Metabolic and Signaling Vulnerabilities in Prostate Cancer

Principal Investigator: 
Maria Diaz-Meco Conde, Ph.D.

The focus of the Diaz-Meco laboratory is the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control tumor initiation and progression, and therapy resistance, with a particular interest in the control of lineage plasticity in prostate cancer. The approach of this laboratory is to identify metabolic and epigenetic vulnerabilities that will serve as therapeutic targets for new anti-cancer medicines that would selectively impact the growth and survival of the tumor cell, irrespective of its oncogenic load. The Diaz-Meco lab has recently identified the metabolic pathways underlying the acquisition of therapy-resistance in patients of the most aggressive form of metastatic prostate cancer. These studies unraveled potential therapeutic targets in the control of the metabolic and epigenetic programs whose therapeutic manipulation could restore sensitivity to androgen-deprivation therapy to patients that have become refractory to this type of treatment. The laboratory also studies the metabolic impact that reprogramming of the stroma has on prostate cancer cells and how that crosstalk is regulated during tumor initiation and progression.

Weill Cornell Medicine published Newsroom article on our research. Read it here!

Active Projects

  • Epigenetic reprogramming during neuroendocrine differentiation
  • Metabolic control of lineage plasticity by PKCλ⁄ι in neuroendocrine prostate cancer
  • Molecular crosstalk of PKCλ⁄ι with androgen receptor signaling
  • Metabolic vulnerabilities in the tumor microenvironment of prostate cancer
  • Regulation of stromal p62 by tumor epithelial cells in prostate cancer


PI: Maria Diaz-Meco, PhD
The scope of this study is to investigate the role and mechanism of action of PKCλ⁄ι to orchestrate serine metabolism and epigenetic regulation in NEPC, and to identify novel vulnerabilities that can be exploited therapeutically for its treatment.
R01CA246765 NIH/NCI 

PI: Maria Diaz-Meco, PhD
The goal of this project is to understand how cells translate nutrient-sensing signals to mTORC1, a critical event in prostate cancer progression.
R01CA192642 NIH/NCI 

PI: Maria Diaz-Meco, PhD
The proposed study will provide a detailed understanding of the mechanisms whereby the stromal compartment generates a metabolic microenvironment more resistant to nutrient stress in prostate cancer.
R01CA218254 NIH/NCI 

Co-PI: Maria Diaz-Meco, PhD
The scope of this study is to investigate the role and mechanism of action of PKCλ⁄ι as an essential regulator of autophagy and cell death in intestinal cell homeostasis and inflammation-driven tumorigenesis.
R01CA207177 NIH/NCI 

Co-PI: Maria Diaz-Meco, PhD
The scope of the proposed project is to identify inhibitors of PHGDH, a cancer metabolism target.
16X113-PHGDH NCI-NeXT Program 

Co-PI: Maria Diaz-Meco, PhD
The scope is to test the effect of PVHA in serrated tumors.
RCA 19-02 Halozyme, Inc  

Co-PI: Maria Diaz-Meco, PhD
WCM Prostate Cancer SPORE Developmental Research Program

Lab Team

Metabolic and Signaling Vulnerabilities in Prostate Cancer Lab Team

Additional Key Academic Personnel

Shanka Chatterjee
Post Doc
Tania Cid-Diaz
Post Doc
M. Imran Khan
Post Doc
Anxo Martinez-Ordonez
Post Doc
Sadaaki Nishimura
Post Doc
Marta Osrodek
Post Doc
Marc Ruiz-Martinez
Post Doc
Xiao Zhang
Post Doc

Photo Gallery

Contact Information

Maria T. Diaz-Meco, Ph.D.
Homer T. Hirst III Professor of Oncology in Pathology
Rockefeller University

1230 York Avenue
Weill 11th Floor
New York, NY 10065

Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 1300 York Avenue New York, NY 10065 Phone: (212) 746-6464
Surgical Pathology: (212) 746-2700