Hannelore  Heemers,  Ph.D.

Hannelore Heemers, Ph.D.

Associate Staff

Center for GU Malignancies Research

Lerner Research Institute, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Phone: (216) 445-7357

Regulators of Androgen Action Resource (RAAR)


Postdoctoral Fellow and Technician Position Available! We are recruiting motivated and talented team players who are interested in or may already have expertise in transcription regulation, kinase action, and the molecular mechanisms that drive cancer treatment resistance. Positions are posted at the Cleveland Clinic jobsite and interested individuals can reach out also to Dr. Heemers for further information.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States. With few exceptions, the >30,000 prostate cancer deaths that occur annually in the United States are due to failure of androgen deprivation therapy. Androgen deprivation therapy targets the genomic action of the androgen receptor. Our laboratory’s research program focuses on generating insights into the specific molecular mechanisms by which the androgen receptor drives prostate cancer progression. The long term goal of our group is 1. to develop novel prostate cancer-selective forms of androgen deprivation therapy, 2. to isolate previously unrecognized drivers of acquired resistance to androgen receptor-targeting therapies and 3. to optimize and personalize the administration of available forms of androgen deprivation therapy. We pursue these goals through 2 lines of research that study coregulator-dependent direct mechanisms of androgen action and an SRF-dependent indirect mechanism of androgen action. Central to our research efforts are integrated approaches that combine an understanding of the basic mechanism of androgen-dependent gene transcription, systems biology approaches designed to answer specific questions, and clinical relevance of our research findings. This work is done via multidisciplinary collaborations with physicians and scientists from the Departments of Cancer Biology, Urology, Hematology/Medical Oncology and Pathology, and involves a growing number of national and international collaborations.

Lay Summary

Androgen deprivation therapy is used to treat advanced prostate cancer and leads to cancer remission; however, it is not curative and has severe side effects.  Moreover, cancers can become treatment-resistant and progress to a lethal stage. Using insights to the mechanisms that the androgen receptor uses to drive prostate tumors to become lethal, the Heemers laboratory seeks to identify new drug targets for novel, more prostate cancer-selective forms of androgen deprivation therapy.  

A.D. DePriest, M.V. Fiandalo, S. Schlanger, F. Heemers, J.L. Mohler, S. Liu, H.V. Heemers 2016 Regulators of Androgen Action Resource (RAAR): a one-stop shop for the comprehensive study of androgen receptor action, Database, bav125

L. Wei, J. Wang, E. Lampert, S. Schlanger, A. D. DePriest, Q. Hu,  E. Cortes Gomez, M. Murakam, S.T. Glenn, J. Conroy, C. Morrison, G. Azabdaftari, J. L. Mohler, S. Liu, H.V. Heemers 2017 Intratumoral and Intertumoral Genomic Heterogeneity of Multifocal Localized Prostate Cancer Impacts Molecular Classifications and Genomic Prognosticators. European Urology, 71(2):183-192.

      Selected for Editorial “Disrupting the Status Quo in Prostate Cancer Diagnosis” by A.D. Lamb, H. Zargar, D.G. Murphy, N.M. Corcoran and C.M. Hovens


S. Liu, S. Kumari, Q. Hu, D. Senapati, V.B. Venkadakrishnan, D. Wang, A.D. DePriest, S. Schlanger, M.M. Valenzuela, B. Willard, S. Mudambi, W.M. Swetzig, G.M. Das, M. Shourideh, S. Koochekpour, S. Moscovita Falzarano, C. Magi-Galluzzi, N. Yadav, X. Chen, C. Lao, J. Wang, J.-N. Billaud, H.V. Heemers2017 A comprehensive analysis of coregulatory recruitment, androgen receptor function and gene expression in prostate cancer. Elife, elife28482

H.M. Itkonen, M. Brown, A. Urbanucci, G. Tredwell, C.H. Lau, S. Barfeld, C. Hart, I.J. Guldvik, M. Takhar, H.V. Heemers, N. Erho, K. Bloch, E. Davicioni, R. Derua, E. Waelkens, J.L. Mohler, N. Clarke, J.V. Swinnen, H.C. Keun, O.P. Rekvig, I.G. Mills 2017 Lipid degradation promotes prostate cancer survival, Oncotarget 8(24):38264-38275.


C. Dai, H.V. Heemers, N. Sharifi 2017 Androgen signaling in prostate cancer.  Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 7(9).

S. Kumari, D. Senapati, H.V. Heemers 2017 Rationale for the development of alternative forms of androgen deprivation therapy. Endocr. Relat. Cancer 24(8):R275-R295.

J. Luo, G. Attard, S.P. Balk, C. Bevan, K. Burnstein, L. Cato, A. Chersakov, J.S. De bono, Y. Dong, A.C. Gao, M. Gleave, H. Heemers, M. Kanayama, R. Kittler, J.M. Lang, R.J. Lee, C.J. Logothetis, R. Matusik, S. Plymate, C.L. Sawyers, L.A. Selth, H. Soule, W. Tilley, N.L. Weigel, A. Zoubeidi, S.M. Dehm, G.V. Raj. 2018 Role of Androgen Receptor Variants in Prostate Cancer: Report from the 2017 Mission Androgen Receptor Variants Meeting, Eur Urol. 73(5):715-723.

S. Schlanger, H.V. Heemers 2018 Functional studies on steroid receptors.  Methods Mol Biol. 1786:117-130

V.B. Venkadakrishnan, A.D. DePriest, S. Kumari, D. Senapati, S. Ben-Salem, Y. Su, G. Mudduluru, Q. Hu, E. Cortes, E. Pop, J.L. Mohler, G. Azabdaftari, K. Attwood, R.B. Shah, C. Jamieson, S.M. Dehm, C. Magi-Galluzzi, E. Klein, N. Sharifi, S. Liu, H.V. Heemers 2019 Protein Kinase N1 control of androgen-responsive Serum Response Factor action provides rationale for novel prostate cancer treatment strategy. Oncogene, 38:4496-4511


D. Senapati, S. Kumari, H.V. Heemers 2020 Androgen receptor co-regulation in prostate cancer, Asian J Urology. 7:219-232

V.B Venkadakrishnan, S. Ben-Salem, H.V. Heemers 2020 AR-dependent phosphorylation and phospho-proteome targets in prostate cancer. Endocrine-Related Cancer. 27:R193-R210

S. Ben-Salem, Q. Hu, Y. Liu, M. Alshalalfa, X. Zhao, I. Wang, V.B. Venkadakrishnan, D. Senapati, S. Kumari, D. Liu, A. Sboner, C.E. Barbieri, F. Feng, J-N. Billaud, E. Davicioni, S. Liu, H.V. Heemers 2020 Diversity in androgen receptor action among treatment-naïve prostate cancers is reflected in treatment response predictions and molecular subtypes. European Urology Open Science. In press.

S. Gupta, H.V. Heemers 2021 Treatment-induced treatment sensitization in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. European Urology. In press. 

S. Ben-Salem, V.B. Venkadakrishnan, H.V. Heemers 2021 Novel insights in cell cycle dysregulation during prostate cancer progression. Endocrine-Related Cancer. In press.

S. Ben-Salem, V.B. Venkadakrishnan, H.V. Heemers 2021 Genomic alterations impact cell cycle-related genes during prostate cancer progression. Endocrine-Related Cancer. In press.

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