Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Rockefeller University (2015)
  • Doctor of Medicine, Cornell University (2016)
  • Board Certification, American Board of Radiology, Radiation Oncology (2022)
  • Residency, Stanford University Medical Center, Radiation Oncology (2021)
  • MD, Weill Cornell Medical College, Medicine (2016)
  • PhD, The Rockefeller University, Cancer Biology (2015)
  • BS, Stanford University, Biological Sciences (2006)

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Depleting myeloid-biased haematopoietic stem cells rejuvenates aged immunity. Nature Ross, J. B., Myers, L. M., Noh, J. J., Collins, M. M., Carmody, A. B., Messer, R. J., Dhuey, E., Hasenkrug, K. J., Weissman, I. L. 2024


    Ageing of the immune system is characterized by decreased lymphopoiesis and adaptive immunity, and increased inflammation and myeloid pathologies1,2. Age-related changes in populations of self-renewing haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are thought to underlie these phenomena3. During youth, HSCs with balanced output of lymphoid and myeloid cells (bal-HSCs) predominate over HSCs with myeloid-biased output (my-HSCs), thereby promoting the lymphopoiesis required for initiating adaptive immune responses, while limiting the production of myeloid cells, which can be pro-inflammatory4. Ageing is associated with increased proportions of my-HSCs, resulting in decreased lymphopoiesis and increased myelopoiesis3,5,6. Transfer of bal-HSCs results in abundant lymphoid and myeloid cells, a stable phenotype that is retained after secondary transfer; my-HSCs also retain their patterns of production after secondary transfer5. The origin and potential interconversion of these two subsets is still unclear. If they are separate subsets postnatally, it might be possible to reverse the ageing phenotype by eliminating my-HSCs in aged mice. Here we demonstrate that antibody-mediated depletion of my-HSCs in aged mice restores characteristic features of a more youthful immune system, including increasing common lymphocyte progenitors, naive T cells and B cells, while decreasing age-related markers of immune decline. Depletion of my-HSCs in aged mice improves primary and secondary adaptive immune responses to viral infection. These findings may have relevance to the understanding and intervention of diseases exacerbated or caused by dominance of the haematopoietic system by my-HSCs.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-024-07238-x

    View details for PubMedID 38538791

    View details for PubMedCentralID 3250139

  • Identification of molecular determinants of primary and metastatic tumour re-initiation in breast cancer NATURE CELL BIOLOGY Ross, J. B., Huh, D., Noble, L. B., Tavazoie, S. F. 2015; 17 (5): 651-U258


    Through in vivo selection of multiple ER-negative human breast cancer populations for enhanced tumour-forming capacity, we have derived subpopulations that generate tumours more efficiently than their parental populations at low cell numbers. Tumorigenic-enriched subpopulations exhibited increased expression of LAMA4, FOXQ1 and NAP1L3—genes that are also expressed at greater levels by independently derived metastatic subpopulations. These genes promote metastatic efficiency. FOXQ1 promotes LAMA4 expression, and LAMA4 enhances clonal expansion following substratum detachment in vitro, tumour re-initiation in multiple organs, and disseminated metastatic cell proliferation and colonization. The promotion of cancer cell proliferation and tumour re-initiation by LAMA4 requires β1-integrin. Increased LAMA4 expression marks the transition of human pre-malignant breast lesions to malignant carcinomas, and tumoral LAMA4 overexpression predicts reduced relapse-free survival in ER-negative patients. Our findings reveal common features that govern primary and metastatic tumour re-initiation and identify a key molecular determinant of these processes.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncb3148

    View details for Web of Science ID 000353771500013

    View details for PubMedID 25866923

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4609531

  • Radiotherapy in combination with CD47 blockade elicits a macrophage-mediated abscopal effect. Nature cancer Nishiga, Y., Drainas, A. P., Baron, M., Bhattacharya, D., Barkal, A. A., Ahrari, Y., Mancusi, R., Ross, J. B., Takahashi, N., Thomas, A., Diehn, M., Weissman, I. L., Graves, E. E., Sage, J. 2022


    Radiation therapy is a mainstay of cancer treatment but does not always lead to complete tumor regression. Here we combine radiotherapy with blockade of the 'don't-eat-me' cell-surface molecule CD47 in small cell lung cancer (SCLC), a highly metastatic form of lung cancer. CD47 blockade potently enhances the local antitumor effects of radiotherapy in preclinical models of SCLC. Notably, CD47 blockade also stimulates off-target 'abscopal' effects inhibiting non-irradiated SCLC tumors in mice receiving radiation. These abscopal effects are independent of T cells but require macrophages that migrate into non-irradiated tumor sites in response to inflammatory signals produced by radiation and are locally activated by CD47 blockade to phagocytose cancer cells. Similar abscopal antitumor effects were observed in other cancer models treated with radiation and CD47 blockade. The systemic activation of antitumor macrophages following radiotherapy and CD47 blockade may be particularly important in patients with cancer who suffer from metastatic disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s43018-022-00456-0

    View details for PubMedID 36411318

  • PTPRN2 and PLCb1 promote metastatic breast cancer cell migration through PI(4,5)P-2-dependent actin remodeling EMBO JOURNAL Sengelaub, C. A., Navrazhina, K., Ross, J. B., Halberg, N., Tavazoie, S. F. 2016; 35 (1): 62-76


    Altered abundance of phosphatidyl inositides (PIs) is a feature of cancer. Various PIs mark the identity of diverse membranes in normal and malignant cells. Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) resides predominantly in the plasma membrane, where it regulates cellular processes by recruiting, activating, or inhibiting proteins at the plasma membrane. We find that PTPRN2 and PLCβ1 enzymatically reduce plasma membrane PI(4,5)P2 levels in metastatic breast cancer cells through two independent mechanisms. These genes are upregulated in highly metastatic breast cancer cells, and their increased expression associates with human metastatic relapse. Reduction in plasma membrane PI(4,5)P2 abundance by these enzymes releases the PI(4,5)P2-binding protein cofilin from its inactive membrane-associated state into the cytoplasm where it mediates actin turnover dynamics, thereby enhancing cellular migration and metastatic capacity. Our findings reveal an enzymatic network that regulates metastatic cell migration through lipid-dependent sequestration of an actin-remodeling factor.

    View details for DOI 10.15252/embj.201591973

    View details for Web of Science ID 000367919700006

    View details for PubMedID 26620550

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4717998

  • A genetic screen to isolate type III effectors translocated into pepper cells during Xanthomonas infection PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Roden, J. A., Belt, B., Ross, J. B., Tachibana, T., Vargas, J., Mudgett, M. B. 2004; 101 (47): 16624-16629


    The bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv) uses a type III secretion system (TTSS) to translocate effector proteins into host plant cells. The TTSS is required for Xcv colonization, yet the identity of many proteins translocated through this apparatus is not known. We used a genetic screen to functionally identify Xcv TTSS effectors. A transposon 5 (Tn5)-based transposon construct including the coding sequence for the Xcv AvrBs2 effector devoid of its TTSS signal was randomly inserted into the Xcv genome. Insertion of the avrBs2 reporter gene into Xcv genes coding for proteins containing a functional TTSS signal peptide resulted in the creation of chimeric TTSS effector::AvrBs2 fusion proteins. Xcv strains containing these fusions translocated the AvrBs2 reporter in a TTSS-dependent manner into resistant BS2 pepper cells during infection, activating the avrBs2-dependent hypersensitive response (HR). We isolated seven chimeric fusion proteins and designated the identified TTSS effectors as Xanthomonas outer proteins (Xops). Translocation of each Xop was confirmed by using the calmodulin-dependent adenylate cydase reporter assay. Three xop genes are Xanthomonas spp.-specific, whereas homologs for the rest are found in other phytopathogenic bacteria. XopF1 and XopF2 define an effector gene family in Xcv. XopN contains a eukaryotic protein fold repeat and is required for full Xcv pathogenicity in pepper and tomato. The translocated effectors identified in this work expand our knowledge of the diversity of proteins that Xcv uses to manipulate its hosts.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0407383101

    View details for Web of Science ID 000225347400045

    View details for PubMedID 15545602

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC534543