Marie C. DeFrances, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pathology


Dr. DeFrances is a member of Division of Molecular Genomic Pathology, the Director of the MGP Fellowship Training Program, and the Associate Director of the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Training Program.

Office Location:
S406 BST
University of Pittsburgh
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-648-8346
Fax: 412-648-1916
Email: defrancesmc@upmc.edu

Education

  • BS - Duke University, 1989
  • PhD - University of Pittsburgh, 1995
  • MD - University of Pittsburgh, 1997

Clinical Expertise

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

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.

Selected 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.