Sarah Wheeler, PhD, FACB, CC
Assistant Professor of Pathology

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.

Office Location:
Clinical Lab Bldg
Room 4023
3477 Euler Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Contact Information:
Telephone: 412-647-6150
Fax: 412-647-7741


  • BS - 2006, Brigham Young University
  • PhD - 2012, University of Pittsburgh

Awards and Honors

  • Young Investigator with Distinction Award for oral presentation. 50th annual Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (ACLPS) meeting, Minneapolis, MN. May 28-30, 2015.
  • AACR Scholar-in-Training award for the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
  • Mass Spectrometry Applications to the Clinical Lab 2014 6th Annual Conference Young Investigator Travel Award

Research Interests

Sarah Wheeler's research is aimed at elucidating the mechanisms of metastatic breast cancer dormancy using in vivo models and a novel hepatic microphysiologic ex vivo model system.

Clinical Experties

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

Selected Publications

  1. Wheeler SE, Seethala R, Siwak D, Cieply K, Sherer C, Mills G, Grandis J, Egloff AM. Tumor epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and EGFR PY1068 are independent prognostic indicators for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Apr 15; 18(8):2278-89.
  2. Wheeler SE, Morariu EM, Bednash JS, Otte CG, Seethala RR, Chiosea SI, Grandis JR. Lyn kinase mediates cell motility and tumor growth in EGFRvIII-expressing head and neck cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 May 15; 18(10):2850-60.
  3. Quesnelle KM, Wheeler SE, Ratay MK, Grandis JR.Preclinical modeling of EGFR inhibitor resistance in head and neck cancer. Cancer Biology and Therapy. 2012 Aug 1; 13(10):935-45.
  4. Thomas SM, Sahu B, Rpireddy S, Bahal R, Wheeler SE, Procopio EM, Kim J, Joyce SC, Contrucci S, Wang Y, Chiosea SI, Latrop KL, Watkins S, Grandis JR, Armitage BA, Ly DH. Antitumor Effects of EGFR Antisense Guanidine-based Pep-tide Nucleic Acids in Cancer Models. ACS Chem Biol. 2012 Oct 31.
  5. Wheeler SE, Liu L, Peck Palmer OM. Puzzling Phosphorus: Unlikely Results. Clin Chem 2013 Sep; 59(9): 1415-6.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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).
  11. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.