Michael Clarke, MD

Professor of Medicine, Stanford

Michael F. Clarke, MD is a Professor of Medicine and Stanford University. He is the Karel and Avice Beekhuis Professor in Cancer Biology and the Associate Director, Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. His interest is in the area of Stem Cell Biology. In addition to his clinical duties in the division of Oncology at Stanford University, Dr. Clarke maintains a laboratory focused on two areas of research: i) the control of self-renewal of normal stem cells and diseases such as cancer and hereditary diseases; and ii) the identification and characterization of cancer stem cells. In particular, his laboratory is pursuing how perturbations in the self renewal machinery contribute to human disease. His laboratory has discovered that the proto- oncogene Bmi-1 regulates stem cell self-renewal via an epigenetic mechanism. By investigating the pathways upstream and downstream of Bmi1, the laboratory is actively investigating the molecular pathways that regulate self-renewal. Recently his laboratory has found that USP16, a protein that dampens Bmi1 signals, causes a stem cell defect in Down’s syndrome. His focus is to aid in the development of more effective treatment therapies for various forms of cancer.