Pippa Cosper, MD, PhD

Position title: Assistant Professor, Department of Human Oncology

Email: cosper@humonc.wisc.edu

1111 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705

Pippa Cosper MD

Research Description

Over 50% of cancer patients receive radiation therapy as a component of their treatment. My laboratory aims to study how chromosomal Instability (CIN), an ongoing rate of chromosome missegregation events over the course of multiple cell divisions, which is very common in cancer, affects sensitivity to radiation therapy. We aim to discover new mechanisms of CIN, and how we may use this as an Achilles heel to promote tumor cell death. We are particularly interested in viral-induced cancers as tumor-viruses frequently induce CIN. Most cancer patients are also treated with chemotherapy concurrent with radiation, thus we also study how certain anti-cancer drugs affect CIN in order to discover novel mechanisms of radiosensitization. Finally, we study how CIN and oncogenic viruses affect the innate and adaptive immune responses in the context of radiation therapy. My ultimate goal is to have a deeper understanding of the tumor biology that drives radiation sensitivity and overall treatment response such that we can provide more personalized radiation therapy.

Honors and Awards

2021               NIH/NCI K08 Award
2021               Forbeck Scholar, William Guy Forbeck Foundation
2019               American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award
2019               Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Research Fellow Grant
2019               Radiation Research Society Scholar-in-Training Travel Award

Selected Publications

  1. Cosper PF*, Hryciniak LC*, Paracha M, Bice SA, Jones K, Lee DL, Mallick S, Taylor A, Kimple RJ, Lambert PF, Weaver BA. HPV16 E6 induces chromosomal instability due to polar chromosomes caused by E6AP-dependent degradation of the mitotic kinesin CENP-E. *co-first authors. PNAS, 2023 Apr 4;120(14). PMID: 36989302
  2. Walter AE, Cosper PF, Nickel K, Ramesh S, Khan A, DeWerd L, Kimple RJ. Biological characterization of the effects of filtration on the Xoft Axxentâ electronic brachytherapy source for cervical cancer applications. Radiat Res. 2023 Apr PMID: 37014873
  3. Cosper PF, Copeland SA, Tucker, JB, Weaver, BA. Utilizing chromosome segregation errors to enhance radiation response. Seminars in Radiation Oncology. 2022 Jan;32(1):54-63. PMID: 34861996
  4. Cosper PF, Bradley S., Luo L., Kimple RJ. Biology of HPV-mediated Carcinogenesis and Tumor Progression. Seminars in Radiation Oncology. 2021 Oct;31(4):265-273. PMID: 34455982
  5. Cosper PF., McNair, C., Gonzalez, I., Wong, N., Knudsen, KE., Chen, JJ., Markovina, S., Schwarz, J., Grigsby, P., Wang, X. Decreased Local Immune Response and Retained HPV Gene Expression during Chemoradiotherapy is Associated with Treatment Resistance and Death from Cervical Cancer. Int J Cancer. 2020 Apr 1;146(7):2047-2058. PMID: 31732968