Michael Goldstein, MD, PhD


Michael GoldsteinI was born in Russia and raised in Germany where I completed my MD/PhD at the University of Mainz School of Medicine. I then joined Dr. Michael Kastan’s lab at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a postdoc where I studied the nucleosome dynamics at the DNA double-strand break. I finished my postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University after the lab relocated there and completed an internship in Medicine at Duke. I then completed a clinical residency in Radiation Oncology at Washington University/Barnes Jewish Hospital in 2021 and joined the faculty at the Department of Radiation Oncology as an instructor where I continue to pursue my research in DNA damage responses as Principal Investigator.


My laboratory investigates epigenetic mechanisms of cellular responses to radiation- and chemotherapy-induced DNA damage in pediatric and adult tumors of the Central Nervous System as well as HPV-induced tumors. The primary aim of the laboratory is to identify new molecular pathways that can be pharmacologically targeted to improve tumor response to treatment with radiation and chemotherapy. My research focuses on epigenetic changes that occur at the sites of DNA damage including chromatin structure modulation and post-translational modification of histone proteins. These events are critical for repair of DNA lesions making chromatin modifying enzymes attractive targets for sensitization of cancer to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Additionally, I study global epigenetic events that regulate tumor response to treatment. The ultimate goal of my research is to identify cancer-specific epigenetic signaling pathways that can be targeted to sensitize cancer cells to radiation and chemotherapy while sparing healthy tissues. This will allow designing personalized therapies for cancer patients.