Brian A. Hemmings

Brian A. Hemmings

Targeting the cancer kinome

Judging simply by the abundance of protein kinase and protein phosphatase genes, protein phosphorylation is a very important regulatory mechanism. Our current work focuses on the role of these enzymes in eukaryotic signaling pathways and their possible implications in human diseases.

Signal transduction pathways in mammalian cells function through the coordinated activation, or inactivation of protein kinases and phosphatases localized in the cell membrane, cytoplasm or nucleus. Many human diseases result from deregulation of signal transduction pathways; for example, the proliferation signal pathways of cancer cells are permanently upregulated following mutation of key regulatory enzymes.

Our current research activities focus on targeting novel kinases involved in the development and progression of glioblastoma, ovarian cancer and lymphoma with the ultimate aim of finding new personalized therapeutic strategies.

Most highly cited paper
Cross DAE, Alessi DR, Cohen P, Andjelkovich M, Hemmings BA (1995)
Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 by insulin mediated by protein kinase B

Nature 378, 785-789

Tang F, Zhang L, Xue G, Hynx D, Wang Y, Cron PD, Hundsrucker C, Hergovich A, Frank S, Hemmings BA, Schmitz-Röhmer D (2014) hMOB3 modulates MST1 apoptotic signaling and supports tumor growth in glioblastoma multiforme

Cancer Res 74:3779-89

Grzmil M, Huber RM, Hess D, Frank S, Hynx D, Moncayo G, Klein D, Merlo A, Hemmings BA (2014) MNK1 pathway activity maintains protein synthesis in rapalog-treated gliomas

J Clin Invest 124:742-754

Wang Y, Moncayo G, Morin P Jr, Xue G, Grzmil M, Lino MM, Clément-Schatlo V, Frank S, Merlo A, Hemmings BA (2013) Mer receptor tyrosine kinase promotes invasion and survival in glioblastoma multiforme

Oncogene 32:872-882

Xue G, Restuccia DF, Lan Q, Hynx D, Dirnhofer S, Hess D, Rüegg C, Hemmings BA (2012) Akt/PKB-mediated phosphorylation of Twist1 promotes tumor metastasis via mediating cross-talk between PI3K/Akt and TGF-β signaling axes

Cancer Discov 2:248-259

Zhuravleva E, Gut H, Hynx D, Marcellin D, Bleck CK, Genoud C, Cron P, Keusch JJ, Dummler B, Esposti MD, Hemmings BA (2012) Acyl coenzyme A thioesterase Them5/Acot15 is involved in cardiolipin remodeling and fatty liver development

Mol Cell Biol 32:2685-2697

Cornils H, Kohler RS, Hergovich A, Hemmings BA (2011) Downstream of human NDR kinases: Impacting on c-myc and p21 protein stability to control cell cycle progression

Cell Cycle 10:1897-904

Lu S, Nie J, Luan Q, Feng Q, Xiao Q, Chang Z, Shan C, Hess D, Hemmings BA, Yang Z (2011) Phosphorylation of the twist1-family basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors is involved in pathological cardiac remodeling

PLoS One 6:e19251.

Grzmil M, Morin P Jr, Lino MM, Merlo A, Frank S, Wang Y, Moncayo G, Hemmings BA (2011) MAP kinase-interacting kinase 1 regulates SMAD2-dependent TGF-ß signaling pathway in human glioblastoma

Cancer Res 71:2392-402

Cornils H, Kohler RS, Hergovich A, Hemmings BA (2011) Human NDR kinases control G(1)/S cell cycle transition by directly regulating p21 stability

Mol Cell Biol 31:1382-95

Fayard E, Xue G, Parcellier A, Bozulic L, Hemmings BA (2011) Protein kinase B (PKB/Akt), a key mediator of the PI3K signaling pathway

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol (CTMI) (ed) Vogt P, Rommel, Vanhaesebroeck B., Springer, Heidelberg 346:31-56

Restuccia DF, Hemmings BA (2010) From man to mouse and back again: advances in defining tumor AKTivities in vivo

Dis Model Mech 3:705-20

Kohler RS, Schmitz D, Cornils H, Hemmings BA, Hergovich A (2011) Differential NDR/LATS interactions with the human MOB family reveal a negative role for human MOB2 in the regulation of human NDR kinases

Mol Cell Biol 30:4507-20

Cornils H, Stegert MR, Hergovich A, Hynx D, Schmitz D, Dirnhofer S, Hemmings BA (2010) Ablation of the kinase NDR1 predisposes mice to the development of T cell lymphoma

Sci Signal 3:ra47

Hergovich A, Hemmings BA (2010) TAZ-mediated crosstalk between Wnt and Hippo signaling

Dev Cell 18(4):508-509

Vichalkovski A, Gresko E, Hess D, Restuccia DF, Hemmings BA (2010) PKB/AKT phosphorylation of the transcription factor Twist-1 at Ser42 inhibits p53 activity in response to DNA damage

Oncogene 29:3554-65

Bozulic L, Hemmings BA (2009) PIKKing on PKB: regulation of PKB activity by phosphorylation

Curr Opin Cell Biol 21:256-261

Grzmil M, Hemmings BA (2009) Deregulated signalling networks in human brain tumours

Biochim Biophys Acta 1804(3):476-483

Hergovich A, Hemmings BA (2009) Mammalian NDR/LATS protein kinases in hippo tumor suppressor signaling

Biofactors 35(4):338-45

Hergovich A, Kohler RS, Schmitz D, Vichalkovski A, Cornils H, Hemmings BA (2009) The MST1 and hMOB1 tumor suppressors control human centrosome duplication by regulating NDR kinase phosphorylation

Curr Biol 19:1692-702

Parcellier A, Tintignac LA, Zhuravleva E, Cron P, Schenk S, Bozulic L, Hemmings BA (2009) Carboxy-Terminal Modulator Protein (CTMP) is a mitochondrial protein that sensitizes cells to apoptosis

Cell Signal 21:639-650

Parcellier A, Tintignac LA, Zhuravleva E, Dummler B, Brazil DP, Hynx D, Cron P, Schenk S, Olivieri V, Hemmings BA (2009) The Carboxy-Terminal Modulator Protein (CTMP) regulates mitochondrial dynamics

PLoS ONE. 4:e5471. Epub 2009 May 7

Park J, Feng J, Li Y, Hammarsten O, Brazil DP, Hemmings BA (2009) DNA-dependent protein kinase-mediated phosphorylation of protein kinase B requires a specific recognition sequence in the C-terminal hydrophobic motif

J Biol Chem 284:6169-6174

Restuccia D, Hemmings BA (2009) Blocking Akt-ivity

Science 325:1083-1084

PhD students

Fengyuan Tang (2010-2014)
Simon Manuel Schultze (2009-2013)
Yuhua Wang (2007-2012)
Roland Huber (2011)
Elena Zhuravleva (2006-2011)
Reto Kohler (2006-2011)
Debora Schmitz (2004-2010)
David Restuccia (2005-2010)
Hauke Cornils (2005-2010)
Lana Bozulic (2004-2009)
Banu Sueruecue (2004-2008)
Bettina Duemmler (2002-2006)
Daniel Heisswolf (2006)
Mario Stegert (2000-2006)
Monika Wnuk (2005-2006)
Oliver Tschopp (2001-2005)
Samuel Bichsel (1999-2005)
Karsten Schmidt (1999-2004)
Zhongzhou Yang (1999-2004)
Ivana Galetic (1998-2003)
Jongsun Park (1997-2002)
Natasa Andjelkovic (1992-1997)
Mirjana Andjelkovic (1991-1997)
Iwan Beuvink (1994-1996)
Patric Turowski (1989-1996)
Luigi Catanzariti (1986-1992)
Regina Mayer-Jaekel (1987-1992)
Kuno Schwander (1986-1990)
Markus Wartmann (1987-1990)

Postdoctoral fellows

Michal Grzmil (2008-2015)
Fengyuan Tang (2014-2015)
Gongda Xue (2008-2014)
Debora Schmitz (2010-2014)
Gerald Moncayo (2009-2014)
Lei Zhang (2010-2014)
Simon Manuel Schultze (2014)
Yuhua Wang (2012-2013)
Julia Kleylein-Sohn (2012)
Elena Zhuravleva (2011-2012)
Roland Huber (2011-2012)
Hauke Cornils (2010)
Alexander Hergovich (1999-2010)
Anton Vichalkovski (2005-2009)
Elisabeth Fayard (2004-2009)
Arnaud Parcellier (2005-2009)
Pier Jr Morin (2006-2008)
Lionel Tintignac (2004-2007)
Ekaterina Gresko (2006-2007)
Anne Baudry (2003-2005)
Masahito Hanada (2001-2005)
Zhongzhou Yang (2004-2005)
Jongsun Park (2002-2004)
Jianhua Feng (2000-2004)
Rastislav Tamaskovic (2000-2004)
Derek Brazil (2000-2002)
Michelle Hill (1999-2002)
Sauveur-Michel Maira (1999-2001)
Rick Wansink (2001)
Daniela Brodbeck Hummel (1997-2001)
Maciej Pietrzak (1999-2000)
David Evans (1997-2000)
Lars Hansen (1999-2000)
Mirjana Andjelkovic (1997-2000)
Roger Meier (1996-2000)
Yohei Niikura (2000)
Thomas A. Millward (1993-1999)
Timothy Myles (1996-1999)
Matthias Frech (1995-1998)
Burkhard Scharm (1996-1998)
Jurgen Sonnemann (1995-1996)
Evan Ingley (1991-1995)
Stefaan Wera (1994-1995)
Stanislaw Zolnierowicz (1991-1995)
Bertrand Favre (1991-1994)
Regina Mayer-Jaekel (1992-1994)
Pamela Jones (1989-1992)
Teresa Jakubowicz (1989-1990)
Yee Sim Khew-Goodall (1987-1990)
Francoise Stutz (1987-1988)
Rao S. Adavani (1985-1987)
David Jans (1984-1987)

Technical/Research associates

Peter David Cron (1990-2015)
Debby Hynx (2002-2014)
Francisca Maurer (1987-1990)
Manuela Schwarz(Held-) (1983-1987)
Pia Hessmann (1984-1985)


Salome Stierli (2010-2012)
Wojciech Kulacz (2007-2008)
Sabrina Merat (2007)
Reto Kohler (2005-2006)
Magdalena Paolino (2005-2006)
Lana Bozulic (2003-2004)
Zizhen Yang (2002)
Helen Tolmie (2000)
Ivana Galetic (1997-1998)
Mathias Dick (1992-1993)
Carolynne E. Ford (1992)
Alain Nanzer (1988-1990)
Fernando Pitossi (1988-1989)
Dorothy M. Suput (1986-1987)
Ines Nowak (1985-1986)
Stephan Oehen (1986)
Joanne M. Parsons (1986)
Katja Seipel (1985-1986)
Sarah H. Botterell (1985)

Visiting scientists

David Restuccia (2010-2012)
Wiktor Banachewicz (2003)
Katarzyna Lechward (1996-1999)
Peter A. Hendrix (1989-1990)
Maria Ruzzene (1989-1990)
Wolfgang Wernet (1987)
Wolfgang Heil (1986)


PhD, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
BSc, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

Positions held

Senior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel
Junior Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel
FMI Research Associate, The Rockefeller University, New York
MRC Research Fellow, Medical Sciences Institute, University of Dundee, Dundee
Fogarty Visiting Fellow, NIH, Bethesda, Md., USA
Research Fellow, Biochemisches Institut der Universität, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany


Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London
Executive Committee Basel Signaling Alliance
Faculty 1000
Gairdner Foundation Medical Award Subcommittee
2004 and 2005
In ISI "100 Most Cited Scientists in Biology and Biochemistry"
Novartis Corporate Research Award for Scientific Excellence
Swiss Bridge Award
Member, Scientific Committee, Swiss Cancer League
Cloëtta Prize, Prof. Dr. Max Cloëtta Foundation, Zurich
Japanese Biochemical Society "JB" award
Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven
Philip Godfrey Memorial Lecture of the Biochemical Society Meeting, Glasgow
Member, Evaluation Committee, Göran Gustafsson Foundation (The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences)
Member, EMBO
Belper Graduation Prize, University of Nottingham, Nottingham