Matthew Vander Heiden

Matthew Vander Heiden

Associate Professor of Biology; Associate Director, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

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. Increased PHGDH expression promotes aberrant melanin accumulation. Mattaini, KR, Sullivan, MR, Lau, AN, Fiske, BP, Bronson, RT, Vander Heiden, MG. 2019. BMC Cancer 19, 723.
    doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-5933-5PMID:31331318
  2. Determinants of nutrient limitation in cancer. Sullivan, MR, Vander Heiden, MG. 2019. Crit. Rev. Biochem. Mol. Biol. 54, 193-207.
    doi: 10.1080/10409238.2019.1611733PMID:31162937
  3. Putting the K+ in K+aloric Restriction. Lien, EC, Lau, AN, Vander Heiden, MG. 2019. Immunity 50, 1129-1131.
    doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.04.016PMID:31117009
  4. Increased Serine Synthesis Provides an Advantage for Tumors Arising in Tissues Where Serine Levels Are Limiting. Sullivan, MR, Mattaini, KR, Dennstedt, EA, Nguyen, AA, Sivanand, S, Reilly, MF, Meeth, K, Muir, A, Darnell, AM, Bosenberg, MW et al.. 2019. Cell Metab. 29, 1410-1421.e4.
    doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2019.02.015PMID:30905671
  5. PKM2 is not required for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Hillis, AL, Lau, AN, Devoe, CX, Dayton, TL, Danai, LV, Di Vizio, D, Vander Heiden, MG. 2018. Cancer Metab 6, 17.
    doi: 10.1186/s40170-018-0188-1PMID:30386596
  6. Lack of evidence for substrate channeling or flux between wildtype and mutant isocitrate dehydrogenase to produce the oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate. Dexter, JP, Ward, PS, Dasgupta, T, Hosios, AM, Gunawardena, J, Vander Heiden, MG. 2018. J. Biol. Chem. 293, 20051-20061.
    doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA118.004278PMID:30381394
  7. Microenvironmental regulation of cancer cell metabolism: implications for experimental design and translational studies. Muir, A, Danai, LV, Vander Heiden, MG. 2018. Dis Model Mech 11, .
    doi: 10.1242/dmm.035758PMID:30104199
  8. Aspartate is an endogenous metabolic limitation for tumour growth. Sullivan, LB, Luengo, A, Danai, LV, Bush, LN, Diehl, FF, Hosios, AM, Lau, AN, Elmiligy, S, Malstrom, S, Lewis, CA et al.. 2018. Nat. Cell Biol. 20, 782-788.
    doi: 10.1038/s41556-018-0125-0PMID:29941931
  9. Altered exocrine function can drive adipose wasting in early pancreatic cancer. Danai, LV, Babic, A, Rosenthal, MH, Dennstedt, EA, Muir, A, Lien, EC, Mayers, JR, Tai, K, Lau, AN, Jones-Sali, P et al.. 2018. Nature 558, 600-604.
    doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0235-7PMID:29925948
  10. The nutrient environment affects therapy. Muir, A, Vander Heiden, MG. 2018. Science 360, 962-963.
    doi: 10.1126/science.aar5986PMID:29853672
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