Signaling and Systems Biology
Michael B. Yaffe ➡ Center for Precision Cancer Medicine, MIT, USA

Dr. Yaffe is the David H. Koch Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering at MIT and Attending Surgeon at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. He is also a founder of Consensus Pharmaceuticals and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Yaffe co-founded The DNA Repair Company in 2004 and serves as Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board at the company. He also serves as Member of Scientific Advisory Board of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Boston Biomedical Research Institute, Inc. He completed a residency in General Surgery, a Fellowship in Surgical Critical Care, Burns and Trauma at Harvard Medical School, and post-doctoral training in Signal Transduction with Lew Cantley in Cell Biology at Harvard. He received his B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University, and his M.D. in 1989 and Ph.D. degree in 1987 from Case Western Reserve University in Biophysical Chemistry.
Research focus: Signaling and Systems Biology
"The goal of our research is to understand how signaling pathways are integrated at the molecular and systems level to control cellular responses. We are particularly interested in: (1) signaling pathways and networks that control cell cycle progression and DNA damage responses in cancer and cancer therapy; and (2) cross-talk between inflammation, cytokine signaling and cancer. Much of our work focuses on how modular protein domains and kinases work together to build molecular signaling circuits. The work is multi-disciplinary and encompasses biochemistry, biophysics, structural and cell biology, engineering, and computation/bioinformatics-based methods."
Selected publications
  • Alexander J, Lim D, Joughin BA, Hegemann B, Hutchins JR, Ehrenberger T, Ivins F, Sessa F, Hudecz O, Nigg EA, Fry AM, Musacchio A, Stukenberg PT, Mechtler K, Peters JM, Smerdon SJ, Yaffe MB. Spatial exclusivity combined with positive and negative selection of phosphorylation motifs is the basis for context-dependent mitotic signaling. Science Signal. 2011 4:ra42
  • Reinhardt HC, Hasskamp P, Schmedding I, Morandell S, van Vugt MA, Wang X, Linding R, Ong SE, Weaver D, Carr SA, Yaffe MB. DNA damage activates a spatially distinct late cytoplasmic cell-cycle checkpoint network controlled by MK2-mediated RNA stabilization. Molecular Cell 2010 40:34-49.
  • van Vugt MA, Gardino AK, Linding R, Ostheimer GJ, Reinhardt HC, Ong SE, Tan CS, Miao H, Keezer SM, Li J, Pawson T, Lewis TA, Carr SA, Smerdon SJ, Brummelkamp TR, Yaffe MB. A mitotic phosphorylation feedback network connects Cdk1, Plk1, 53BP1, and Chk2 to inactivate the G(2)/M DNA damage checkpoint. PLoS Biol. 2010 8:e1000287.
  • Macůrek L, Lindqvist A, Lim D, Lampson MA, Klompmaker R, Freire R, Clouin C, Taylor SS, Yaffe MB, Medema RH. Polo-like kinase-1 is activated by aurora A to promote checkpoint recovery. Nature 2008 455:119-23.
  • Janes KA, Reinhardt HC, Yaffe MB. Cytokine-induced signaling networks prioritize dynamic range over signal strength. Cell 2008 135:343-54.
  • Wilker EW, van Vugt MA, Artim SA, Huang PH, Petersen CP, Reinhardt HC, Feng Y, Sharp PA, Sonenberg N, White FM, Yaffe MB. 14-3-3 sigma controls mitotic translation to facilitate cytokinesis. Nature. 2007 446:329-32.
  • Janes KA, Albeck JG, Gaudet S, Sorger PK, Lauffenburger DA, Yaffe MB. A systems model of signaling identifies a molecular basis set for cytokine-induced apoptosis. Science. 2005 310:1646-53.
  • Manke IA, Lowery DM, Nguyen A and Yaffe MB. BRCT repeats as phosphopeptide binding modules involved in protein targeting. Science 2003 302:636-639.
  • Elia AE, Cantley LC, Yaffe MB. Proteomic screen finds pSer/pThr-binding domain localizing Plk1 to mitotic substrates. Science 2003 299:1228-31.
A full list can be found here.