Human Thyroid Cancers Preclinical and Translational Research Laboratory

carmelo nucera

Carmelo Nucera, MD, PhD 
Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School 
Principal Investigator Human Thyroid Cancers Preclinical and Translational Research 
Specialist in Endocrine Diseases and Metabolism 
Experimental Division of Cancer Biology and Angiogenesis 
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center 
Simon C. Fireman Research Center 
Harvard Medical School 

I am an MD/PhD with specialty in endocrine cancers and I’m developing as Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School a research program in the "Division of Cancer Biology and Angiogenesis" at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, focused on "preclinical and translational models of human thyroid cancer with an emphasis on mechanisms of metastatic networks, new models of in vitro angiogenesis, tumor microenvironment, and metabolic regulations, using and dissecting new targeted therapies anti-BRAFV600E. I am primarily engaged in basic and translational thyroid cancer research, but also actively participate in tutoring and teaching activities to basic science students and medical students. I have 10-years of research and clinical experience. 

In particular, my research interests are in elucidating mechanisms by which the oncogene BRAFV600E leads to the invasive behavior in aggressive, metastatic, and iodine-refractory thyroid cancers. 
I'm highly committed and motivated to applying my research and effort to patient care, to facilitate innovation, to solve unmet clinical needs, and improve public health. 

I was recently awarded from the American Thyroid Association and from the NIH/NCI for Thyroid Cancer Research, Tumor Microenvironment, and BRAFV600E. 

My translational research program is aimed: 
(i) To identify new prognostic biomarkers and validate therapeutics for treating metastatic/refractory thyroid cancers.
(ii) To identify pro-metastatic/-angiogenic and metabolic pathways in the microenvironment of BRAFV600E-positive thyroid cancer. 
(iii) To determine the function of lymphatic/blood vessels in thyroid cancer and identify driver clones in the angiogenic microenvironment of thyroid tumors (tumor heterogeneity). 
(iv) To determine the prognostic role of epigenetic markers (e.g. non-coding RNAs) in thyroid cancer. 
(v) To investigate pathogenesis and molecular basis of “orphan and rare’ endocrine diseases 

My laboratory is open to accept international medical students, PhD students, experienced basic researcher as volunteer, as well as international PhD students that have a fellowship, and visiting faculties. 
I'm genuinely dedicated to advancing translational Thyroid Cancer Research. 
Funds: NIH/NCI, American Thyroid Association, Sponsored Research Grants


1. Moleti M, Mattina F, Salamone I, Violi MA, Nucera C, Baldari S, Lo Schiavo MG, Regalbuto C, Trimarchi F, Vermiglio F. Effects of thyroidectomy alone or followed by radioiodine ablation of thyroid remnants on the outcome of graves' ophthalmopathy. Thyroid 2003;13(7):653-8. 
2. Nucera C, Mazzon E, Caillou B, Violi MA, Moleti M, Priolo C, Sturniolo G, Puzzolo D, Cavallari V, Trimarchi F, Vermiglio F. Human galectin-3 immunoexpression in thyroid follicular adenomas with cell atypia. J Endocrinol Invest. 2005;28(2):106-12. 
3. Nucera C, Vaccaro M, Moleti M, Priolo C, Tortorella G, Angioni A, Ientile R, Violi MA, Loda M, Trimarchi F, Vermiglio F. Antiphospholipid antibodies syndrome associated with hyperhomocysteinemia related to MTHFR Gene C677T and A1298C heterozygous mutations in a young man with idiopathic hypoparathyroidism (DiGeorge syndrome). J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006; 91(6):2021-6. 
4. *Frasca F, *Nucera C, Pellegriti G, Gangemi P, Attard M, Stella M, Loda M, Vella V, Giordano C, Trimarchi F, Mazzon E, Belfiore A, Vigneri R. B-Rafv600e mutation and the biology of papillary thyroid cancer. Endocrine Related Cancer 2008;15(1):191-205. *The first two authors contributed equally. 
5. Nucera C, Eeckhoute J, Finn S, Carroll JS, Ligon AH, Priolo C, Fadda G, Toner M, Sheils O, Attard M, Pontecorvi A, Nosè V, Loda M, Brown M FOXA1 is a Potential Oncogene in Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma. Clinical Cancer Research 2009;15(11):3680-9. 
6. Nucera C, Muzzi P, Tiveron C, Farsetti A, La Regina F, Foglio B, Shih SC, Moretti F, Pietra LD, Mancini F, Sacchi A, Trimarchi F, Vercelli A, Pontecorvi A. Maternal Thyroid Hormones Cross the Placenta and Are Transcriptionally Active during Embryo Development: Results from a Transgenic Mouse Model. J Cell Mol Med. 2010 Oct;14(10):2417-35. 
7. Nucera C, Nehs M, Mekel M, Zhang X, Hodin RA, Lawler J, Nose V, Parangi S. A novel orthotopic mouse model of aggressive human thyroid carcinoma. Thyroid 2009;19(10):1077-84 
8. Beroukhim R, Mermel CH, Porter D, Wei G, Raychaudhuri S, Donovan J, Barretina J, Boehm JS, Dobson J, Urashima M, Mc Henry KT, Pinchback RM, Ligon AH, Cho YJ, Haery L, Greulich H, Reich M, Winckler W, Lawrence MS, Weir BA, Tanaka KE, Chiang DY, Bass AJ, Loo A, Hoffman C, Prensner J, Liefeld T, Gao Q, Yecies D, Signoretti S, Maher E, Kaye FJ, Sasaki H, Tepper JE, Fletcher JA, Tabernero J, Baselga J, Tsao MS, Demichelis F, Rubin MA, Janne PA, Daly MJ, Nucera C, Levine RL, Ebert BL, Gabriel S, Rustgi AK, Antonescu CR, Ladanyi M, Letai A, Garraway LA, Loda M, Beer DG, True LD, Okamoto A, Pomeroy SL, Singer S, Golub TR, Lander ES, Getz G, Sellers WR, Meyerson M. The landscape of somatic copy-number alteration across human cancers. Nature. 2010 Feb 18;463(7283):899-905. 
9. Nucera C, Porrello A, Antonello ZA, Mekel M, Nehs MA, Giordano TJ, Gerald D, Benjamin LE, Priolo C, Puxeddu E, Finn S, Jarzab B, Hodin RA, Pontecorvi A, Nose V, Lawler J, Parangi S. B-RafV600E and Thrombospondin-1 promote Thyroid Cancer Progression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107(23):10649-54. 
10. Nehs MA, Nagarkatti S, Nucera C, Hodin RA, Parangi S. Thyroidectomy with neoadjuvant PLX4720 extends survival and decreases tumor burden in an orthotopic mouse model of anaplastic thyroid cancer. Surgery. 2010 Dec;148(6):1154-62; discussion 1162. 
11. Nucera C, Lawler J, Hodin RA, Parangi S. The BRAFV600E mutation: what is it really orchestrating in thyroid cancer ? OncoTarget 2010 Dec;1(8):751-6. 
12. Nucera C, Nehs MA, Nagarkatti S, Sadow P, Mekel M, Fischer A, Lin P, Bollag G, Lawler J, Hodin RA, Parangi S. Targeting B-RafV600E by PLX4720 displays potent anti migratory and invasive activity in preclinical models of thyroid cancer. The Oncologist 2011;16(3):296-309. 
13. *Nehs MA, *Nucera C, Nagarkatti S, Sadow P, Morales Garcia D, Hodin RA, Parangi S. Late intervention with anti-BRAFV600E therapy induces tumor regression in an orthotopic mouse model of human anaplastic thyroid cancer. Endocrinology. 2011;153(2):985-94. *The first two authors contributed equally to this study. 
14. *Shaik S, *Nucera C, *Inuzuka H, Gao D, Garnaas M, Frechette G, Harris L, Wan L, Fukushima H, Husain A, Nose V, Fadda G, Sadow PM, Goessling W, North T, Lawler J, Wei W. SCFβ-TRCP suppresses angiogenesis and thyroid cancer cell migration by promoting ubiquitination and destruction of VEGF receptor-2. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2012;209(7):1289-307.*The first three authors contributed equally to this study. 
15. Bellelli R, Castellone MD, Garcia-Rostan G, Ugolini C, Nucera C, Sadow PM, Nappi TC, Salerno P, Cantisani M, Basolo F, Gago TA, Salvatore G, Santoro M. FOXM1 is a molecular determinant of the mitogenic and invasive phenotype of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2012 Sep 21;19(5):695-710. 
16. Nucera C, Goldfarb M, Hodin R, Parangi S. Role of B-RafV600E in differentiated thyroid cancer and preclinical validation of compounds against B-RafV600E. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta Reviews on Cancer 2009;1795(2):152-61. 
17. Mekel M, Nucera C, Hodin RA, Parangi S. Surgical implications of B-RafV600E mutation in fine needle aspiration of thyroid nodules. Am Journal of Surgery, 2010;200(1):136-43. 
18. Nucera C, Pontecorvi A, Vercelli A. Role of Maternal Thyroid Hormones during early embryo-fetal development. Hot Thyroidology Nov 2010. 
19. Nucera C, Lawler J, Parangi S. BRAFV600E and Tumor Microenvironment in Thyroid Cancer: a functional link to drive cancer progression. Cancer Research 2011 Apr 1;71(7):2417-22. 
20. Nucera C and Pontecorvi A. Clinical outcome, role of BRAFV600E, and molecular pathways in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma: is it an indolent cancer or an early stage of papillary thyroid cancer? Frontiers Endocrinology 2012;3:33. 
21. Nucera C Targeting thyroid cancer microenvironment: basic research and clinical applications. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2013;4:167