Nicole M. Maher, PhD

Nicole M. Maher, PhD

Assistant Professor

Division of Oncology
Washington University
660 South Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110

Room 740, Southwest Tower (lab)

Research Interests
  • Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) tumor biology
  • Cancer genomics
  • Mechanisms of solid tumor metastasis

The goal of my research is to understand how long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) contribute to the progression of lung cancer. Our previous work characterized the landscape of altered lncRNAs in lung cancer and we are now prioritizing clinically interesting candidates for further studies into mechanism. One such lncRNA candidate has conservation – both sequence homology and synteny from humans to zebrafish. Further, we have shown this lncRNA to regulate a pioneer factor, FOXA2, important in proper endoderm formation and function. Deregulation of FOXA2 is implicated in diseases such as lung cancer, COPD, and asthma. Ongoing studies are aimed at determining the lncRNA-dependent regulation of FOXA2 during normal development, as well as understanding the implications of deregulation of the lncRNA and FOXA2 in lung cancer.



  • 2007: PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Case Western Reverse University, Cleveland, OH
  • 2002: BA in Biochemistry, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY

Post-Graduate Training

  • 2012-2011: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • 2011-2007: Postdoctoral Fellow, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
  • 2007: Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Academic Positions & Employment

  • present-2018: Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis MO
  • 2018-2015: Research Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis MO
  • 2015-2013: Senior Staff Scientist, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis MO

University Committees

  • present-2019: Organizer of Women in Cancer Research Group for Division of Oncology
  • present-2019: Research Track Representative on Executive Committee of the Faculty Council

Honors & Awards

  • 2008: NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
  • 2006: NIH National Graduate Student Research Festival
  • 2006: ASBMB Travel Award
  • 2001: GEBS Summer Scholar Program
  • 2000: Dana Student Internship

Professional Societies & Organizations

  • present-2019: RNA Society
  • present-2018: Academic Women’s Network
  • present-2017: American Association of Advancement of Science
  • present-2012: American Association for Cancer Research
  • 2007-2006: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology