Meera Murgai, Ph.D.

Meera Murgai, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Meera Murgai's research centers on perivascular cell plasticity and heterogeneity in the metastatic microenvironment. Most recently, her efforts have focused on employing single cell sequencing, immunofluorescent imaging, and computational methods to elucidate the stromal cell populations that play pro- and anti-tumor roles in pre-metastatic and metastatic microenvironments.

Areas of Expertise

Metastasis and Pre-Metastatic Niche
Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells Pericytes and Fibroblasts
Stem Cell Niches In Development and Disease


Selected Recent Publications

KLF4-dependent perivascular cell plasticity mediates pre-metastatic niche formation and metastasis

Murgai M, Ju W, Eason M, Kline J, Beury DW, Kaczanowska S, Miettinen MM, Kruhlak M, Lei H, Shern JF, Cherepanova OA, Owens GK, Kaplan RN.
Nature Medicine. 23(10): 1176-1190, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Activation of the pluripotency factor OCT4 in smooth muscle cells is atheroprotective

Cherepanova OA, Gomez D, Shankman LS, Swiatlowska P, Williams J, Sarmento OF, Alencar GF, Hess DL, Bevard MH, Greene ES, Murgai M, Turner SD, Geng YJ, Bekiranov S, Connelly JJ, Tomilin A, Owens GK.
Nature Medicine. 22(6): 657-665, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Activation of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells Promotes Immunosuppression Within the Pre-metastatic Niche

Giles AJ, Reid CM, Evans JD, Murgai M, Vicioso Y, Highfill SL, Kasai M, Vahdat L, Mackall CL, Lyden D, Wexler L, Kaplan RN.
Cancer Research. 76(6): 1335-1347, 2016. [ Journal Article ]

Physiological, Tumor, and Metastatic Niches: Opportunities and Challenges for Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment

Murgai M, Giles A, Kaplan R.
Critical Reviews in Oncogenesis. 20(3-4): 301-314, 2015. [ Journal Article ]

Job Vacancies

Interested in joining the Murgai lab?

A postdoctoral fellowship is available to study the role of pericytes to promote pre-metastatic niche formation and metastatic progression.


Lauren Ziemer photo
Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)
Lauren Ziemer, Ph.D.
Tamara McErlain photo
Pre-doctoral Visiting Fellow (Graduate Student)
Tamara McErlain, M.S.
Morgan Glass photo
Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Morgan Glass, B.S.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Evan Hickman, B.S.