Thomas V. O'Halloran Professor


Morrison Professor of Chemistry; Molecular Biosciences; Director, Chemistry of Life Processes Institute; Assc. Director of Basic Sciences, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Statement

Dr. O’Halloran’s research interests center on the regulatory biology and chemistry of transition metal receptors involved homeostasis and oxidative stress pathways. His work focuses on the intracellular chemistry of elements essential for growth and proliferation, (i.e. zinc, copper and iron), nanoscale drug delivery mechanisms and on the mechanisms of clinically important anticancer agents that are based on arsenic, molybdenum and platinum chemistry. His discoveries have established the function and structures of two new classes of soluble receptors: metalloregulatory proteins that govern metal responsive gene expression and metallochaperone proteins that control intracellular trafficking pathways.

Selected Publications

Ahn, R.W., Chen, F., Chen, H., Stern, S.T., Clogston, J.D., Patri, A.K., Raja, M.R., Cryns, V.L., O’Halloran, T.V. “A Novel Nanoparticulate Formulation of Arsenic Trioxide with Enhanced Therapeutic Efficacy in a Murine Model of Breast Cancer” Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Jul 15;16(14):3607-17. Epub 2010 Jun 2.

Alvarez HM, Xue Y, Robinson CD, Canalizo-Hernandez MA, Marvin RG, Mondragon A, Penner-Hahn JE, O’Halloran TV. Tetrathiomolybdate Inhibits Copper Trafficking Proteins Through Metal Cluster Formation.Science. 2010 Jan 15;327(5963):331-4.

Kim, A, Vogt, S., O’Halloran, T.V., Woodruff, T.K. “Zinc Availability Regultes Exit fromMeiosis in Maturing Mammalian Oocytes.” Nat Chem Bio. 2010 Sep;6(9):674-81. Epub 2010 Aug 8.

Chen H, Ahn R, Van den Bossche J, Thompson DH, O’Halloran TV. Folate-mediated Intracellular Drug Delivery Increases the Anti-cancer Efficacy of Nanoparticulate Formulation of Arsenic Trioxide. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 2009 8(7):1955-63. PMID: 19567824

Chen H, Pazicni S, Krett NL, Ahn RW, Penner-Hahn JE, Rosen ST, O’Halloran TV. Coencapsulation of Arsenic- and Platinum based Drugs for Targeted Cancer Treatment. Angew Chem Int Ed. 200948(49):9295-9299. PMID: 19894238

You EA, Ahn RW, Lee MH, Raja MR, O’Halloran TV, Odom TW. Size Control of Arsenic Trioxide Nanocrystals Grown in Nanowells. J Am Chem Soc. 2009 131 (31):10863-5. PMID: 19624123

Lee SM, Chen H, O’Halloran TV, Nguyen SBT. ‘Clickable’ Polymer-Caged Nanobins as a Modular drug Delivery Platform. J Am Chem Soc. 2009 131(26):9311-20. PMID: 19527027

Finney LA, O’Halloran TV. Transition Metal Speciation in the Cell: Insights from the Chemistry of Metal Ion Receptors. Science. May 9;300(5621):931-6. PMID: 12738850

Outten CE, O’Halloran TV. Femtomolar Sensitivity of Metalloregulatory Proteins Controlling Zinc Homeostasis. Science. 2001 Jun 29;292(5526):2488-92. PMID: 11397910

Rae TD, Schmidt PJ, Pufahl RA, Culotta VC, O’Halloran, TV. Undetectable Intracellular Free Copper: The Requirement of a Copper Chaperone for Superoxide Dismutase. Science. 1999 Apr 30;284(5415):805-8. PMID: 10221913

Selected Honors/Awards

  • David Denks Award for Research on Copper Homeostasis & its Disorders (2008)
  • Fellow, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (2007)
  • MERIT award, National Institutes of Health (2001-2010)
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1999)
  • Guggenheim Fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1998-1999)
  • Scientific Achievement Award, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology sponsored by Schering-Plough (1996)
  • The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award (1993-95)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (1991-1993)
  • Eli Lilly Biochemistry Grantee Award (1989-1991)
  • National Searle Scholars Award, The Chicago Community Trust (1987-90)
  • Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation (1987-92)
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Distinguished New Faculty Award (1986)