Brent Cochran

Brent Cochran

(617) 636-0442
136 Harrison Avenue
Research/Areas of Interest: The primary research focus of my laboratory is to understand how pathways that regulate cell growth and differentiation are disrupted in cancer. Research in my laboratory is currently focused on the study of cancer stem cells in glioblastomas. The ubiquitous growth factor and cytokine regulated Jak-Stat signal transduction pathway was discovered in my laboratory and continues to be a major focus of our research. Current projects focus on how STAT3 regulates self-renewal and differentiation in cancer stem cells and on genome-wide RNAi screens of these cells.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University, USA, 1984
  • Bachelor of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, 1978


My lab has historically been focused on growth factor signaling to regulate gene expression. In that last several years, we have been focused on identifying molecular targets for glioblastoma. In this regard, my lab was the first to identify the transcription factor family now known as STATs. We have investigated the role of STAT3 signaling in glioblastoma. With our neurosurgical collaborators at Tufts Medical Center, we have successfully isolated glioblastoma stem cell lines from primary human glioblastomas. In addition, we were the first lab to successfully knockdown STAT3 in GBM stem cells with RNAi and show that STAT3 is required for the maintenance of stemness in GBM stem cells. We have developed methods for using shRNA libraries to screen our GBM stem cell lines for genes that are required for cell growth, survival and differentiation under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions . We are also interested in modeling protein networks in cancer cells and are engaged in projects that use computational processing to analyze the biomedical literature.