Dimitrios Anastasiou

Cancer Metabolism Laboratory

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide, despite significant advances in our understanding of its biology. Development of cancer therapeutics is challenging due, partly, to the vast diversity of the disease and underlying causes.

A key attribute of successful cancer therapies is their ability to selectively target tumours while sparing healthy tissues. Therefore, identifying features that are common to a broad spectrum of cancers and distinguish them from normal cells is an important objective in cancer research. One such distinguishing feature of cancer cells is the way they use nutrients to survive and multiply, i.e. their metabolism (see Figure 1).

Our research aims at understanding how nutrient metabolism contributes to cancer development. Towards this goal, we are employing a multidisciplinary approach that includes metabolomics, biochemistry, microscopy, proteomics and mouse models, to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that distinguish the metabolism of tumours from that of normal tissues. A further aim of our work is to define principles for rational targeting of cancer metabolism as a therapeutic strategy.


Figure 1

Figure 1 (Click to view larger image)



Selected publications

Fets, L; Anastasiou, D (2013) p73 keeps metabolic control in the family.
Nature Cell Biology 15(8), 891-3

Anastasiou, D; Poulogiannis, G; Asara, JM; Boxer, MB; Jiang, J-K; Shen, M; Bellinger, G; Sasaki, AT; Locasale, JW; Auld, DS; Thomas, CJ; Vander Heiden, MG and Cantley, LC (2011) Inhibition of pyruvate kinase M2 by reactive oxygen species contributes to cellular antioxidant responses
Science 334, 1278-1283 

Anastasiou, D; Yu, Y; Israelsen, WJ; Jiang, JK; Boxer, MB; Hong, BS; Tempel, W; Dimov, S; Shen, M; Jha, A; Yang, H; Mattaini, KR; Metallo, CM; Fiske, BP; Courtney, KD; Malstrom, S; Khan, TM; Kung, C; Skoumbourdis, AP; Veith, H; Southall, N; Walsh, MJ; Brimacombe, KR; Leister, W; Lunt, SY; Johnson, ZR; Yen, KE; Kunii, K; Davidson, SM; Christofk, HR; Austin, CP; Inglese, J; Harris, MH; Asara, JM; Stephanopoulos, G; Salituro, FG; Jin, S; Dang, L; Auld, DS; Park, HW; Cantley, LC; Thomas, CJ and Vander Heiden, MG (2012) Pyruvate kinase M2 activators promote tetramer formation and suppress tumorigenesis
Nature Chemical Biology 8(10), 839-847

Dimitrios Anastsiou_

Dimitrios Anastasiou

+44 (0)20 379 61367

  • Qualifications and history
  • 2001 BSc Molecular Biology, University College London, UK
  • 2006 PhD in Biochemistry, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • 2007 Post-doctoral Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  • 2012 Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  • 2012 Group Leader, Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK
  • 2015 Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK