Deciphering the function of oncogenic KRAS has been a central objective in cancer biology. For over four decades, mutations were thought lock KRAS oncoproteins in a constitutive or persistently active state. Piro Litos work has challenged this assumption to reveal new mechanisms leading to the physiologic inactivation of mutant KRAS in cancer cells. In turn, this knowledge has paved the way for the preclinical and clinical development of several approved or emerging KRAS directed therapeutics.
Piro Lito, M.D. Ph.D. is a physician-scientist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. After receiving a MD-PhD degree from Michigan State University, he trained in Internal Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School and in Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He studies signaling pathways that regulate cancer growth with an emphasis on understanding and treating cancers driven by mutant KRAS. His work has been recognized with the Pew-Stewart Scholar in Cancer Research and the Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator awards. He is the recipient of the Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research by the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Trailblazer Prize for Clinician Scientists by the Foundation of the National Institutes of Health.