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B. Mark Evers, MD

Cancer Center Member

Markey Research Programs:
    Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling

Director, Markey Cancer Center


Vice-Chair for Research, Department of Surgery

Physician-in-Chief, Oncology Service Line

Department of Surgery ›
College of Medicine ›

Research Focus

Dr. Evers’s basic research, continuously funded by the NIH for the past 21, years focuses on signaling pathways regulating colorectal cancer proliferation and metastasis and mechanisms contributing to intestinal cell differentiation and aging.  His laboratory has identified key components of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway which play differential roles in colorectal carcinogenesis and differentiation.  Activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), a ubiquitous lipid kinase composed of an 85 kDa regulatory subunit (p85) and a 110 kDa catalytic subunit (p110) and its downstream effector protein, Akt, is associated with the growth and progression of a number of cancers, including colorectal cancer.  Dr. Evers’s group hypothesizes that colorectal cancer growth and progression are augmented by increased p85α and Akt2 expression and that selective inhibition of PI3K/Akt components can suppress colorectal cancer growth and metastasis and can sensitize resistant colorectal cancers to chemotherapeutic agents.  Dr. Evers is the PI of an NIH MERIT award (R37 AG010885) which is focused on a better understanding of the function of the gut peptide neurotensin (NT) an important regulatory and trophic hormone localized to specialized enteroendocrine cells (N cells) of the adult small bowel.  Using the novel endocrine cell line model, BON, investigators in Dr. Evers’s laboratory have identified the signaling pathways responsible for NT secretion.  Current studies are also focused on the effects of NT associated with aging and on the proliferation of various cancers.  Dr. Evers is the PI of an R01 from NIDDK (R01 DK048498) which has led to the discovery of new pathways contributing to intestinal cell differentiation.  Current studies are analyzing unique interactions of mTOR on other signaling proteins such as the sirtuin family of proteins.  Finally, Dr. Evers is the PI for the UK GI Cancer SPORE planning grant (P20) which represents a multidisciplinary effort to identify better treatment, diagnostic and preventive strategies for GI cancers, a significant problem in Kentucky.  One project which is being performed in collaboration with Dr. Tianyan Gao is focused on colorectal cancer cell metabolism and effects of mTOR signaling.

Contact Information

800 Rose Street
University of Kentucky
Lexington Kentucky 40536
View active clinical trials by this investigator

Key Publications

  1. Wang QD, Zhou Y, Wang XF, Evers BM. p27Kip1 nuclear localization and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitory activity are regulated by glycogen synthase kinase-3 in human colon cancer cells. Cell Death & Differentiation 15:908-919, 2008.
  2. Rychahou PG, Kang J, Gulhati P, Doan H, Chen AL, Xiao S, Chung DH, Evers BM. Akt2 overexpression plays a critical role in the establishment of colorectal cancer metastasis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105:20315-20320, 2008.
  3. Gulhati P, Bowen KA, Liu J, Stevens PD, Rychahou PG, Chen M, Lee EY, Weiss HL, O’Connor KL, Gao T, Evers BM. mTORC1 and mTORC2 regulate EMT, motility and metastasis of colorectal cancer via RhoA and Rac1 signaling pathways. Cancer Research 71:3246-3256, 2011.
  4. Zaytseva YY, Rychahou PG, Gulhati P, Elliott VA, Mustain WC, O’Connor KL, Morris AJ, Sunkara M, Weiss HL, Lee EY, Evers BM. Inhibition of fatty acid synthase attenuates CD44-associated signaling and reduces metastasis in colorectal cancer. Cancer Research 72:1504-1517, 2012.
  5. Li J, Song J, Cassidy M, Rychahou P, Starr M, Liu J, Li X, Epperly G, Weiss HL, Townsend C, Gao T, Evers BM. The PI3K p110α/Akt signaling negatively regulates secretion of the intestinal peptide neurotensin through interference of granule transport. Molecular Endocrinology 26:1380-1393, 2012.

Recent Publications

(five most recent publications via an automated list from PubMed, based on researcher’s ID and the University of Kentucky)
  1. Kim JT, Weiss HL, Evers BM.
    Diverse expression patterns and tumorigenic role of neurotensin signaling components in colorectal cancer cells.
    Int J Oncol. 2017 Jun;50(6):2200-2206.
  2. Mitov MI, Harris JW, Alstott MC, Zaytseva YY, Evers BM, Butterfield DA.
    Temperature induces significant changes in both glycolytic reserve and mitochondrial spare respiratory capacity in colorectal cancer cell lines.
    Exp Cell Res. 2017 May 15;354(2):112-121.
  3. Kenlan DE, Rychahou P, Sviripa VM, Weiss HL, Liu C, Watt DS, Evers BM.
    Fluorinated N,N'-Diarylureas As Novel Therapeutic Agents Against Cancer Stem Cells.
    Mol Cancer Ther. 2017 May;16(5):831-837.
  4. Gao T, Evers BM.
    Colorectal cancer: A new innate immune sensor - functions from inside the colonic epithelium.
    Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Apr;14(4):199-200.
  5. Wang Q, Zhou Y, Rychahou P, Fan TW, Lane AN, Weiss HL, Evers BM.
    Ketogenesis contributes to intestinal cell differentiation.
    Cell Death Differ. 2017 Mar;24(3):458-468.