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Kaitlin Basham

Assistant Professor of Oncological Sciences

Cellular Senescence, Wnt Signaling, Adrenal Cancer, Mouse Models of Cancer, Developmental Biology

Cairns Photo 2020


Molecular Biology Program


B.S. Saint Mary’s College of California

Ph.D. University of Utah




Our broad research interests are aimed at understanding mechanisms that drive the initiation and evolution of cancer in order to develop more effective therapies. Specifically, our studies focus on mechanisms important during normal development, aging, and tumorigenesis in the adrenal cortex, which is an essential endocrine organ responsible for steroid hormone production. We aim to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control adrenal gland development and organ maintenance, and how dysregulation of these processes contributes to adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC), which is a highly aggressive form of cancer with few effective treatments. Our current specific objectives include:

  1. Employ a transgenic mouse model of conditional Znrf3 ablation to study the tumor protective versus tumor promoting roles of cellular senescence in cancer.
  2. Establish an orthotopic, syngeneic tumor transplant model to study the interaction between adrenocortical tumor cells and the tissue microenvironment.
  3. Develop transgenic mouse models to examine the role of novel molecular pathways important for maintaining stem and progenitor cell populations during development and homeostasis of the adrenal cortex.

Please visit our lab website for more information.

References (Selected Publications)

  1. Hammer GD, Basham KJ (2021). Stem cell function and plasticity in the normal physiology of the adrenal cortex. Mol Cell Endocrinol, 519, 111043.
  2. Basham KJ, Rodriguez S, Turcu AF, Lerario AM, Logan CY, Rysztak MR, Gomez-Sanchez CE, Breault DT, Koo BK, Clevers H, Nusse R, Val P, Hammer GD (2019). A ZNRF3-dependent Wnt/β-catenin signaling gradient is required for adrenal homeostasis. Genes Dev, 33(3-4), 209-220.
  3. Basham KJ, Hung HA, Lerario AM, Hammer GD (2016). Mouse models of adrenocortical tumors. Mol Cell Endocrinol, 421, 82-97.
  4. Basham KJ, Leonard CJ, Kieffer C, Shelton DN, McDowell ME, Bhonde VR, Looper RE, Welm BE (2015). Dioxin exposure blocks lactation through a direct effect on mammary epithelial cells mediated by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor. Toxicol Sci, 143(1), 36-45.
  5. Basham KJ, Bhonde VR, Kieffer C, Mack JB, Hess M, Welm BE, Looper RE (2014). Bis-aryloxadiazoles as effective activators of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor. Bioorg Med Chem Lett, 24(11), 2473-6.
  6. Basham KJ, Kieffer C, Shelton DN, Leonard CJ, Bhonde VR, Vankayalapati H, Milash B, Bearss DJ, Looper RE, Welm BE (2013). Chemical genetic screen reveals a role for desmosomal adhesion in mammary branching morphogenesis. J Biol Chem, 288(4), 2261-70.
Last Updated: 8/28/21