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Traci Lyons, PhD

Assistant Professor

Fred Hirsch



  • Ph.D., Biophysics and Genetics
    University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 2006
    Mentor: Steven M Anderson, PhD
    Dissertation: Analysis of Potential Substrates for the
    Pro-survival Kinase Akt

  • B.A. cum laude, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology University of Colorado at Boulder, 1999


Dr. Lyons laboratory focuses on mechanisms of lymphatic mediated metastasis of breast cancer. Specifically, utilizing mouse models to investigate developmentally regulated programs of inflammation and lymphangiogenesis that are utilized in the adult mammary gland and may be hijacked by breast tumor cells. The results of these translational studies have the potential to instruct therapy aimed at prevention of breast cancer metastasis.​


  • NIH/NCI Research Grant (R01)                                                                                                                      
    R01 CA211696-01A1                                                                       2017-2021   
    “Deciphering COX-2/SEMA7A dependent mechanisms of breast tumor progression"
    (Traci R Lyons, PI)

  • American Cancer Society                
    RSG-16-171-010CSM                                                                     2017-2020
    “Investigating the role(s) of SEMA7A in breast tumor progression”
    (Traci R Lyons, PI)

  • Cancer League of Colorado
    AWD#173586-TL                                                                            2017-2018
    “Evaluating the role of pro-lymphangiogenic factor SEMA7A in dampening anti-tumor immunity”
    (Traci R Lyons and Beth Tamburini, Co-PIs)
  • Golfer’s Against Cancer                                                                  2016-2017
    Pilot funding
    Deciphering the tumor extrinsic role of SEMA7A in breast cancer progression”
    (Traci R Lyons and Kirk Hansen, Co-PIs)

  • CancerCure Pilot Award                                                                 2015-2016(NCE)
    “Addressing the role of lymphangiogenesis and obesity in breast cancer metastasis”
    (Traci R Lyons, Paul MacLean, Erin Giles, Elizabeth Wellberg, Co-PIs)


1.     Abitha Jacob, Erik Linklater, Sarah Black, Paul Jedlicka, Traci R Lyons, and Rytis Prekeris.  “The role of miR-204 in regulating Rab40b/Tks5 protein complex during MMP targeting and breast cancer metastasis.” Journal of Cell Science, 2016: doi: 10.1242/jcs.193904.

2.     Virginia Borges, Alan Elder, Traci R Lyons. “Deciphering pro-lymphangiogenic programs during mammary involution and postpartum breast cancer.” Frontiers in Oncology, 02 November 2016 |

3.     Sarah Black, Andrew Nelson, Natalia Gurule, Bernard Futscher, Traci R Lyons. “Semaphorin 7a exerts pleiotropic effects to promote breast tumor progression.” Oncogene, (2016) 35, 5170–5178.

4.     John Morton, Gregory Bird, Stephen Keysar, David Astling, Traci R Lyons, Ryan Anderson, Magdalena Glogowska, Patricia Estes, Justin Eagles, Phuong Le, Gregory Gan, Brett McGettigan, Pamela Fernandez, Nuria Padilla-Just, Marileila Garcia, John Song, Daniel Bowles, Pepper Schedin, Aik Choon Tan, Dennis R Roop, Xiao-Jing Wang, and Yosef Refaeli, Antonio Jimeno. “XactMice: humanizing mouse bone marrow enables microenvironment reconstitution in a patient-derived xenograft model of head and neck cancer" Oncogene. 2016 Jan 21;35(3):290-300. doi: 10.1038/onc.2015.94.

5.     Traci R Lyons, Virginia Borges, Courtney Betts, Qiuchen Guo, Puja Kapoor, Holly Martinson, Sonali Jindal, Pepper Schedin. “Cyclooxygenase-2-dependent lymphangiogenesis promotes nodal metastasis of postpartum breast cancer.” Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2014 Sep 2;124(9):3901-12.

6.     Jaime Fornetti, Holly A. Martinson, Courtney B. Betts, Traci R. Lyons, Sonali Jindal, Qiuchen Guo, Lisa M. Coussens, Virginia F. Borges, Pepper Schedin. “Mammary Gland Involution as an Immunotherapeutic Target for Postpartum Breast Cancer.” Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, 2014 Vol: 19(2):213-228.

7.     Ori Maller, Kirk Hansen, Traci R Lyons, Irene Acerbi, Valerie M Weaver, Rytis Prekeris, Aik Choon Tan, and Pepper Schedin.Collagen architecture in pregnancy-induced protection from breast cancer.” Journal of Cell Science. 2013 Sep 15;126(Pt 18):4108-10.

8.     Holly Martinson, Traci R Lyons, Erin Giles, Virginia Borges, Pepper Schedin. “Developmental windows of breast cancer risk provide opportunities for targeted chemoprevention.” Experimental Cell Research, 2013 May 9. pii: S0014-4827(13)00189-4.

9.     Eryn B. Callihan, Dexiang Gao, Sonali Jindal, Traci R Lyons, Elizabeth Manthey, Susan Edgerton, Alexander Urquhart, Pepper Schedin, Virginia F. Borges. “Postpartum Diagnosis Demonstrates a High Risk for Metastasis and Merits an Expanded Definition of Pregnancy-Associated Breast Cancer.” Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2013 Apr; 138(2):549-59.

10.   Lyons TR, O’Brien JO, Borges VF, Conklin MW, Keely PJ, Eliceiri KW, Marusyk A, Tan AC, Schedin, PJ.  “Postpartum involution drives DCIS progression through collagen and COX-2.” Nature Medicine.17, 1109–1115(2011).

11.   Jenean O’Brien*, Traci R Lyons*, Jennifer Monks, M. Scott Lucia, R. Storey Wilson, Lisa Hines, Yan-gao Man, Virginia Borges, and Pepper Schedin. “Alternatively activated macrophages and collagen remodeling characterize the post-partum involuting mammary gland across species.” American Journal of Pathology. 2010 Mar;176(3):1241-55. *these authors contributed equally

12.   Nelson AC, Lyons TR, Young CD, Hansen KC, Anderson SM, and Holt JT. “AKT Regulates BRCA1 Stability in Response to Hormone Signaling.”  Molecular Cellular Endocrinology. 2010 May 5; 319(1-2):129-42.

13.   Traci R Lyons, Pepper J Schedin, Virginia F Borges.  “Pregnancy and Breast Cancer: When They Collide” Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia, Vol. 14, No. 2. 2009, pp. 87-98.

14.   Rhonda Hattar, , Ori Maller, Shauntae McDaniel, Kirk C. Hansen, Karla J. Hedman, Traci R Lyons, Scott Lucia, Storey Wilson, and Pepper Schedin. “Tamoxifen induces pleiotrophic changes in mammary stroma resulting in extracellular matrix that suppresses transformed phenotypes” Breast Cancer Research, 2009, Vol 11 (1).

15.   Traci R Lyons, Jackie Thorburn, Philip W. Ryan, Andrew Thorburn, Steven M. Anderson, and C. Kenneth Kassenbrock. “Regulation of the Pro-apoptotic Scaffolding Protein POSH by Akt.”  Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2007; 282(30):21987-97.

16.   Lyons T, Murray KE, Roberts AW, and Barton, DJ. “Poliovirus 5’-terminal cloverleaf RNA is required in-cis for VPg uridylylation and the initiation of negative strand RNA synthesis.” Journal of Virology, 2001, 75 (22) 10696-10708.​

 PubMed Articles​​