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Home > Meet PAF > PAF Leaders & Board Members > Pamela S. Becker, MD, PhD

Pamela S. Becker, MD, PhD

Education/Training


A.B. - 1979 - Biochemical Sciences - Harvard-Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA
M.D. - 1986 - Medicine - Harvard Medical School-M.I.T Health Sciences & Technology Program
Ph.D. - 1986 - Cell & Dev. Biol., Div. Med. Sci.

Positions and Honors


1986-1988 - Intern and Asst. Res, Dept. of Medicine, Beth Israel Hosp., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
1988-1991 - Postdoc Fellow, Hematol Section, Intl Med, Yale Univ Sch Med, New Haven, CT
1991-1993 - Assoc Res Scientist, then Instructor, Internal Med, Yale Univ Sch Med, New Haven, CT
1993-1999 - Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology, UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA
1993-2000 - Associate Director, Bone Marrow Transplantation, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA
1995-2003 - Director, Gene Therapy Laboratory; Director, Gaucher Disease Center, UMass Memorial Medical Ctr.
1999-2003 - Assoc Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology, UMass Medical School, Worcester, MA
2000-2003 - Chief, Div of Gene Therapy, Dept of Medicine, Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
2002-2003 - Director, Stem Cell and Cryopreservation Laboratory, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA
2003-present - Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
2004-2005 - Associate Program Director, Gene and Cell Therapy Laboratory, General Clinical Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
2005-present - Affiliate Investigator, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

Honors and Awards


1986 Harvard Medical School Harold Lamport Biomedical Research Prize
2001 Excellence in Education Award, UMass Medical School Women’s Faculty Committee

Selected peer-reviewed publications (in chronological order)


1. Becker, P.S., Spiegel, J.E., Wolfe, L.C., and Lux, S.E. High yield purification of protein 4.1 from
human erythrocyte membranes. Anal. Biochem. 132:195-201, 1983.
2. Becker, P.S., Cohen, C.M., and Lux, S.E. The effect of mild diamide oxidation on the structure
and function of human erythrocyte spectrin. J. Biol.Chem. 261:4620-4628, 1986.
3. Becker, P.S., Morrow, J.S., and Lux, S.E. Abnormal oxidant sensitivity and beta chain structure of
spectrin in hereditary spherocytosis associated with defective spectrin-protein 4.1 binding. J Clin
Invest 80:557-565,1987.
4. Becker P.S., Schwartz, M.A., Morrow, J.S., and Lux, S.E. Label-transfer crosslinking
demonstrates that protein binds to N-terminal beta spectrin and actin in binary interactions. Eur J
Biochem,193:827-836, 1990.
5. Becker, P.S., Tse, W.T., Lux, S.E. and Forget, B.G. Beta spectrin Kissimmee: A spectrin variant
associated with autosomal dominant hereditary spherocytosis and defective binding to protein 4.1. J
Clin Invest, 92:612-616, 1993.
6. Horne, W.C., Huang, S.C., Becker, P.S., Tang, T.K. and Benz, E.J., Jr. Tissue-specific alternative
splicing of protein 4.1. inserts an exon necessary for formation of the ternary complex with
erythrocyte spectrin and F-actin. Blood, 82:2558-2563, 1993.
7. Becker, P.S., Li, Z., Potselueva, T., Madri, J.A., Newburger, P.E. and Berliner, N. Laminin
promotes differentiation of NB4 promyelocytic leukemia cells with All-trans-retinoic acid.
Blood.88:261-267, 1996.
8. Becker, P.S., Wagle, M., Matous, S., Swanson, R.S., Pihan, G., Lowry, P.S. Stewart, F.M., Heard,
S.O. Spontaneous splenic rupture following administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor
(G-CSF): Occurrence in an allogeneic donor of peripheral blood stem cells. Biol. Blood Marrow
Transplant 3:45-49, 1997.
9. Becker, P.S., Clavell, L.A., and Beardsley, D.S. Giant platelets with abnormal surface
glycoproteins: a new familial disorder associated with mitral valve insufficiency. J. Ped. Hematol
Oncol. 20:69-73, 1998.
10. Nilsson, SK, Debatis, ME, Dooner, MS, Madri, JA, Quesenberry,PJ, Becker, PS.
Immunofluorescence characterization of key extracellular matrix proteins in murine bone marrow in
vivo. J Histochem Biochem 46: 371-7, 1998.
11. Ballen, K.K., Hsieh, C.C., Levy, W., Becker, P.S., Lee, K., Butler, K., Lefebvre, K., Quesenberry,
P., Stewart, F.M. Coverage of bone marrow transplant patients: A survey of American and Canadian
Institutions. Biol. Blood Marrow Transplantation 4:49-55, 1998.
12. Ballen, K.K., Becker, P., Lefebvre, K., Emmons, R., Lee, K., Levy, W., Stewart, F.M.,
Quesenberry, P., and Lowry, P. Safety and cost of hyperhydration for the prevention of hemorrhagic
cystitis in bone marrow transplant recipients. Oncology 57:287-292, 1999.
13. Becker, P.S., Nilsson, S.K., Li, Z., Berrios, V.M, Dooner, M.S., Cooper, C.L., Hsieh, C.C. and
Quesenberry, P.J. Adhesion receptor expression by hematopoietic cell lines and murine progenitors:
Modulation by cytokines and cell cycle status. Exp. Hematol. 27:533-541, 1999.
14. Jillella, A.P., Doria, R., Khan, K., Zelterman, D., Ahmad, Y.H., Smith, B.R., Holmes, W., Becker,
P., Roberts, K.B., and Rappeport, J.M. Cyclophosphamide, cytosine arabinoside and TBI as a
conditioning regimen for allogeneic bone marrow transplantation in patients with leukemia. Bone
Marrow Transplant 23:1095-1100, 1999.
15. Ballen, K.K., Becker, P.S., Greiner, D., Valinski, H., Shearin, D., Berrios, V., Hsieh, C.C., Wuu,
J., Shultz, L., Cerny, J., Leif, J., Stewart, F.M., Quesenberry, P. Effect of ex-vivo cytokine treatment
on human cord blood engraftment in NODscid mice. Br. J. Haematol. 108:629-640, 2000.
16. Dooner, G.J., Barker, J.E., Gallagher, P.G., Debatis, M.E., Brown, A.H., Forget, B.G., Becker,
P.S. Gene transfer to ankyrin deficient bone marrow corrects spherocytosis in vitro. Exp. Hematol.
28:765-774, 2000.
17. Ballen, K.K., Ford, P.A., Waitkus, H., Emmons, R.V.B., Levy, W., Doyle, P., Stewart, F.M., Quesenberry, P.J., Becker, P.S. Successful autologous bone marrow transplant without the use of blood product support. Bone Marrow Transplantation 26:227-229, 2000.
18. Ballen, K.K., Valinski, H., Greiner, D., Shultz, L.D., Becker, P.S., Hsieh, C.C., Stewart, F.M., Quesenberry, P.J. Variables to predict engraftment of umbilical cord blood into immunodeficient mice: usefulness of the non-obese diabetic severe combined immunodeficient assay. Br. J. Haematol. 114: 211-219, 2001.
19. Ballen, K.K., Hesketh, A.M., Heyes, C., Becker, P.S., Emmons, R.V.B., Fogarty, K., LaPointe, J., Liu, Q., Hsieh, C.-C., Hesketh, P.J. Prospective evaluation of antiemetic outcome following high dose chemotherapy with hematopoietic stem cell support. Bone Marrow Transplant 28:1061-6, 2001.
20. Berrios, V.M., Dooner, G.J., Nowakowski, G., Frimberger, A., Valinski, H., Quesenberry, P.J., Becker, P.S. The molecular basis for the cytokine induced defect in homing and engraftment of hematopoietic stem cells. Exp Hematol 29:1326-1335, 2001.
21. Rossi, H., O’Donnell, J., Sarcinelli, F., Stewart, F.M., Quesenberry, P.J.,and Becker, P.S. GM-CSF priming with successive concomitant therapy with low dose Ara-C for elderly patients with secondary/refractory acute myeloid leukemia or advanced myelodysplastic syndrome. Leukemia 16:301-5, 2002.
22. Ballen, K.K., Becker, P.S., Emmons, RVB., Fitzgerald, TJ, Hsieh, CC, Doyle, P, Heyes, C, Clark, Y, Badonnel M.C., Chiafari, F., Szymanski, I., Rososhansky, S., Popovsky, M.A., Stewart, F.M. Low dose total body irradiation followed by allogeneic lymphocyte infusion induces tumor regression in refractory cancer patients. Blood 100:442-450, 2002.
23. Cerny, J. Dooner, M., McAuliffe, C., Habibian, H., Stencil, K., Berrios, V., Reilly, J. Carlson, J., Cerny, A.M., d’Hondt, L., Benoit, B., Lambert, J.-F., Colvin, G., Becker, P. and Quesenberry, P. Homing of purified murine lymphohematopoietic stem cells: A cytokine-induced defect. J. Hematother and Stem Cell Res, 11:913-22, 2002.
24. Rossi, H.A., Becker, P.S., Emmons, R.V.B., Westervelt, P., Levy, W., Liu, Q., Clark, Y., Ballen, K. High dose cyclophosphamide, BCNU, and VP-16 (CBV) conditioning before allogeneic stem cell transplantation for patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Bone Marrow Transplant, 31:441-446, 2003.
25. Lambert, J.F., Liu, M., Colvin, G., Dooner, M., McAuliffe, C., Becker, P.S., Forget, B.G., Weissman, S.M., Quesenberry, P.J. Marrow stem cells shift gene expression and engraftment phenotype with cell cycle transit. J. Exp. Med., 197:1563-72, 2003.
26. Baik, I., Becker, P.S., DeVito, W., Lagiou, P., Ballen, K.K., Quesenberry, P.J., and Hsieh, C.-C.Stem cells and prenatal origin of breast cancer. Cancer Causes and Control, 15:517-530, 2004
27. Nowakowski, G.S., Dooner, M.S., Valinski, H.M., Mihaliak, A.M., Quesenberry, P.J., and Becker, P.S. A specific heptapeptide from a phage display peptide library homes to bone marrow and binds to primitive hematopoietic stem cells. Stem Cells, 22:1030-1038, 2004.
28. Ballen, K.K., Becker, P.S., Yeap, B.Y., Matthews, B., Henry, D.H., Ford, P.A. Autologous stem cell transplant can be performed safely without the use of blood product support. J. Clin. Oncol., 22:4087-4094, 2004.
29. Baik, I., Devito, W.J., Ballen, K., Becker, P.S., Okuliez, W., Liu, Q., Delpapa, E., Lagiou, P., Sturgeon, S., Trichopoulos, D., Quesenberry, P.J., and Hsieh, C.C. Association of fetal hormone levels with stem cell potential: evidence for early life roots in human cancer. Cancer Res., 65:358-363, 2005.
30. Gold J., Valinski H.M., Hanks A.N., Ballen K.K., Hsieh C.-C., Becker P.S. Adhesion receptor expression by CD34+ cells from peripheral blood or bone marrow grafts: Correlation with time to engraftment. Exp Hematol, 34:680-687, 2006.
31. Becker P.S., Kopecky K.J., Wilks A.N., Chien S., Harlan J.M., Willman C.L., Petersdorf S.H., Stirewalt D.L., Papayannopoulou T., Appelbaum F.R.. Very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) function of myeloblasts correlates with improved overall survival for patients with acute myeloid leukemia Blood, on line Oct. 2008.

Ongoing Research Support


R01 HL085693 (PI- H.P. Kiem; Subcontract PI-P.S. Becker)
7/24/2006 – 6/30/2010
NIH/NHLBI Gene Therapy for Fanconi Anemia
Our ultimate goal is to improve or cure the hematopoietic symptoms in FA patients by lentivirus-mediated HSC gene transfer, and develop methodologies that would be applicable to other genetic disorders and hematological diseases.
No overlap.

R01 CA114218-01 (PI- H.P. Kiem; co-Investigator-P.S. Becker)
8/1/06-7/31/2011
NIH/NCI
Hematopoietic Chemoprotection in Glioblastoma Patients
This study will address the safety, feasibility, and tumor response of dose-intensive chemotherapy in combination with chemoprotected autologous stem cells in patients with glioblastomas.
No overlap.

Translational Research Program 6172-06 (PI-P.S. Becker)
10/1/2005 - 9/30/2008, no cost extension
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Overcoming adhesion mediated chemotherapy resistance in acute myelogenous leukemia.
To determine whether there is evidence supporting the potential sue of antibody to VLA-4 as an adjunct to chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with AML
No overlap.

Translational Research Program (PI-P.S. Becker)
10/1/2008 - 9/30/2011
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Extricating Leukemia Stem Cells from the Protected Marrow Microenvironment.
To delineate the functionally activated adhesion receptors specifically expressed by leukemia stem cells, as opposed to the total blast population, that are critical to their retention in the marrow.