Sarah Wheeler, PhD, FAACC

Associate Professor of Pathology, Division of Clinical Chemistry

Dr. Wheeler is an Assistant Professor of Pathology. She is also the Associate Medical Director, Clinical Immunopathology; Medical Director, Automated Laboratory, UPMC Mercy; and Medical Director, Automated Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Clinical Expertise

Dr. Wheeler is a certified clinical chemist with expertise in general chemistry and clinical immunopathology.

Education & Training
PhD - 2012, University of Pittsburgh
BS - 2006, Brigham Young University
Research Interests

Dr. Wheeler's research interests include: improving pediatric and infectious disease diagnostic testing using informatics based approaches; updating clinical chemistry testing guidelines using evidence based approaches; improving, testing, and creating new clinical assays for improved patient outcomes; effects of viral infections on autoimmunity.

Representative Publications

Dr. Wheeler's publications -

  • Wheeler SE, Shi H, Lin F, Dasari S, Bednash J, Thorne S, Watkins S, Joshi R, Thomas SM. Enhancement of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma proliferation, invasion, and metastasis by tumor-associated fibroblasts in preclinical models. Head Neck. 2014 Mar; 36(3): 385-92.
  • Taylor DP, Clark A, Wheeler SE, Wells A. Hepatic nonparenchymal cells drive metastatic breast cancer outgrowth and partial epithelial to mesenchymal transition. Breast Can Res Treat 2014 Apr; 144(3):551-60.
  • Wheeler SE, Clark AM, Taylor DP, Young CL, Pillai VC, Stolz DB Venkataramanan R, Lauffenburger D, Griffith L, Wells A. Spontaneous dormancy of metastatic breast cancer cells in an all human liver microphysiologic system. Br J Cancer 2014 Dec 9;111(12):2342-50.
  • Wheeler SE, Egloff AM, Wang L, James CD, Hammerman PS, Grandis JR. Challenges in EGFRvIII detection in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. PLOS One 2015 Feb 6;10(2).
  • Furukawa M, Wheeler SE, Clark AM, Wells A. Lung epithelial cells induce both phenotype alteration and senescence in breast cancer cells. PLOS One 2015 Jan 30;10(1).
  • Sen M, Pollock NI, Black J, DeGrave KA, Wheeler SE, Freilino ML, Joyce S, Lui VW, Zeng Y, Chiosea SI, Grandis, JR. JAK kinase inhibition abrogates STAT3 activation and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma tumor growth. Neoplasia. 2015 Mar; 17(3):256-64
  • Liu L, Wheeler SE, Rymer JA, Lower D, Zona J, Peck Palmer OM, Tamama K. Ranitidine interference with standard amphetamine immunoassay. Clin Chim Acta. 2015 Jan 1; 438:307-8.
  • Li H*, Wheeler SE*, Park Y, Ju Z, Thomas SM, Fichera M, Egloff AM, Lui VW, Duvvuri U, Bauman JE, Mills GB, Grandis JR. Proteomic Characterization of Head and Neck Cancer Patient-Derived Xenografts. Mol Cancer Res. 2016 Mar;14(3):278-86. (*Co-first authors)
  • Ma B, Wheeler SE, Clark AM, Whaley DL, Yang M, Wells A. Liver protects metastatic prostate cancer from induced death by activating E-cadherin signaling. Hepatology. 2016 Nov;64(5):1725-1742.
  • Clark AM, Wheeler SE, Young CL, Stockdale L, Shepard Neiman J, Zhao W, Stolz DB, Venkataramanan R, Lauffenburger D, Griffith L, Wells A. A liver microphysiological system of tumor cell dormancy and inflammatory responsiveness is affected by scaffold properties. Lab Chip. 2017; 17(1):156-168.
  • Diamandis EP, Stanczyk FZ, Wheeler SE, Mathew A, Stengelin M, Nikolenko G, Glezer E, Brown MD, Zheng Y, Chen YH, Wu HL, Azziz R. Serum complexed and free prostate specific antigen (PSA) for the diagnosis of the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Clin Chem Lab Med. 2017 Mar 31.
  • Lindgren EB, Diamandis EP, Muytjens C, Wheeler SE, Nikolenko G, Mathew A, Stengelin M, Glezer EN, Brown MD, Zheng Y, Linden-Hirschberg A. Serum complexed and free prostate specific antigen levels are lower in female elite athletes in comparison to control women. F1000Research. 2017 Jul;(17) 6:1131
  • Wheeler SE, Shurin M.R. Alpha, Beta, Gamma of Serum Proteins: A Long History of Successfully Resolved Problems. Journal of Immunopathology 2017 November;1(1): 1-3
  • Wheeler SE, Liu L, Blair HC, Sivak R, Longo N, Tischler J, Mulvey K, Lin AJ, Reitz R, Peck Palmer OM. Thyroglobulin concentrations in the presence of autoantibodies to thyroglobulin: comparison of EIA, RIA and LC MS/MS measurements. BMC Res Notes (2017) 10:725
  • Beckwitt CH, Clark AM, Wheeler SE, Taylor DL, Stolz DB, Griffith L, Wells A. Liver 'organ on a chip'. Exp Cell Res. 2018 Feb 1; 363(1): 15-25
  • Amanda M. Clark, Manu P. Kumar, Wheeler SE, Carisssa L. Young, Raman Venkataramanan, Donna B. Stolz, Linda G Griffith, Douglas A. Lauffenburger, and Alan Wells. A model of dormant-emergent metastatic breast cancer progression enabling exporation of biomarker signatures. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2018 April 17 (4): 619-630
  • Zakiryanova GK, Wheeler SE, Shurin MR. Oncogenes in immune cells as potential therapeutic targets. ImmunoTargets and Therapy. 2018 Apr 11; 7:21-28
  • Liu L, Wheeler SE, Venkataramanan R, Rymer JA, Pizion AF, Lynch MJ, Tamama K. Newly Emerging Drugs of Abuse and Their Detection Methods: An ACLPS Critical Review. AM J Clin Pathol. 2018 Jan 29; 149(2) 105-116
  • Liu L, Wheeler SE. Rises of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis in China Raises Ethical Questions for All. Clinical Chemistry. 2018 March 64; 3: 617-618
  • Jones TE, Shurin MR, Wheeler SE. Monoclonal Gammopathy in a Pediatric Patient with Ataxia-Telangectasia: A Case Report, Review of the Literature, and Preliminary Differential Diagnosis. Annals of Clinical Case Reports. (Special Pathology Issue), 2018 June (3) article 1528
  • Liu L, Wertz WJ, Kondisko AJ, Shurin MR, Wheeler SE. Incidence and management of therapeutic monoclonal antibody interference in monoclonal gammopathy monitoring. J Applied Lab Med. Accepted May 2019, in press.
  • Li Liu, Michael R Shurin, Wheleer SE. A novel approach to remove interference of therapeutic monoclonal antibody with serum protein electrophoresis. Clinical Biochemistry. Accepted October 2019, in press.
  • Statz E, Wertz WJ, Wheeler BJ, Shurin MR, Wheeler SE. New syphilis serology testing requires new reporting algorithms. J Applied Lab Med. Accepted Aug 2019, in press.
  • Mitchell SL, Wheeler SE. Unusual oligoclonal band pattern in middle aged male with vertigo. ASCP Case Report 2019 Feb 28; CC1901
  • Freeman T, Jones T, Scoccimarro A, Hensen-Cordwell S, Wheeler SE. Clinical laboratory detection of a high-level hemoglobin abnormality in a patient with suspected recreational drug ingestion. J Applied Lab Med. Accepted May 2019, in press


  • Wells A, Grahovac J, Wheeler SE, Ma B, Lauffenburger, DA. Targeting tumor cell motility as a strategy against invasion and metastasis. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 2013 May; 34(5): 283-9.
  • Wheeler SE, (alphabetically): JT Borenstein, AM Clark, M. Ebrahimkhani, I.J. Fox, L. Griffith, W. Inman, D. Lauffenburger, T. Nguyen, V.C. Pillai, R. Prantil-Baun, D.B. Stolz, D. Taylor, T. Ulrich, R. Venkataramanan, A. Wells, C. Young. All-Human Microphysical Model of Metastasis Therapy. Stem Cell Res Ther 2013; 4 Suppl 1:S11.
  • Clark AM, Wheeler SE, Taylor DP, Pillai VC, Young CL, Prantil-Baun R, Nguyen T, Stolz DB, Borenstein JT, Lauffenburger DA, Venkataramanan R, Griffith LG, Wells A. A microphysiological system model of therapy for liver micrometastases. Exp Biol Med 2014 May 12.