Joseph Locker, MD, PhD
Professor of Pathology

Dr. Locker is a member of the Division of Molecular Anatomic Pathology.

Office Location:
BST South S421
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Contact Information:
Office Telephone: 412-648-9701
Lab Telephone: 412-648-9775 and 412-648-9656

Dr. Locker is a basic researcher in the division of Cellular and Molecular Pathology who primarily studies on transcriptional regulation of the hepatocyte using contemporary molecular biological methodologies. His current projects examine the hepatocyte pathways that promote carcinogenesis, drug responses, and cell proliferation. A new project will extend these studies to the phenotypic deregulation that occurs in the liver failure of end-stage cirrhosis. The laboratory has an additional project that focuses on transcriptional control of lung stem/progenitor cells, and their relationship to lung cancer. Dr. Locker also signs out clinical cases in Molecular Anatomic Pathology/Molecular Diagnostics.


  • BS - University of Pittsburgh, 1967
  • PhD - University of Chicago, 1974
  • MD - University of Chicago, 1975

Clinical Expertise

  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Analysis of mutations, translocations, and copy number variation
  • Anatomic pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry

Research Interests

  • Control of hepatocyte cell proliferation
  • Liver injury
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Hepatocyte transcription factors
  • Liver gene expression
  • Liver tumor promotion
  • Liver carcinogenesis
  • Lung stem cells
  • Lung carcinogenesis
  • Lung transcription factors
  • Experimental pathology of tumors
  • Tumor progression
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer molecular genetics
  • Cancer cell biology
  • Cancer histopathology
  • Next-Generation sequencing
  • Mouse genetic models
  • Pathology translational research

Selected Publications

View Dr. Locker's publications on PubMed

Wang H, Bauzon F, Ji P, Xu X, Sun D, Locker J, Sellers RS, Nakayama K, Nakayama KI, Cobrinik D, Zhu L. (2010) Skp2 is required for survival of aberrantly proliferating Rb1-deficient cells and for tumorigenesis in Rb1+/? mice. Nature Genet 42, 83-8.

Chang HY, Locker J, Schuster V. (2010) Failure of post-natal ductus arteriosus closure in prostaglandin transporter-deficient mice. Circulation 121, 529-36.

Shah AK, Tioleco NM, Nolan K, Locker J, Groh K, Villa C, Stopkova P, Pedrosa E, Lachman HM. (2010) Rare NRXN1 promoter variants in patients with schizophrenia. Neurosci Lett 475, 80-4.

Locker J. (2010) Hepatic complications of retinoid therapy. J. Exp. Clin. Med. 2, 47-48.

Harris T, Pan Q, Sironi S, Lutz D, Tian J, Sapkar J, Perez-Soler R, Keller S, Locker J. (2011) Both gene amplification and allelic loss occur at 14q13.3 in lung cancer. Clin Cancer Res 17, 690-9.

Basu I, Locker J, Cassera MB, Belbin TJ, Merino EF, Dong X, Hemeon I, Evans GB, Guha C, Schramm VL. (2011) Growth and metastases of human lung cancer are inhibited in mouse xenografts by a transition state analogue of 5-methylthioadenosine phosphorylase. J Biol Chem 286, 4902-11.

Smirnova T, Adomako A, Locker J, Van Rooijen N, Prystowsky MB, Segall JE (2011) In vivo invasion of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells does not require macrophages. Am J Path 178, 2857-65.

Leoni VP, Ledda-Columbano GM, Pibiri M, Saliba C, Perra A, Kowalik MA, Grober OM, Ravo M, Weisz A, Locker J, Ghiso E, Giordano S, Columbano A (2011) Expression of c-Jun is not mandatory for mouse hepatocyte proliferation induced by two nuclear receptor ligands: TCPOBOP and T3. J Hepatol 55, 1069-78.

Severino V, Locker J, Ledda G, Columbano A, Parente A, Chambery A. (2011) Proteomic characterization of early changes induced by triiodothyronine in rat liver. J Proteome Res, 10, 3212-24.

Bhattacharyya S, Tian J, Locker J. (2011) Analysis of albumin gene long-range transcription controls by targeted chromosomal integration. PLoS One 6, e23234.

Tian J, Huang H, Liebermann D, Ledda-Columbano GM, Columbano A, Locker J. (2011) Gadd45? is an inducible coactivator of transcription that facilitates rapid liver growth. J Clin Invest 121, 4491-4502.

Locker J, Segall J. (2011) The matrix is the message. Am. J. Path., 178, 966-7.

Friedl P, Locker J, Sahai E, Segall, JE (2012) Classifying collective cancer cell invasion. Nature Cell Biol 14, 777 - 783.

Hulit J, Qian X, Suyama K, Eugenin EA, Belbin TJ, Loudig O, Smirnova T, Zhou ZN, Segall J, Locker J, Phillips GR, Hazan RB (2013) p21CIP1 promotes metastasis by suppressing proliferation and activating invasion through cytoskeletal regulation. Oncogene 32:2292-2303