Alan Cantor, M.D., Ph.D.

Alan Cantor, M.D., Ph.D.

Boston Children's Hospital
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Alan Cantor.

Alan Cantor aims to understand the gene regulatory mechanisms involved in normal blood cell development, and to understand how their dysregulation leads to human blood disorders.

The Cantor lab is focused on further elucidating the transcriptional mechanisms that regulate normal hematopoiesis and how they may be perturbed in certain inherited platelet disorders and hematologic malignancies. They are also interested in understanding the mechanisms that regulate human developmental globin gene switching, and applying this to the treatment of beta-hemoglobinopathies such as sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia. Cantor and his colleagues are specifically interested in the role of GATA, FOG, RUNX and ETS family transcription factors.

The Cantor laboratory takes a number of approaches to these studies:

  1. proteomic techniques to isolate and characterize multiprotein complexes involving these factors;
  2. chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to high throughput DNA sequencing (ChIP-seq) to identify sites occupied by these transcription factors across the genome;
  3. gene targeting in mice;
  4. ShRNA-mediated gene knock down experiments in primary human CD34+-derived cells; and
  5. human genetic analysis of families with inherited thromboctyopenias and predisposition to leukemia.


Alan Cantor is Deputy Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Boston Children's Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He is a graduate of Washington University Medical School. He completed an internship and residency at St. Louis Children's Hospital, and a postgraduate fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Research Interest(s)