University of Minnesota
MICaB Graduate Program
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MICaB Faculty

Timothy K. Starr, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women's Health and Masonic Cancer Center

University of Minnesota, 2004, Ph.D.

612-625-4425 office
612-626-3843 lab

Lab website:

Research Interests:

Cancer Genetics

In order to develop more effective cancer treatments we need to understand the underlying genetic causes of cancer.  We have developed mouse models capable of identifying the genetic changes that are required to change a normal cell into a cancerous cell. Using these models we can begin to categorize the genetic changes that drive human tumor formation.  In the lab we are using these models to find new cancer genes and we are performing functional analyses of the genes we have discovered.  Currently we are studying the genetics of lung, colon, and ovarian cancer. The long-term goal of our research is to develop combinatorial targeted therapies for treating cancer patients.

Selected Recent Publications:

  • Than, B.L.N, Goos, J.A.C.M., Sarver, A. L., O’Sullivan, M.G., Rod, A., Starr, T.K., Fijneman, R.J.A., Meijer, G., Largaespada, D.A., Scott, P.M., and Cormier, R.T. 2013. The role of KCNQ1 in mouse and human gastrointestinal cancers. Oncogene, Aug 26.
  • TaeHyun Hwang, Gowtham Atluri, Rui Kuang, Vipin Kumar, Timothy Starr, Peter M Haverty, Zemin Zhang, Jinfeng Liu.  2013. Large-scale integrative network-based analysis identifies common pathways disrupted by copy number alterations across cancers. BMC Genomics, 14:440.
  • Callie Janik and Timothy K. Starr. 2013. Identification of Sleeping Beauty transposon insertions using linker-mediated PCR. Journal Of Visualized Experiments, 1;(72).e50156.
  • Somasekar Seshagiri, Eric Stawiski, Steffen Durinck, Zora Modrusan, Elaine E. Storm, Caitlin B. Conboy, Subhra Chaudhuri, Yinghui Guan, Vasantharajan Janakiraman, Bijay S. Jaiswal, Joseph Guillory, Connie Ha, Gerrit J. P. Dijkgraaf, Jeremy Stinson, Florian Gnad, Melanie A. Huntley, Jeremiah Degenhardt, Peter M. Haverty, Richard Bourgon, Weiru Wang, Hartmut Koeppen, Robert Gentleman, Timothy K. Starr, Zemin Zhang, David A. Largaespada, Thomas D. Wu and Frederic J. de Sauvage. 2012. Recurrent R-spondin fusions in colon cancer. Nature, 488:66.
  • Aaron Sarver, Jesse Erdman, Timothy K. Starr, Vincent Keng, David A. Largaespada, and Kevin A. T. Silverstein.  TAPDANCE: Transposon Annotation CIS identified via Poisson Distribution statistics in an Association Network Connectivity Environment. 2012, Bioinformatics, 13:154, PMCID: In Process
  • Tracy L. Bergemann*, Timothy K. Starr*, Haoyu Yu, Michael Steinbach, Yun Chen, Robert T. Cormier, David A. Largaespada and Kevin A.T. Silverstein.  New methods for finding common insertion sites and co-occurring common insertion sites in transposon- and virus-based genetic screens. 2012, Nucleic Acids Research. * Both authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Timothy K. Starr, Patricia M. Scott, Benjamin M. Marsh, Lei Zhao, Bich L.N. Than, M. Gerard O'Sullivan, Aaron L. Sarver, Adam J. Dupuy, David A. Largaespada, Robert T. Cormier. A Sleeping Beauty transposon mediated screen identifies murine susceptibility genes for Apc-dependent intestinal tumorigenesis. 2011, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108:5765.
  • Adam Dupuy, Laura Rogers, Jinsil Kim, Kishore Nannapaneni, Timothy Starr, Pentao Liu, David Largaespada, Todd Scheetz, Nancy Jenkins and Neal G. Copeland. A modified Sleeping Beauty transposon system that can be used to model a wide variety of human cancers in mice. 2009.  Cancer Research, 69:8150.
  • Timothy Starr, Raha Allaei, Kevin Silverstein, Rodney Staggs, Aaron Sarver, Tracy Bergemann, Mihir Gupta, M. Gerard O’Sullivan, Ilze Matise, Adam Dupuy, Lara Collier, Scott Powers, Ann Oberg, Yan Asmann, Stephen Thibodeau, Lino Tessarollo, Neal Copeland, Nancy Jenkins, Robert Cormier and David A. Largaespada.  A Transposon-Based Genetic Screen in Mice Identifies Genes Altered in Colorectal Cancer.  2009. Science, 323:1747.
  • Vincent Keng, Augusto Villanueva, Derek Chiang, Adam Dupuy, Barbara Ryan, Ilze Matise, Kevin Silverstein, Aaron Sarver, Timothy Starr, Keiko Akagi, Lino Tessarollo, Lara S Collier, Scott Powers, Scott Lowe, Nancy Jenkins, Neal Copeland, Josep Llovet, and David Largaespada.  A conditional transposon-based insertional mutagenesis screen for genes associated with mouse hepatocellular carcinoma. 2009. Nature Biotechnology, 27:264.
  • Timothy Starr and David Largaespada.  Cancer Gene Discovery using the Sleeping Beauty Transposon.  2005.  Cell Cycle, 4:1744.