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Jessica Blackburn, PhD

Dr. Jessica Blackburn
  • About

    Faculty Rank

    Assistant Professor
  • Publications

    1. Clonal evolution enhances leukemia propagating cell frequency in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia through AKT/mTORC1 pathway activation. Blackburn JS, Liu S, Wilder JL, Dobrinski KP, Lobbardi R, Moore FE, Martinez SA, Chen EY, Lee C, Langenau DM. Cancer Cell. 2014; 25(3):366-78
    2. Zebrafish as a model to assess cancer heterogeneity, progression and relapse. Blackburn JS and Langenau DM. Disease Models and Mechanisms. 2014; 7(7):755-762
  • Research

    Cancer Center Member

    Research Focus

    Our research program is focused on identifying new therapeutic targets for pediatric cancers using zebrafish models. Approximately 70% of human genes have a direct zebrafish ortholog, and cancers made in transgeneic zebrafish develop in much the same way as human cancers. 

    My laboratory uses zebrafish models primarily as a screening tool to identify oncogenic drivers of pediatric cancers using transgenic and transplantation approaches where genes of interest are over-expressed or knocked-out to assess their contribution to tumor progression. We also use zebrafish for in vivo drug screens so that we can better understand how tumors respond to therapy and why they develop resistance to ultimately relapse. A major benefit of zebrafish in this setting is the scale at which these experiments can be done. We can use hundreds to thousands of animals to develop statistically significant results, making us more confident in the relevance of our findings as we move to pre-clinical models and human samples.


    • Molecular and Cellular Oncology

    College & Department

    • College of Medicine
    • Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

    For Referring Physicians

    741 S. Limestone St.
    BBSRB 149
    Lexington, KY 40536
    United States

  • Locations

    Insurance Information

    Insurance policies can vary widely. Please check with your doctor/clinic for specific insurance information before your visit or procedure to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs. See list of insurers Arrow Pointing Right

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