Kay F. Macleod

Dr. Kay F. Macleod

The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center


Dr. Macleod is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh (B.Sc. Hons) and obtained her Ph.D from the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Glasgow. Following post-doctoral fellowships at the Pasteur Institute (with Dominique Stehelin) and at the MIT Center for Cancer Research (with Tyler Jacks), Dr. Macleod set up her own independent research laboratory at the University of Chicago. Building on her work performed as a post-doc at MIT, the Macleod Lab initially focused on the role of the RB tumor suppressor gene in stress responses and cellular homeostasis and how these mechanisms are derailed in cancer.

Findings from this research (showing regulation of mitophagy adaptors by RB/E2F) led to exciting new directions in more recent times examining the role of autophagy and mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer, including identifying a critical role for autophagy in focal adhesion disassembly during tumor cell migration and metastasis. The current research goals of the Macleod lab are to understand how mitophagy defects and mitochondrial dysfunction modulates tumor progression to metastasis, with an emphasis on breast cancer and liver cancer, in addition to analysis of mitochondrial homeostasis in normal liver metabolism. Dr. Macleod is Chair of the graduate program in Cancer Biology at the University of Chicago, Director of the NCI-funded T32 “Multi-disciplinary Training grant in Cancer Research” (MTCR) and a program leader in the NCI-designated University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC). At a national level, Dr. Macleod serves on various review panels and is President of CABTRAC (Cancer Biology Training Consortium) for 2019.