metabolic reprogramming and vulnerabilities in cancer.

Richard Thornton

Richard Thornton received his BS degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, NC. Richard is a post-baccalaureate student enrolled in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Senior Research Associates

Research Assistants

Laura Ghisolfi, PhD

KangKang Yang

Laura Ghisolfi received her PhD degree from the University of Milan, Italy, and  subsequently conducted post-doctoral research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and BIDMC. Her research in the Toker lab focuses on metabolic reprogramming and vulnerabilities in cancer. Laura is a Senior Research Associate and Toker Lab manager.

Former Lab Members




Vittoria Cenni

Sebastien Jauliac (lab link)

Lauren Harkins

Alessandra Sirri

Peter Storz (lab link)

Wendy Chaplis

Sokha Nhek (PhD 2009)

Maribeth Wert

Heike Doeppler

Jessica Fry (PhD 2009)

Antonio Mazzocca

Amy Carr

Claudine Cohick (PhD 2011)

Gary Yiu

Heather Gardiner

Jessica Gasser (PhD 2013)

Merav Yoeli-Lerner

Casey Stottrup

Whitney Henry (PhD 2015)

Maria Mancini

Hannah Anthony

Evan Lien (PhD 2016)

Colin White

Kali Ferrell

Aura Kaunisto

Tiffany Tsang

Rebecca Chin

Sivan Elloul

Emilie Clement

Kristin Brown

Ozlem Senol-Cosar

Francisco Beca

Christian Dibble