Megan McNerney, M.D., Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor, Dept. of Pathology and Dept. of Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology

Faculty Associate Director of Curriculum, Medical Scientist Training Program

Assistant Program Leader of the Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer Program, The University of Chicago NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center


Megan received her B.A. at Northwestern University and M.D. and Ph.D. at The University of Chicago.  As an Immunology Ph.D. student in the lab of Vinay Kumar, she studied how natural killer cells eliminate tumor cells, and discovered a novel system of natural killer cell inhibition.  She completed her postdoctoral work in Kevin White’s laboratory within the Institute of Genomics and Systems Biology at The University of Chicago, where she characterized the genetic abnormalities in high-risk myeloid neoplasms.  Megan is board-certified in Clinical Pathology and is an Attending in the Genomic and Molecular Pathology lab, which is applying next-generation sequencing in clinical diagnostics for oncology patients.

The McNerney lab is investigating the pathobiology of high-risk myeloid neoplasms, particularly those that have lost all or part of chromosome 7. Her lab has employed an arsenal of innovative wet and dry-lab approaches to interrogate 7q tumor suppressor genes. This work has uncovered the CUX1 transcription factor as a critical regulator of hematopoiesis. The McNerney lab demonstrated that pre-existing CUX1-deficiency, in the context of clonal hematopoiesis, disrupts the epigenetic regulation of DNA repair and sensitizes mice to therapy-related myeloid neoplasms (t-MN) after chemotherapy, supporting a paradigm shift in understanding the etiology of t-MN. Ongoing work includes determining the mechanistic role of CUX1 in development and gene expression, and how 7q tumor suppressor genes cooperate in leukemogenesis.


Northwestern University B.A. 1999 Molecular & Cell Biology

The University of Chicago Ph.D. 2005 Immunology

The University of Chicago M.D. 2007 Medicine

The University of Chicago Residency 2010 Clinical Pathology

The University of Chicago Postdoctoral 2014 Genomics and Systems Biology


1996-1999       Dean’s List, Northwestern University

1997                Second Place Award for Undergraduate Program Poster, Northwestern University

1997                Edgar Macey Scholarship for Summer Research, Northwestern University

1999                Graduation with Departmental Honors, Biological Sciences, Northwestern University

1999                Graduation Cum Laude, Northwestern University

2000-2007       Medical Scientist Training Program, NIH

2003                Best Graduate Student Poster, Committee on Immunology Retreat, University of Chicago

2003-2007       Elaine Frank Family Fellowship for Medical Research, MSTP, University of Chicago

2004                Doolittle-Harrison Travel Fellowship, University of Chicago

2004                Best Oral Presentation, International NK Cell Workshop, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands

2005                Robert E. Priest Pathology Merit Award, Department of Pathology, University of Chicago

2006                Committee on Immunology Best PhD Thesis Award, University of Chicago

2006                Honorable Mention Best PhD Dissertation Award, Biological Sciences, University of Chicago

2007                Leon Jacobson Prize for Senior Scientific Presentation, Pritzker School of Medicine

2009                Resident Research Grant, College of American Pathologists

2010                Robert W. Wissler Fellowship Award, Department of Pathology, University of Chicago

2010                Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fellow Award

2013                Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Illinois Chapter Researcher of the Year

2013                Evans Travel Award, FASEB Hematologic Malignancies Science Research Conference

2014                “V” Foundation in Cancer Research Scholar Award

2017                 FASEB Hematologic Malignancies Conference Mini-Talk Award

2017                 American Society of Hematology Junior Faculty Scholar Award

2019                American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award

2020                Faculty Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring

2022                Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award

2023                Pediatric Cancer Research – V Scholar All Star Award