Katharine S. Ullman, PhD
Professor, Department of Oncological Sciences
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator Katharine Ullman, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the University of Utah School of Medicine and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Utah. She is also a co-leader of the Cell Response and Regulation Program at HCI.
Ullman and her research team focus on nuclear pore function. Nuclear pores provide a gateway between the nucleus and cytoplasm through which RNAs and proteins travel. It is important to have a connection that allows communication between the nucleus and cytoplasm, but at the same time prevents unrestricted entrance into the nucleus. This allows the nucleus to harbor a specialized environment, optimized to protect and regulate the cell's DNA. When this gateway operates improperly and allows inappropriate molecules to pass into the nucleus, genes can be mis-regulated, contributing to the development of cancer. Ullman's laboratory investigates how proteins in nuclear pores help to guide specific cargo en route through the pore.
Ullman earned a PhD from Stanford University before going to the University of California at San Diego for her postdoctoral studies, which were funded in part by the American Cancer Society. She is a recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences.