Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Rebecca J. Watters, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professsor
  • Co-Director, Musculoskeletal Oncology Laboratory

Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Women's Cancer Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • PhD, Molecular Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey, PA
  • BS, Biology, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA

Representative Publications

  • Priedigkeit, N.*, Watters, R.J.*(Co-First Author), Lucas, P.C., Basudan, A., Bhargava, R., Horne, W., Kolls, J.K., Fang, Z., Rosenzweig, M.Q., Brufsky, A.M., et al. (2017). Exome-Capture RNA-Sequencing Of Decade-Old Breast Cancers And Matched Decalcified Bone Metastases Identifies Clinically Actionable Targets. BioRxiv.
  • Watters, R.J., Hartmaier, R.J., Osmanbeyoglu, H.U., Gillihan, R.M., Rae, J.M., Liao, L., Chen, K., Li, W., Lu, X., and Oesterreich, S. (2017). Steroid receptor coactivator-1 can regulate osteoblastogenesis independently of estrogen. Mol Cell Endocrinol 448, 21–27.
  • Priedigkeit, N., Hartmaier, R.J., Chen, Y., Vareslija, D., Basudan, A., Watters, R.J., Thomas, R., Leone, J.P., Lucas, P.C., Bhargava, R., et al. (2016). Intrinsic subtype switching and acquired ERBB2/HER2 amplifications and mutations in breast cancer brain metastases. JAMA Oncology.
  • Wang, P., Bahreini, A., Gyanchandani, R., Lucas, P.C., Hartmaier, R.J., Watters, R.J., Jonnalagadda, A.R., Trejo Bittar, H.E., Berg, A., Hamilton, R.L., et al. (2016). Sensitive Detection of Mono- and Polyclonal ESR1 Mutations in Primary Tumors, Metastatic Lesions, and Cell-Free DNA of Breast Cancer Patients. Clin Cancer Res 22, 1130–1137.
  • Watters, R.J., Fox, T.E., Tan, S.-F., Shanmugavelandy, S., Choby, J.E., Broeg, K., Liao, J., Kester, M., Cabot, M.C., Loughran, T.P., et al. (2013). Targeting glucosylceramide synthase synergizes with C6-ceramide nanoliposomes to induce apoptosis in natural killer cell leukemia. Leuk Lymphoma 54, 1288–1296.
  • Watters, R.J., Kester, M., Tran, M.A., Loughran, T.P., and Liu, X. (2012). Development and use of ceramide nanoliposomes in cancer. Meth Enzymol 508, 89–108.
  • Watters, R.J., Benos, P.V., and Oesterreich, S. (2012). To bind or not to bind--FoxA1 determines estrogen receptor action in breast cancer progression. Breast Cancer Res 14, 312.

PubMed LInk

Research Interests

Dr. Watters serves as the co-director of the Musculoskeletal Oncology Laboratory, with Dr. Kurt Weiss.  Her two main research interests involve:

  1. Identification and targeting of structural rearrangements in metastatic osteosarcoma.
  2. Identification and validation of clinically actionable genes in bone metastases of breast cancer.

Research Grants

The Role of SRC-1 in Selectively Promoting Bone Metastases
Project Period:  09/01/2013-03/31/2017
Sponsor:  Department of Defense (W81XWH-13-1-0289)
Role: PI