Dr. McMahon’s translational cancer research program focuses on the mechanisms underlying the development of metastatic melanoma, lung and thyroid cancer. Although these malignancies are derived from distinct cell types, they share a striking number of common genetic alterations especially activating mutations in KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA or CTNNB1. In addition, many of these tumors display alterations in tumor suppressors such as CDKN2A, PTEN or TP53. To do this, Dr. McMahon’s laboratory works with cultured human cancer-derived cells and with genetically engineered mouse models of human cancer. Such model systems have demonstrated considerable value in the design and evaluation of new diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic tools to treat patients with cancer.