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Lev Becker

TitleAssociate Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
DepartmentBen May Department
AddressChicago IL 60637
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    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse overview
    Macrophage dysregulation is a hallmark of chronic sterile inflammatory diseases including cancer, atherosclerosis, and obesity/type 2 diabetes. Because macrophages are highly influenced by their environment, we need to understand how disease-specific changes to their environment dysregulate specific pathways to drive pathogenesis. Moreover, the relationship between these macrophage pathways to those required for pathogen clearance is largely unknown, which is important because attempts to therapeutically target macrophages must preserve this important function. Comparing and contrasting macrophages across a spectrum of diseases is therefore required to elucidate disease-specific mechanisms, and to develop therapeutics that are both efficacious and safe. To enable this, my lab combines proteomic, bioinformatic, immunologic, and functional approaches to study macrophages in an unbiased manner across a spectrum of diseases.

    Our long-term goal is to develop a robust research program that uses a multi-disease approach to develop a comprehensive understanding of macrophage biology, and then translates this mechanistic understanding to develop therapeutics across a spectrum of human disease. To this end, my lab is developing 2 new therapies for the treatment of many cancers and anti-inflammatory therapies that do not interfere with pathogen clearance for treating atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.


    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    Queen's University, Kingston, ON, CANPhD09/2003Biochemistry
    University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USAPost-doctoral studies09/2009Proteomics, Macrophages
    Collapse awards and honors
    2017 - 2020J Clifford Moos Award for Cancer Research, University of Chicago
    2014 - 2016Young Investigator Award, Cancer Research Foundation
    2008 - 2008Young Investigator Award, 3rd International Symposium Integrated Biomarkers in Cardiovascular Disease
    2005 - 2008Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Canadian Institutes of Health and Research
    2002 - 2003Doctoral Research Fellowship, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse research activities and funding
    R01DK102960     (BECKER, LEV)May 5, 2015 - Apr 30, 2020
    NIH
    'Metabolically Activated' Macrophages in Obesity and Insulin Resistance
    Role: Principal Investigator

    R01HL137998     (BECKER, LEV)Sep 1, 2018 - Jun 30, 2022
    NIH
    A Macrophage Protein Network Links Obesity and type 2 Diabetes to Atherosclerosis
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
    List All   |   Timeline
    1. Zhang D, Tang Z, Huang H, Zhou G, Cui C, Weng Y, Liu W, Kim S, Lee S, Perez-Neut M, Ding J, Czyz D, Hu R, Ye Z, He M, Zheng YG, Shuman HA, Dai L, Ren B, Roeder RG, Becker L, Zhao Y. Metabolic regulation of gene expression by histone lactylation. Nature. 2019 10; 574(7779):575-580. PMID: 31645732.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Tiwari P, Blank A, Cui C, Schoenfelt KQ, Zhou G, Xu Y, Khramtsova G, Olopade F, Shah AM, Khan SA, Rosner MR, Becker L. Metabolically activated adipose tissue macrophages link obesity to triple-negative breast cancer. J Exp Med. 2019 Jun 03; 216(6):1345-1358. PMID: 31053611.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Thekkan S, Jani MS, Cui C, Dan K, Zhou G, Becker L, Krishnan Y. A DNA-based fluorescent reporter maps HOCl production in the maturing phagosome. Nat Chem Biol. 2019 Dec; 15(12):1165-1172. PMID: 30531966.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Goss CH, Kaneko Y, Khuu L, Anderson GD, Ravishankar S, Aitken ML, Lechtzin N, Zhou G, Czyz DM, McLean K, Olakanmi O, Shuman HA, Teresi M, Wilhelm E, Caldwell E, Salipante SJ, Hornick DB, Siehnel RJ, Becker L, Britigan BE, Singh PK. Gallium disrupts bacterial iron metabolism and has therapeutic effects in mice and humans with lung infections. Sci Transl Med. 2018 09 26; 10(460). PMID: 30257953.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Reardon CA, Lingaraju A, Schoenfelt KQ, Zhou G, Cui C, Jacobs-El H, Babenko I, Hoofnagle A, Czyz D, Shuman H, Vaisar T, Becker L. Obesity and Insulin Resistance Promote Atherosclerosis through an IFN?-Regulated Macrophage Protein Network. Cell Rep. 2018 06 05; 23(10):3021-3030. PMID: 29874587.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Singhal H, Greene ME, Zarnke AL, Laine M, Al Abosy R, Chang YF, Dembo AG, Schoenfelt K, Vadhi R, Qiu X, Rao P, Santhamma B, Nair HB, Nickisch KJ, Long HW, Becker L, Brown M, Greene GL. Progesterone receptor isoforms, agonists and antagonists differentially reprogram estrogen signaling. Oncotarget. 2018 Jan 12; 9(4):4282-4300. PMID: 29435103.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Coats BR, Schoenfelt KQ, Barbosa-Lorenzi VC, Peris E, Cui C, Hoffman A, Zhou G, Fernandez S, Zhai L, Hall BA, Haka AS, Shah AM, Reardon CA, Brady MJ, Rhodes CJ, Maxfield FR, Becker L. Metabolically Activated Adipose Tissue Macrophages Perform Detrimental and Beneficial Functions during Diet-Induced Obesity. Cell Rep. 2017 Sep 26; 20(13):3149-3161. PMID: 28954231.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Frankenberger C, Rabe D, Bainer R, Sankarasharma D, Chada K, Krausz T, Gilad Y, Becker L, Rosner MR. Metastasis Suppressors Regulate the Tumor Microenvironment by Blocking Recruitment of Prometastatic Tumor-Associated Macrophages. Cancer Res. 2015 Oct 01; 75(19):4063-73. PMID: 26238785.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Kratz M, Coats BR, Hisert KB, Hagman D, Mutskov V, Peris E, Schoenfelt KQ, Kuzma JN, Larson I, Billing PS, Landerholm RW, Crouthamel M, Gozal D, Hwang S, Singh PK, Becker L. Metabolic dysfunction drives a mechanistically distinct proinflammatory phenotype in adipose tissue macrophages. Cell Metab. 2014 Oct 07; 20(4):614-25. PMID: 25242226.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Almendros I, Wang Y, Becker L, Lennon FE, Zheng J, Coats BR, Schoenfelt KS, Carreras A, Hakim F, Zhang SX, Farré R, Gozal D. Intermittent hypoxia-induced changes in tumor-associated macrophages and tumor malignancy in a mouse model of sleep apnea. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Mar 01; 189(5):593-601. PMID: 24471484.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Yurkovetskiy L, Burrows M, Khan AA, Graham L, Volchkov P, Becker L, Antonopoulos D, Umesaki Y, Chervonsky AV. Gender bias in autoimmunity is influenced by microbiota. Immunity. 2013 Aug 22; 39(2):400-12. PMID: 23973225.
      View in: PubMed
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