Wade Gutierrez



Address:  3216D MERFWade Gutierrez
Phone:  (319) 335-4963
Email: wade-gutierrez@uiowa.edu

Mentor:  Rebecca Dodd, PhD

Undergraduate Institution:  Kansas State University

Graduate Program:  Cancer Biology | MSTP

Year Entered Into Program: 2018

Research Description

Novel Chemotherapeutic Treatment of Soft-tissue Sarcomas

Sarcomas are a diverse group of connective tissue tumors that comprise approximately 1% of adult cancers and 15% of pediatric cancers. The profound heterogeneity of sarcomas presents a unique challenge when trying to understand and treat these malignancies. To date, few molecular targets have been identified for chemotherapeutic treatment. The long-term goal of my research is to better understand sarcoma tumor biology and to identify novel therapeutic targets. Specifically, I am investigating the efficacy and mechanism of innovative epigenetic therapy combinations in a unique mouse model of soft-tissue sarcomas developed by our laboratory. I aim to elucidate the mechanisms behind tumor growth control and immune system activation using this model, as well as patient samples from a collaborative Phase 1b clinical trial at the University of Iowa.


  • Winner of the best Clinical Trials & Cancer Outcomes presentation at the HCCC "Virtual" Cancer Research Retreat, University of Iowa, 2020
  • Fellowship appointment on the Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (NIH T32 GM067795), University of Iowa, 2018-2020
  • Sloan Scholar, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Minority Ph.D. (MPHD) Program, University of Iowa Sloan Center for Exemplary Mentoring, 2016
  • Fellowship appointment on the Medical Scientist Training Program (NIH T32 GM007337), University of Iowa, 2016-2018
  • Cancer Center Student Summer Research Training Program Award, University of Kansas Medical Center, 2015


  1. Gutierrez WR, Scherer A, McGivney GR, Brockman QR, Knepper-Adrian V, Laverty EA, Roughton GA, Dodd RD. Divergent immune landscapes of primary and syngeneic Kras-driven mouse tumor models. Sci Rep. 2021 Jan 13;11(1):1098. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-80216-1. PMID: 33441747; PMCID: PMC7806664
  2. Scherer A, Stephens VR, McGivney GR, Gutierrez WR, Laverty E, Knepper-Adrian V, Dodd RD.: Distinct Tumor Microenvironments Are a Defining Feature of Strain-Specific CRISPR/Cas9-Induced MPNSTs. Genes. 11(5):E583, 2020. PMCID: PMC7288323 
  3. Dodd RD, Scherer A, Huang W, McGivney GR, Gutierrez WR, Laverty E, Ashcraft KA, Stephens VR, Yousefpour P, Saha S, Knepper-Adrian VL, Floyd W, Chen M, Ma Y, Mastria EM, Cardona DM, Eward WC, Chilkoti A, Kirsch DG.:  Tumor subtype determines therapeutic response to chimeric polypeptide nanoparticle-based chemotherapy in Pten-deleted mouse models of sarcoma. Clin Cancer Res. 26(18):5036-5047, 2020.  PMCID: PMC7641033
  4. Yong C, Moose DL, Bannick N, Gutierrez WR, Vanneste M, Svensson R, Breheny P, Brown JA, Dodd RD, Cohen MB, Henry MD.:  Locally invasive, castrate-resistant prostate cancer in a Pten/Trp53 double knockout mouse model of prostate cancer monitored with non-invasive bioluminescent imaging. PloS ONE. 15(9):e0232807, 2020.  PMCID: PMC7521703
  5. Gutierrez WR, Bennion DM, Walsh JE, Owen SR.: Vascular pedicled flaps for skull base defect reconstruction. Vascular pedicled flaps for skull base defect reconstruction. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology. 2020;1-10. https://doi.org/10.1002/lio2.471
  6. Gutierrez WR, Scherer A, McGivney GR, Knepper-Adrian V, Laverty EA, Roughton GA, Dodd RD.:  Divergent immune landscapes of primary and syngeneic Kras-driven mouse tumor models. (Manuscript under review.)
  7. Urak KT, Blanco GN, Shubham S, Lin LH, Dassie JP, Thiel WH, Chen Y, Sonkar VK, Lei B, Murthy S, Gutierrez WR, Wilson ME, Stiber JA, Klesney-Tait J, Dayal S, Miller FJ Jr, Giangrande PH.: RNA inhibitors of nuclear proteins responsible for multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):116. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08030-y. PMID: 30631065Kerov V, Laird JG, Joiner ML, Knecht S, Soh D, Hagen J, Gardner SH, Gutierrez W, Yoshimatsu T, Bhattarai S, Puthussery T, Artemyev NO, Drack AV, Wong RO, Baker SA, Lee A.: α2δ-4 is required for the molecular and structural organization of rod and cone photoreceptor synapses. J Neurosci, 2018. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3818-16.2018. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29875267
  8. Kumar D, New J, Vishwakarma V, Joshi R, Enders J, Lin F, Dasari S, Gutierrez WR, Leef G, Ponnurangam S, Chavan H, Ganaden L, Thornton MM, Dai H, Tawfik O, Straub J, Shnayder Y, Kakarala K, Tsue TT, Girod DA, Van Houten B, Anant S, Krishnamurthy P, Thomas SM.: Cancer-associated fibroblasts drive glycolysis in a targetable signaling loop implicated in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma progression. Cancer Res, 2018. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-1076. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29769197
  9. Kruspe S, Dickey DD, Urak KT, Blanco GN, Miller MJ, Clark KC, Burghardt E, Gutierrez WR, Phadke SD, Kamboj S, Ginader T, Smith BJ, Grimm SK, Schappet J, Ozer H, Thomas A, McNamara JO 2nd, Chan CH, Giangrande PH.:  Rapid and Sensitive Detection of Breast Cancer Cells in Patient Blood with Nuclease-Activated Probe Technology.  Mol Ther Nucleic Acids.  8:542-557, 2017. PMID: PMC5577414
  10. Hiraishi H, Oatman J, Haller SL, Blunk L, McGivern B, Morris J, Papadopoulos E, Gutierrez W, Gordon M, Bokhari W, Ikeda Y, Miles D, Fellers J, Asano M, Wagner G, Tazi L, Rothenburg S, Brown SJ, Asano K.: Essential role of eIF5-mimic protein in animal development is linked to control of ATF4 expression. Nucleic Acids Res. 42(16):10321-30, 2014. PMCID: PMC4176352