Benjamin Chandler

Graduate Student


I graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in Biology and Biomedical Sciences in 2013. In undergraduate I performed research on a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), SChLAP1, and its role in prostate cancer. Following undergraduate I work as a lab tech and continued my work on characterizing SChLAP1. Currently, I work in Corey Speers lab studying lncRNAs and their role in basal-like breast cancer. When not in lab I can usually be found on the golf course!!

Research Interests

Radiation therapy (RT) remains a mainstay of current clinical management of breast cancer. Although effective in most women, a significant percentage will develop recurrent disease despite this multi-modality therapy, including a significant percentage of the 72,000 women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) each year. Studies detailing the poor response of TNBC to adjuvant RT underscore the biologic differences and as yet undefined oncogenic drivers of these particular types of tumors, with TNBC much less likely to have significant disease and metastasis-free survival advantages from adjuvant RT and chemotherapy treatment in women. Given the lack of targeted agents for TNBC and their relative RT insensitivity (as evidenced by their increased locoregional recurrence risk) it is clear that the development of additional targets for radiosensitization and metastasis prevention represents a critical unmet clinical need. We hypothesize that abnormal expression of the kinases and phosphatases modulates the effectiveness of current therapies for triple-negative breast cancer. Additionally, we hypothesize that these proteins are responsible for the radioresistance phenotype found in many ER- and triple-negative breast cancer patients. Understanding the relationship and regulation of these proteins through bioinformatics and wet lab techniques will allow for the development of novel therapies for ER- breast cancer and/or enhanced radiosensitivity, leading to better patient outcomes in the future.


Prensner JR, Sahu A, Iyer MK, Malik R, Chandler B, Asangani I, Poliakov A, Vergara I, Alshalalfa M, Jenkins R, Davicioni E, Feng F, Chinnaiyan AM. The lncRNAsPCGEM1 and PRNCR1 are not implicated in castration resistant prostate cancer. Oncotarget, 5(6), 1434-1438 (2014).

Presner JR, Iyer MK, Sahu A, Asangani I, Cao Q, Pate L, Vergara I, Davicioni E, Erho N, Ghadesssi M, Jenkins R, Triche T, Malik R, Bedenis R, McGregor N, Ma T, Chen W, Han S, Jing X, Cao X, Wang X, Chandler B, Yan W, Siddiqui J, Kunju L, Dhanasekaran SM, Pienta K, Fend F, Chinnaiyan AM. The long noncoding RNA SChLAP1 promotes aggressive prostate cancer and antagonizes the SWI/SNF complex. Nature Genetics 45, 1392–1398 (2013).

Balbin OB, Presner JR, Sahu A, Yocum A, Shankar S, Majik R, Fermin D, Dhanasekaran SM, Chandler B, Thomas D, Beer DG, Cao X, Nesvizhskii AI, Chinnaiyan AM. Reconstructing targetable pathways in lung cancer by integrating diverse omics data. Nature Communications 4, 2617 (2013).