Matthew Vander Heiden

Matthew Vander Heiden

Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; Lester Wolfe Professor of Molecular Biology

Matthew Vander Heiden is interested in the role that cell metabolism plays in mammalian physiology, with a focus on cancer.






Peter Jansen



Assistant Phone


  • PhD, 2000, University of Chicago; MD, 2002, University of Chicago
  • SB, 1994, Biological Chemistry, University of Chicago

Research Summary

We study the biochemical pathways cells use and how they are regulated to meet the metabolic requirements of cells in different physiological situations. We focus on the role of metabolism in cancer, particularly how metabolic pathways support cell proliferation. We aim to translate our understanding of cancer cell metabolism into novel cancer therapies.


  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar, 2016
  • SU2C Innovative Research Grant Recipient, 2016

Recent Publications

  1. Patient-Derived Xenografts to Study Cancer Metabolism: When Does X Mark the Spot? Nabel, CS, Vander Heiden, MG. 2021. Cancer Res 81, 4399-4401.
    doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-0770PMID:34470781
  2. FATTY ACID SYNTHESIS IS REQUIRED FOR BREAST CANCER BRAIN METASTASIS. Ferraro, GB, Ali, A, Luengo, A, Kodack, DP, Deik, A, Abbott, KL, Bezwada, D, Blanc, L, Prideaux, B, Jin, X et al.. 2021. Nat Cancer 2, 414-428.
    doi: 10.1038/s43018-021-00183-yPMID:34179825
  3. The CAT-SIR is out of the bag: tumors prefer host rather than dietary nutrients. Abbott, KL, Vander Heiden, MG. 2021. BMC Biol 19, 92.
    doi: 10.1186/s12915-021-01027-yPMID:33966629
  4. Mitochondrial NADPH is a pro at Pro synthesis. Diehl, FF, Vander Heiden, MG. 2021. Nat Metab 3, 453-455.
    doi: 10.1038/s42255-021-00381-zPMID:33833464
  5. Pancreatic β cells put the glutamine engine in reverse. Lien, EC, Vander Heiden, MG. 2021. Cell Metab 33, 702-704.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2021.03.010PMID:33826912
  6. Increased demand for NAD+ relative to ATP drives aerobic glycolysis. Luengo, A, Li, Z, Gui, DY, Sullivan, LB, Zagorulya, M, Do, BT, Ferreira, R, Naamati, A, Ali, A, Lewis, CA et al.. 2021. Mol Cell 81, 691-707.e6.
    doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2020.12.012PMID:33382985
  7. Transcriptional activation of macropinocytosis by the Hippo pathway following nutrient limitation. Sivanand, S, Vander Heiden, MG. 2020. Genes Dev 34, 1253-1255.
    doi: 10.1101/gad.343632.120PMID:33004484
  8. Dissecting cell-type-specific metabolism in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Lau, AN, Li, Z, Danai, LV, Westermark, AM, Darnell, AM, Ferreira, R, Gocheva, V, Sivanand, S, Lien, EC, Sapp, KM et al.. 2020. Elife 9, .
    doi: 10.7554/eLife.56782PMID:32648540
  9. Emerging Roles for Branched-Chain Amino Acid Metabolism in Cancer. Sivanand, S, Vander Heiden, MG. 2020. Cancer Cell 37, 147-156.
    doi: 10.1016/j.ccell.2019.12.011PMID:32049045
  10. Reactive metabolite production is a targetable liability of glycolytic metabolism in lung cancer. Luengo, A, Abbott, KL, Davidson, SM, Hosios, AM, Faubert, B, Chan, SH, Freinkman, E, Zacharias, LG, Mathews, TP, Clish, CB et al.. 2019. Nat Commun 10, 5604.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13419-4PMID:31811141
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