The Ly Laboratory studies the mechanisms and consequences of genomic instability in the context of human disease and cancer development. Major areas of investigation include exploring how errors in chromosome segregation during mitosis and DNA double-strand break repair pathways shape the chaotic mutational landscape of cancer genomes. The laboratory is currently focused on the cellular and genetic basis of complex genomic rearrangements known as chromothripsis, which can arise from the catastrophic shattering of individual chromosomes followed by the reassembly of broken DNA fragments in random order.

Peter Ly received his B.A. in Biology from Baylor University and earned his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from UT Southwestern Medical Center, where he studied the consequences of numerical chromosomal alterations with Jerry Shay and Woodring Wright. In 2013, he pursued postdoctoral training at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and University of California San Diego with Don Cleveland. His postdoctoral research focused on reconstructing complex structural genomic rearrangements using centromere inactivation and chromosome-specific missegregation approaches in human somatic cells. He was named a Hope Funds for Cancer Research Fellow and was the recipient of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award from the National Cancer Institute. In 2019, Dr. Ly joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center as a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology with a secondary appointment in the Department of Cell Biology. He is a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and has been an active member of the American Society for Cell Biology since 2013.

Baylor University (2008), Biology
Graduate School
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2012), Cancer Biology
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of California San Diego (2019), Cell Biology

Research Interest

  • Cell cycle and cell division
  • Chromosome rearrangements
  • DNA damage response and repair
  • Genomic instability in cancer
  • Mechanisms of chromothripsis


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Cellular and genomic approaches for exploring structural chromosomal rearrangements.
Hu Q, Maurais EG, Ly P, Chromosome Res. 2020 Jan
TRIP13 and APC15 drive mitotic exit by turnover of interphase- and unattached kinetochore-produced MCC.
Kim DH, Han JS, Ly P, Ye Q, McMahon MA, Myung K, Corbett KD, Cleveland DW Nat Commun 2018 Oct 9 1 4354
Chromosomal instability drives metastasis through a cytosolic DNA response.
Bakhoum SF, Ngo B, Laughney AM, Cavallo JA, Murphy CJ, Ly P, Shah P, Sriram RK, Watkins TBK, Taunk NK, Duran M, Pauli C, Shaw C, Chadalavada K, Rajasekhar VK, Genovese G, Venkatesan S, Birkbak NJ, McGranahan N, Lundquist M, LaPlant Q, Healey JH, Elemento O, Chung CH, Lee NY, Imielenski M, Nanjangud G, Pe'er D, Cleveland DW, Powell SN, Lammerding J, Swanton C, Cantley LC Nature 2018 Jan 553 7689 467-472
Interrogating cell division errors using random and chromosome-specific missegregation approaches.
Ly P, Cleveland DW Cell Cycle 2017 Jul 16 13 1252-1258
CENP-A Is Dispensable for Mitotic Centromere Function after Initial Centromere/Kinetochore Assembly.
Hoffmann S, Dumont M, Barra V, Ly P, Nechemia-Arbely Y, McMahon MA, Hervé S, Cleveland DW, Fachinetti D Cell Rep 2016 11 17 9 2394-2404
MYC Is a Major Determinant of Mitotic Cell Fate.
Topham C, Tighe A, Ly P, Bennett A, Sloss O, Nelson L, Ridgway RA, Huels D, Littler S, Schandl C, Sun Y, Bechi B, Procter DJ, Sansom OJ, Cleveland DW, Taylor SS Cancer Cell 2015 Jul 28 1 129-40
DNA Sequence-Specific Binding of CENP-B Enhances the Fidelity of Human Centromere Function.
Fachinetti D, Han JS, McMahon MA, Ly P, Abdullah A, Wong AJ, Cleveland DW Dev. Cell 2015 May 33 3 314-27

Honors & Awards

  • Forbeck Scholar, William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation
  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research, Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas
  • James Kerr Award for Research Excellence, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
  • NIH/NCI Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
  • Hope Funds for Cancer Research Fellow
  • NIH/NCI Cancer Cell Biology Postdoctoral Training Grant Award
  • CPRIT Predoctoral Training Grant Award, Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas
  • Jack G. and Norma Jean Folmar Research Scholarship, Baylor University
  • Rubin and Sarah Shaps Scholar, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Society for Cell Biology (2013)