Carmelo Nucera, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Harvard Medical School

330 Brookline Avenue, RN-270G
Boston, MA 02215
Office: 617-667-5964
Fax: 617-667-3591


Carmelo Nucera, M.D., Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, in the Division of Cancer Biology and Angiogenesis (Department of Pathology), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Nucera received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Experimental Endocrinology and Metabolism from Italy.

Dr. Nucera is highly driven by an intense desire to make important contributions that will directly benefit patients. Dr. Nucera is strongly committed to make discovery aimed to immediately cure patients that are suffering with aggressive tumors and rare/orphan cancer disease.

Dr. Nucera has a clinical background and intensely served patients with fatal human diseases.

He did his residency in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases in Italy, and he was also trained as research fellow at the Regina Elena Cancer Institute and ‘A. Gemelli’ Medical School in Roma (Italy). He was trained during his Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School (Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) and he was recruited as Instructor in the Department of Pathology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School in the 2009. He was promoted Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in the 2013. Dr. Nucera has been the recipient of many National and International awards and is serving the research community on different advisory committees of different Foundations and Associations, including the American Thyroid Association (ATA) Research Committee. He is a Principal Investigator on thyroid cancer translational research studies as well as an invited presenter at medical conferences, both nationally and internationally. Dr. Nucera has assisted many international journals as invited reviewer, or as associate editor. He is actively involved in tutoring and teaching medical students, research fellows, and basic scientists at Harvard Medical School. He was the recipient of an ATA Thyroid Cancer Award. He aims to pursue his interest in thyroid cancer research engaging in both basic science and translational/clinical research, and teaching. His laboratory includes translational projects focused on understanding metastatic/advanced thyroid cancers and developing targeted therapies, assess tumor biomarkers as well as unravel pathogenesis of ‘orphan and rare tumor diseases’. In particular, his research program uses a powerful, multidisciplinary approach to provide new insights into the role of BRAFV600E in the milieu of human metastatic thyroid cancers, and of ‘orphan and rare tumor diseases’.

Research Interests: Translational Thyroid Cancer/Endocrine Research with focus on biomarkers, tumor milieu, metabolism, angiogenesis, and the role of perycytes/mesenchymal stem cells and lymphatic/blood endothelial cells in metastatic and aggressive human thyroid cancer.

Basic Research: Human Thyroid Cancers Preclinical and Translational Research LaboratoryI am an MD/PhD with specialty in endocrine cancers and I’m developing as Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School a research program in the "Division of Cancer Biology and Angiogenesis" at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, focused on "preclinical and translational models of human thyroid cancer with an emphasis on mechanisms of metastatic networks, new models of in vitro angiogenesis, tumor microenvironment, and metabolic regulations, using and dissecting new targeted therapies anti-BRAFV600E. I am primarily engaged in basic and translational thyroid cancer research, but also actively participate in tutoring and teaching activities to basic science students and medical students. I have 10-years of research and clinical experience.

In particular, my research interests are in elucidating mechanisms by which the oncogene BRAFV600E leads to the invasive behavior in aggressive, metastatic, and iodine-refractory thyroid cancers.

I'm highly committed and motivated to applying my research and effort to patient care, to facilitate innovation, to solve unmet clinical needs, and improve public health.

I was recently awarded from the American Thyroid Association and from the NIH/NCI for Thyroid Cancer Research, Tumor Microenvironment, and BRAFV600E.

My translational research program is aimed:

  1. To identify new prognostic biomarkers and validate therapeutics for treating metastatic/refractory thyroid cancers.
  2. To identify pro-metastatic/-angiogenic and metabolic pathways in the microenvironment of BRAFV600E-positive thyroid cancer.
  3. To determine the function of lymphatic/blood vessels in thyroid cancer and identify driver clones in the angiogenic microenvironment of thyroid tumors (tumor heterogeneity).
  4. To determine the prognostic role of epigenetic markers (e.g. non-coding RNAs) in thyroid cancer.
  5. To investigate pathogenesis and molecular basis of “orphan and rare’ cancer disease with angiogenic profile.

My laboratory is open to accept international medical students, PhD students, experienced basic researcher, as well as international PhD students, post-docs, and visiting faculties.

I'm genuinely dedicated to advancing translational Thyroid Cancer Research.

Funds: NIH/NCI, American Thyroid Association, Sponsored Research Grants

New and Noteworthy Publications:

Nucera C, Porrello A, Antonello ZA, Mekel M, Nehs MA, Giordano TJ, Gerald D, Benjamin LE, Priolo C, Puxeddu E, Finn S, Jarzab B, Hodin RA, Pontecorvi A, Nose V, Lawler J, Parangi S. B-RafV600E and Thrombospondin-1 promote Thyroid Cancer Progression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010;107(23):10649-54.

Nucera C, Nehs MA, Nagarkatti S, Sadow P, Mekel M, Fischer A, Lin P, Bollag G, Lawler J, Hodin RA, Parangi S. Targeting B-RafV600E by PLX4720 displays potent anti migratory and invasive activity in preclinical models of thyroid cancer. The Oncologist 2011;16(3):296-309.

*Nehs MA, *Nucera C, Nagarkatti S, Sadow P, Morales Garcia D, Hodin RA, Parangi S. Late intervention with anti-BRAFV600E therapy induces tumor regression in an orthotopic mouse model of human anaplastic thyroid cancer. Endocrinology. 2011;153(2):985-94. *The first two authors contributed equally to this study.

*Shaik S, *Nucera C, *Inuzuka H, Gao D, Garnaas M, Frechette G, Harris L, Wan L, Fukushima H, Husain A, Nose V, Fadda G, Sadow PM, Goessling W, North T, Lawler J, Wei W. SCFβ-TRCP suppresses angiogenesis and thyroid cancer cell migration by promoting ubiquitination and destruction of VEGF receptor-2. Journal of Experimental Medicine 2012;209(7):1289-307.*The first three authors contributed equally to this study.

Duquette M, Sadow P, Lawler J, Nucera C. Thrombospondin-1 silencing down-regulates integrin expression levels in human anaplastic thyroid cancer cells with BRAFV600E: new insights in the host tissue adaptation and homeostasis of tumor microenvironment. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2013, in press.