The Apsel Winger Lab uses experimental and computational methods to expand our understanding of the function of mutant kinases with the overall goal of improving targeted kinase therapies in cancer and other diseases.

Why now?

Clinical next generation sequencing is becoming an increasingly important tool in the care of patients with cancer and many other diseases. However, the vast majority of mutations that are found by clinical next generation sequencing are mutations that have not been previously characterized, they are called variants of unknown significance. In addition, for many mutations that are known to be activating, we still don’t know the mechanism by which the mutation causes activation. This is a major problem because whether the mutation is activating and the mechanism of the activation both impact drug sensitivity. By understanding the functional and mechanistic impact of mutations in kinases, we can expand treatment options for patients with these mutations.

Why here?

UCSF is one of the leading biomedical research centers in the world. Our campus is a rich environment for translational research, with highly collaborative faculty and a world-class hospital just down the block.

About the principal investigator

Beth Apsel Winger, MD, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy in the School of Pharmacy and the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine. Apsel Winger has expertise in drug discovery, pharmacology, targeted therapeutics, pre-clinical testing, and characterization of acquired resistance. Her clinical care for pediatric hematology and oncology patients informs her research questions.