B.S. University of Florida, 1997Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003Post-Doc ​Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003-2007

"Our lab studies the biochemistry of cellular decision-making using a combination of experimental and computational approaches, with the ultimate goal of rationally designing improved therapeutic approaches for cancer and other diseases."

Matthew J. Lazzara, Associate Professor

Matthew Lazzara received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (with highest honors) from the University of Florida and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he trained in the lab of William Deen. He remained at MIT for postdoctoral studies in the lab of Douglas Lauffenburger and was the recipient of an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Lazzara is presently Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. He is also a member of the UVA Cancer Center.

Work in the Lazzara Lab employs a combination of experimental and computational methods to study problems in cell signaling, the complex biochemical process cells use to make decisions. Current projects focus on the rational (model-driven) identification of combination therapies for brain and pancreas cancers and on fundamental studies of the spatiotemporal regulation of cell signaling by phosphatases and receptor trafficking.

The lab's work is funded by grants from the NIH/National Cancer Institue, American Cancer Society, and National Science Foundation. Dr. Lazzara is the recipient of several teaching awards, including the S. Reid Warren, Jr. Award and the Outstanding Faculty Award of the AIChE Delaware Valley, and is a member of the editorial board of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering and the Cancer Drug Discovery Peer Review Committee at the American Cancer Society. He also served for more than 10 years on the National Board and Board of Directors of the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, FL.

Research Interests

  • Cell signaling and cellular decision-making
  • Systems biology
  • Targeted therapeutics for cancer
  • Computational modeling of biological phenomena

Selected Publications

  • Cell signaling regulation by protein phosphorylation: a multivariate, heterogeneous, and context-dependent process. Current Opinion in Biotechnology 40: 185-92, 2016. Day EK, Sosale NG, and Lazzara MJ.
  • EGF augments TGFβ-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition by promoting SHP2 binding to GAB1. Journal of Cell Science 128: 3898-909, 2015. Buonato JM, Lan IS, and Lazzara MJ.
  • EGFR-activated Src family kinases maintain GAB1-SHP2 complexes distal from EGFR. Science Signaling 8: ra46, 2015. Furcht CM, Buonato JM, and Lazzara MJ.
  • Sprouty2 drives drug resistance and proliferation in glioblastoma. Molecular Cancer Research 13: 1227-37, 2015. Walsh AM, Kapoor GS, Buonato JM, Mathew LK, Bi Y, Davuluri RV, Martinez-Lage M, Simon MC, O’Rourke DM, and Lazzara MJ.
  • ERK1/2 blockade prevents epithelial-mesenchymal transition and promotes cellular sensitivity to EGFR inhibition in lung cancer cells. Cancer Research 74: 309-319, 2014. Buonato JM and Lazzara MJ.