Marie C. DeFrances, MD, PhD

Professor of Pathology, Division of Molecular & Genomic Pathology

Dr. DeFrances is the Director of the Pathology Residency and Fellowship Program.

Clinical Expertise

Dr. DeFrances' clinical responsibilities are in the Division of Molecular and Genomic Pathology where she is involved with day-to-day review of patient material and teaching. Dr. DeFrances also is Director of the MS1 medical school course "Cellular and Pathologic Basis of Disease Course", and Co-Director of the graduate course, "Basics of Personalized Medicine."

Education & Training
BS - Duke University, 1989
PhD - University of Pittsburgh, 1995
MD - University of Pittsburgh, 1997
Research Interests

Dr. DeFrances studies HGF-MET-PI3K signaling in liver development, growth, regeneration and cancer. She has identified a novel regulator of the catalytic subunit of PI3K (p110) called PI3K interacting protein 1 (PIK3IP1). PIK3IP1 is a transmembrane protein that shares structural features with p85, the regulatory subunit of PI3K. She and her collaborators are unraveling the role of this signaling system in cancer and immunobiology.

Representative Publications

View Dr. DeFrances' publications on PubMed

  • Seneviratne D, Ma J, Tan X, Kwon YK, Muhammad E, Melhem M, DeFrances MC, Zarnegar, R, Genomic Instability Causes HGF Gene Activation in Colon Cancer Cells, Promoting Their Resistance to Necroptosis., Gasteroenterology 2015: 148: 181-91. PMID: 25244939.
  • Ma J, Zou C, Guo L, Seneviratne DS, Tan X, Kwon YK, An J, Bowser R, DeFrances MC, Zarnegar R. Novel Death Defying Domain in Met entraps the active site of caspase-3 and blocks apoptosis in hepatocytes. Hepatology. 2014 May;59(5):2010-21. PMCID: PMC3975826.