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

Hui Liu, PhD

Emily Cohen, 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 .

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.


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

Adrija received her BS degree from Princeton University. Her research focuses on dependencies on protein glycosylation mechanisms in human cancers.

Adrija Navarro

Richard Thornton

Sam Barritt received his BS degree from University of Vermont VT. His  research focuses on metabolic sensing mechanisms in normal physiology and cancer. Sam is co-mentored by Alex Toker and Christian Dibble in the BIDMC Pathology Dept.

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

Renee Geck

Sam Barritt

Alissandra Hillis received her BS degree from MIT, MA. Her research focuses on metabolic dependencies in cancer cells.

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

Alissandra Hillis

Emily Erickson

Senior Research Associates

Research Assistants

Laura Ghisolfi, PhD

Amber Chopelas

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.

Amber Chopelas received her PhD degree from Clemson University. Amber is a new Research Assistant in the Toker Lab.

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

KangKang Yang

Sivan Elloul

Emilie Clement

Kristin Brown

Ozlem Senol-Cosar

Francisco Beca

Christian Dibble