Dr. Hanker received her B.Sc. in chemistry from the University of Virginia in 2004 and Ph.D. in genetics and molecular biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009. Her graduate work in the laboratory of Dr. Channing Der focused on strategies to disrupt membrane binding of the small GTPase Rheb, in an effort to block aberrant Rheb/mTOR signaling in cancer. Dr. Hanker pursued postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Carlos Arteaga at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. During this time, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and a career development award (K12 award) from the National Cancer Institute. Her postdoctoral studies used transgenic mouse models and human breast cancer xenografts to study mechanisms of resistance to HER2-targeted therapy in HER2+ breast cancer. More recently, Dr. Hanker identified the HER2 T798I gatekeeper mutation as a mechanism of resistance to HER2-targeted therapy in HER2-mutant breast cancer.

Dr. Hanker's current work is focused on 1) therapeutic targeting of breast cancer-associated alterations, and 2) delineating mechanisms of resistance to breast cancer targeted therapies, including HER2 inhibitors, antiestrogens, PI3K/AKT inhibitors, and CDK4/6 inhibitors.

Dr. Hanker joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2018. Her research program is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


University of Virginia - Sfs (2004), Chemistry
Graduate School
University of N C-Chapel Hill (2009)

Research Interest

  • breast cancer targeted therapy
  • cancer biology
  • cancer genomics
  • drug resistance
  • PI3K pathway
  • precision oncology
  • receptor tyrosine kinases
  • signal transduction


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Limiting mitochondrial plasticity by targeting DRP1 induces metabolic reprogramming and reduces breast cancer brain metastases.
Parida PK, Marquez-Palencia M, Ghosh S, Khandelwal N, Kim K, Nair V, Liu XZ, Vu HS, Zacharias LG, Gonzalez-Ericsson PI, Sanders ME, Mobley BC, McDonald JG, Lemoff A, Peng Y, Lewis C, Vale G, Halberg N, Arteaga CL, Hanker AB, DeBerardinis RJ, Malladi S, Nat Cancer 2023 May
Epigenetic repression of STING by MYC promotes immune evasion and resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors in triple negative breast cancer.
Lee KM, Lin CC, Servetto A, Bae J, Kandagatla V, Ye D, Kim GM, Sudhan DR, Mendiratta S, Gonzalez-Ericsson PI, Balko JM, Lee J, Barnes S, Malladi VS, Tabrizi S, Reddy SM, Yum S, Chang CW, Hutchinson KE, Yost SE, Yuan Y, Chen ZJ, Fu YX, Hanker AB, Arteaga CL, Cancer Immunol Res 2022 May
Metabolic diversity within breast cancer brain-tropic cells determines metastatic fitness.
Parida PK, Marquez-Palencia M, Nair V, Kaushik AK, Kim K, Sudderth J, Quesada-Diaz E, Cajigas A, Vemireddy V, Gonzalez-Ericsson PI, Sanders ME, Mobley BC, Huffman K, Sahoo S, Alluri P, Lewis C, Peng Y, Bachoo RM, Arteaga CL, Hanker AB, DeBerardinis RJ, Malladi S, Cell Metab 2022 Jan 34 1 90-105.e7
Nuclear FGFR1 regulates gene transcription and promotes antiestrogen resistance in ER+ breast cancer.
Servetto A, Kollipara R, Formisano L, Lin CC, Lee KM, Sudhan DR, Gonzalez-Ericsson PI, Chatterjee S, Guerrero-Zotano A, Mendiratta S, Akamatsu H, James N, Bianco R, Hanker AB, Kittler R, Arteaga CL, Clin Cancer Res 2021 May


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

The Roles of Ras Family Small GTPases in Breast Cancer. In Handbook of Cell Signaling 2ed

Hanker AB, Der CJ (2009). Cambridge, MA, Academic Press

Role of R-Ras in Cell Growth. In Handbook of Cell Signaling 2ed

Repasky GA, Cox AD, Hanker AB, Mitin N, Der CJ (2009). Cambridge, MA, Academic Press

Honors & Awards

  • AACR NextGen Star
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation Award - Abemaciclib Research Program
  • NIH/NCI SPORE in Breast Cancer Career Enhancement Award
  • AACR-Susan G. Komen Scholar-in-Training Award, San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
  • Vanderbilt Clinical Oncology Research Career Development Award (K12)
  • AACR-Aflac, Inc. Scholar-in-Training Award
  • Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
  • Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Predoctoral Traineeship Award
  • Highest Distinction, University of Virginia Distinguished Majors Project

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Cancer Biology graduate program (2022)
  • Cell and Molecular Biology graduate program (2022)
  • Ipatasertib Project Team, National Cancer Institute Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (NCI CTEP) (2020-2020)
  • Experimental Therapeutics Program, Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center (2019)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (2009)