McMaster University

Medical Sciences
Graduate Program

Scope of Search

John A. Hassell

John A. Hassell


Research Interests

The mammalian Ets gene family comprises over 30 members that have been grouped into subfamilies based on the relatedness of their sequences. All Ets proteins bear highly related Ets DNA binding domains and either activate or repress transcription. The PEA3 subfamily of Ets genes comprises PEA3, ER81 and ERM. These three genes are co-expressed in many developing tissues and organs during mouse embryogenesis; their overexpression is associated with the genesis and progression of breast and colon cancer. Our research program is centered on elucidating the structure-function and regulation of the expression and activity of the PEA3 subfamily of Ets proteins, and uncovering their role in mammary gland development and oncogenesis. To accomplish our goals we are using state-of-the-art technologies including gene expression profiling with DNA microarrays and various strains of knockout and transgenic mice.


McMaster University
Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning & Discovery

telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 27217

Program Area

Cancer & Genetics

Research Focus

Transcription, Oncogenesis, Breast Cancer, Ets Transcription Factors, Transgenic and Knockout Mice, DNA Microarrays

Selected Publications

  • A program to identify prognostic and predictive gene signatures.Chorlton SD, Hallett RM, Hassell JA. BMC Res Notes. 2014 Aug 18;7:546. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-546.
  • Identification of a novel luminal molecular subtype of breast cancer.Dvorkin-Gheva A, Hassell JA. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 30;9(7):e103514. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103514. eCollection 2014.
  • Mammary glands exhibit molecular laterality and undergo left-right asymmetric ductal epithelial growth in MMTV-cNeu mice*Robichaux JP, Hallett RM, Fuseler JW, Hassell JA, Ramsdell AF.

    Oncogene. 2014 Jun 9. doi: 10.1038/onc.2014.149.