Ruben Dries, PhD
Assistant Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Hematology & Medical Oncology

PhD, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
PhD, Katholieke Univ Leuven
MS, Katholieke Univ Leuven
BS, Katholieke Univ Leuven

Ruben Dries, PhD combines computational data analysis with novel experimental approaches and technologies to understand basic biological concepts in health and disease. These insights could then be leveraged to target tumor specific processes or inhibit the development of treatment resistance. These interests grew dynamically throughout his research career. In his early studies Dr. Dries developed a systems biology approach to dissect the regulatory network of neural differentiating embryonic stem cells and used this knowledge at a later stage to understand how cancer cells transcriptionally respond to targeted therapies and other stress factors. More recently, he expanded this area by focusing on how cells can spatially communicate within their microenvironment and build tools to facilitate these type of analyses.

As a young and dynamic group his lab works together as a team in the following areas:

1) Establishing multi-cellular breast cancer models that better reflect spatial tumor heterogeneity

2) Building tools to explore and quantify cellular cross-talk

3) Assess the contribution of supporting cells to cancer cells within the breast tumor microenvironment

4) Document the gradual response to targeted therapy at the transcriptional and chromatin level in breast cancer cells

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility

I believe that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a core part of science and I am fully committed to serving as an advocate for D&I in my lab and academic scientific ecosystem. From a social justice perspective, D&I is critical for eliminating barriers to higher education like inequality and prejudice, and evening the playing field for the next generation of scientists from diverse backgrounds. Diverse research teams have been shown to lead to more impactful research. In my lab, I openly welcome scientists from a variety of backgrounds and at all stages of their careers to foster an inclusive and interdisciplinary research environment. It is clear to me that D&I provide major benefits to science and is absolutely necessary for upholding rigorous science. Without D&I in science, it is impossible to grasp human biology that varies from people with diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
In August 2020, I launched my lab with the goal of creating an inclusive culture for people from diverse backgrounds. I remind myself of the importance of D&I in my interactions with students, coworkers, and leadership, and I actively encourage others to take part in activities that will advance D&I initiatives. My desire to contribute to D&I is also reflected in the types of research problems I pursue. My lab recently established a research collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, the Boston University Medical Center (BUMC) Cancer Center, and other researchers in my lab to investigate therapies for predominantly Black women with late-stage breast cancer.
In short, I consider promoting D&I to be one of the most important aspects of my role as a research professor and mentor. In the future, I will continue to promote D&I efforts in my scientific community. My goal is to serve as an advocate for D&I in my scientific ecosystem at BUMC. I will continue to work closely with other labs and leadership who are also dedicated to this goal and improving D&I in my scientific academic ecosystem.

Assistant Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Computational Biomedicine

Associate Member
Boston University
Center for Regenerative Medicine

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Targeting the biological underpinnings of pulmonary metastasis in osteosarcoma
05/02/2022 - 05/01/2025 (PI)
Dana Farber Cancer Institute Alex’s Lemonade Stan

Enhancing Giotto for spatial multi-resolution technologies (EOSS-5)
11/14/2022 - 10/31/2024 (PI)
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Multiscale analysis of metabolic inflammation as a driver of breast cancer
09/01/2022 - 08/31/2024 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University, BUMC National Cancer Inst

Pre-notification- Integrating regulatory maternal obesity programs that control adipose tissue complexity
07/01/2022 - 06/30/2024 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University, BUMC National Institute o


Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Reinecke JB, Gross AC, Cam M, Garcia LJ, Cannon MV, Dries R, Gryder BE, Roberts RD. Aberrant activation of wound healing programs within the metastatic niche facilitates lung colonization by osteosarcoma cells. bioRxiv. 2024 Jan 12. PMID: 38260361; DOI: 10.1101/2024.01.10.575008;
  2. Chen JG, Chávez-Fuentes JC, O'Brien M, Xu J, Ruiz E, Wang W, Amin I, Sarfraz I, Guckhool P, Sistig A, Yuan GC, Dries R. Giotto Suite: a multi-scale and technology-agnostic spatial multi-omics analysis ecosystem. bioRxiv. 2023 Nov 27. PMID: 38077085; DOI: 10.1101/2023.11.26.568752;
  3. Wang Y, Sarfraz I, Teh WK, Sokolov A, Herb BR, Creasy HH, Virshup I, Dries R, Degatano K, Mahurkar A, Schnell DJ, Madrigal P, Hilton J, Gehlenborg N, Tickle T, Campbell JD. Matrix and analysis metadata standards (MAMS) to facilitate harmonization and reproducibility of single-cell data. bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 07. PMID: 36945543; PMCID: PMC10028847; DOI: 10.1101/2023.03.06.531314;
  4. Wang Y, Sarfraz I, Teh WK, Sokolov A, Herb BR, Creasy HH, Virshup I, Dries R, Degatano K, Mahurkar A, Schnell DJ, Madrigal P, Hilton J, Gehlenborg N, Tickle T, Campbell JD. Matrix and analysis metadata standards (MAMS) to facilitate harmonization and reproducibility of single-cell data. bioRxiv. 2023 Mar 07.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36945543; DOI: 10.1101/2023.03.06.531314;
  5. Ennis CS, Llevenes P, Qiu Y, Dries R, Denis GV. The crosstalk within the breast tumor microenvironment in type II diabetes: Implications for cancer disparities. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022; 13:1044670.View Related Profiles. PMID: 36531496; DOI: 10.3389/fendo.2022.1044670;
  6. Sengupta S, Das S, Crespo AC, Cornel AM, Patel AG, Mahadevan NR, Campisi M, Ali AK, Sharma B, Rowe JH, Huang H, Debruyne DN, Cerda ED, Krajewska M, Dries R, Chen M, Zhang S, Soriano L, Cohen MA, Versteeg R, Jaenisch R, Spranger S, Romee R, Miller BC, Barbie DA, Nierkens S, Dyer MA, Lieberman J, George RE. Mesenchymal and adrenergic cell lineage states in neuroblastoma possess distinct immunogenic phenotypes. Nat Cancer. 2022 Oct; 3(10):1228-1246. PMID: 36138189; DOI: 10.1038/s43018-022-00427-5;
  7. Ikonomou L, Magnusson M, Dries R, Herzog EL, Hynds RE, Borok Z, Park JA, Skolasinski S, Burgess JK, Turner L, Mojarad SM, Mahoney JE, Lynch T, Lehmann M, Thannickal VJ, Hook JL, Vaughan AE, Hoffman ET, Weiss DJ, Ryan AL. Stem cells, cell therapies, and bioengineering in lung biology and disease 2021. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2022 Sep 01; 323(3):L341-L354. PMID: 35762622; DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00113.2022;
  8. Del Rossi N, Chen JG, Yuan GC, Dries R. Analyzing Spatial Transcriptomics Data Using Giotto. Curr Protoc. 2022 Apr; 2(4):e405. PMID: 35384407; DOI: 10.1002/cpz1.405;
  9. Vanuytsel K, Villacorta-Martin C, Lindstrom-Vautrin J, Wang Z, Garcia-Beltran WF, Vrbanac V, Parsons D, Lam EC, Matte TM, Dowrey TW, Kumar SS, Li M, Wang F, Yeung AK, Mostoslavsky G, Dries R, Campbell JD, Belkina AC, Balazs AB, Murphy GJ. Multi-modal profiling of human fetal liver hematopoietic stem cells reveals the molecular signature of engraftment. Nat Commun. 2022 03 01; 13(1):1103.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35232959; DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-28616-x;
  10. Dries R, Chen J, Del Rossi N, Khan MM, Sistig A, Yuan GC. Advances in spatial transcriptomic data analysis. Genome Res. 2021 10; 31(10):1706-1718. PMID: 34599004; DOI: 10.1101/gr.275224.121;
Showing 10 of 34 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 33 publications over 12 distinct years, with a maximum of 6 publications in 2019 and 2021


2018 Abstract selected for oral talk at the Keystone meeting
2015 Abstract selected for oral talk at the Syboss meeting
2014 Abstract selected for oral talk at the BSCDB meeting
2010 IWT Fellowship: Strategic Basic Research Fund
2009 Ioannina University: International summer internship
2008 Tsinghua University: Travel and study fellowship
Contact for Mentoring:

670 Albany Street
Boston MA 02118
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