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Sean Egan

Title: Senior Scientist, Cell Biology
Designations: PhD
Alternate Contact Name: Sandy Hume
Alternate Phone: 416-813-5731
Alternate Email:
U of T Positions: Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics
Chair Positions: Co-chair, Garron Family Research Advisory Committee


Dr. Sean Egan is a Senior Scientist in the Cell Biology program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and a professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Egan completed his PhD with Drs. Arnold Greenberg and Jim Wright at the Manitoba Institute for Cell Biology/University of Manitoba. This was followed by postdoctoral training with Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute/MIT and a year with Dr. Julian Downward at the ICRF in London (Institute of Cancer Research).


The Egan Lab has worked on Notch signaling in the mammary gland and breast cancer as well as on genetic screens to identify oncogenic mutations responsible for mammary tumor formation and metastasis.

The lab develops immune competent mouse models for mammary cancer as a means to probe genetic mechanisms responsible for tumor progression and metastasis, and also as a platform for the development of rational combination therapy which includes an immune-therapy component.   

Models have been developed for a number of common genetic alterations associated with human breast cancer including commonly mutated genes such as PIK3CA, as well as chromosome arm losses. More recently, these models are being used to define oncogene-specific networks of mutations that promote tumor progression and metastasis.


  • 1979–83: B.Sc. Honors, Biochemistry (Chemistry and Microbiology joint), The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • 1984–89: PhD, Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of the Metastatic Phenotype. Department of Microbiology. Supervisors: Jim A. Wright and Arnold H. Greenberg. Department of Microbiology, The University of Manitoba, Canada.
  • 1989–92: Postdoctoral Fellow, Supervisor: Robert A. Weinberg. The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research/ Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  • 1993: Visiting Scientist, Host: Julian Downward. Signal Transduction Lab/ The Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK.


  • 1993–2000: Staff Scientist, Programs in Cancer Research and Developmental Biology/The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.
  • 1995–2000: Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto.
  • 1995–Present: Member, Interdepartmental Collaborative Graduate Program in Developmental Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto.
  • 2000–June 2013: Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto.
  • 2000–Present: Senior Scientist, Programs in Cancer Research and Developmental Biology/The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.
  • July 2013–Present: Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto


  1. N.F. Schachter, J.R. Adams, P. Skowron, K.J. Kozma, C.A. Lee, N. Raghuram, J. Yang, A.J. Loch, A. Kucharczuk, K.L. Wright, R.M. Quintana, Y. An, D. Dotzko, J. L. Gorman, D. Wojtal, J. S. Shah, P. Leon-Gomez, G. Pellecchia, A. J. Dupuy, C. M. Perou, I. Ben-Porath, R. Karni, E. Zacksenhaus, J. R. Woodgett, S. J. Done, L. Garzia, A. Sorana Morissy, J.Reimand, M. D. Taylor and S. E. Egan. (2021). Single allele loss-of-function mutations select and sculpt conditional cooperative networks in breast cancer. Nature Communications. 12(1): 5238. PMID: 34475389
  2. K. Xu, J. Usary, P.C. Kousis, A. Prat, D.-Y. Wang, J.R. Adams, W. Wang, A.J. Loch, Tao Deng, W. Zhao, R.D. Cardiff, K. Yoon, N. Gaiano, V. Ling, J. Beyene, E. Zacksenhaus, T. Gridley, W.L. Leong, C.J. Guidos, C.M. Perou and S.E. Egan, 2012. Lunatic Fringe Deficiency Cooperates with the Met/Caveolin Gene Amplicon to Induce Basal-like Breast Cancer.  Cancer Cell21:626-641. Highlighted by the Faculty of 1000. PMID: 22624713.
  3. K. Jiang, K.L. Wright, P. Zhu, M.J. Szego, A.N. Bramall, W.W. Hauswirth, Q. Li, S.E. Egan#, R.R. McInnes#. 2014. Stat3 promotes survival of mutant photoreceptors in inherited photoreceptor degeneration models.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111(52):E5716-23. #Co-senior authors. PMID: 25512545.
  4. K.L. Wright, J.R. Adams, J.C. Liu, A.J. Loch, R.G. Wong, C.E. Jo, L.A. Beck, D.R. Santhanam, L. Weiss, X. Mei, T.F. Lane, S.B. Koralov, S.J. Done, J.R. Woodgett, E. Zacksenhaus, P. Hu, S.E. Egan. 2015. Ras signalling is a key determinant for metastatic dissemination and poor survival of luminal breast cancer patients. Cancer Research. 75(22):4960-72. PMID: 26400062.
  5. *Y. An#, J.R. Adams#, D.P. Hollern#, A. Zhao, S.G. Chang, M.S. Gams, P.E.D. Chung, X. He, X. He, R. Jangra, J.S. Shah, J. Yang, L.A. Beck, N. Raghuram, K.J. Kozma, A.J. Loch, W. Wang, C. Fan, S.J. Done, E. Zacksenhaus, C.J. Guidos, C.M. Perou*, S.E. Egan*. 2018. Cdh1 and Pik3ca mutations cooperate to induce Immune-Related Invasive Lobular Carcinoma of the Breast.  Cell Reports.  2018 Oct 16;25(3):702-714#co-first authors. *co-senior authors. PMID:30332649. 

See a full list of Sean Egan's publications

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