R. Reid Townsend, MD, PhD

R. Reid Townsend, MD, PhD

Primary Academic Title

Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipid Research, Washington University School of Medicine

Research Interest

The identification of cancer biomarkers and novel drug targets using proteomics technology is a major focus of our research efforts. We are currently focusing our efforts in the following areas: 1) membrane proteomics. The interfacial position of integral and associated membrane proteins underpins their importance in abnormal cellular behavior and emphasizes their potential importance as drug targets. We are interested in localizing and defining the dynamics and differences of protein cohorts in subcellular membranes and organelles from cancer cells. 2) Disease-associated protein markers. Using high-resolution protein separation methods, state-of-the-art mass spectrometry and bioinformatics, we are applying differential protein expression analysis to the analysis of biological fluids from defined patient populations to identify markers of cancer presence and type. 3) Phosphoproteomics. The precise locations of phosphate moieties on proteins is the structural basis for understanding key aspects of cellular proliferation. Development of methods which will deliver phophoproteomic view of cellular behavior is a long term goal of our research on post-translational modificiations.


  • 1976: MD/PhD, biochemistry, Tulane University, New Orleans


  • 1976 - 1977: Intern, medicine, Tulane Affiliated Hospitals, New Orleans
  • 1978 - 1981: Fellow, hematology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Selected Research Publications

Stabilizing the Proteomes of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells: Implications for Cancer Proteomics.
  • Sprung RW, Zhang Q, Kramer MH, [...] Townsend RR
  • Mol Cell Proteomics 2024
Proteomic and phosphoproteomic landscapes of acute myeloid leukemia.
  • Kramer MH, Zhang Q, Sprung R, [...] Townsend RR, Ley TJ
  • Blood 2022