Peter Aplan Headshot

Peter D. Aplan, M.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Genetics Branch


Dr. Aplan uses the tools of molecular biology and molecular genetics to understand the causes of hematopoietic malignancy, including myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and B cell precursor ALL. The general approach taken is to identify mutations, such as chromosomal translocations and single nucleotide variants, in leukemic cells, and study these mutations using a combination of in vitro and in vivo models. Recent accomplishments include generation of the first genetically engineered model for MDS (the NUP98-HOXD13 mouse), a genetically engineered model for progenitor B1 cell ALL, and the discovery of templated sequence insertion polymorphisms (TSIPs) in humans. Dr. Aplan is co-organizer and Steering Committee member of the Trans-NIH Myeloid Malignancies Program, a multidisciplinary network of researchers and clinicians dedicated to improving early detection, diagnosis, prognosis and development of novel therapeutics for myeloid malignancies.

Areas of Expertise

Chromosomal Translocations
Templated Sequence Insertion Polymorphisms (TSIPs)


Selected Key Publications

A unique mutator phenotype reveals complementary oncogenic lesions leading to acute leukemia

Yin M, Baslan T, Walker RL, Zhu YJ, Freeland A, Matsukawa T, Sridharan S, Nussenzweig A, Pruitt SC, Lowe SW, Meltzer PS, Aplan PD
JCI. 4(23): 131434, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Engineered Bcor mutations lead to acute leukemia of progenitor B-1 lymphocyte origin in a sensitized background.

Yin M, Chung YJ, Lindsley RC, Walker RL, Zhu YJ, Ebert BL, Meltzer PS, Aplan PD.
Blood. 133(24): 2610-14, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Progenitor B-1 B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia is associated with collaborative mutations in 3 critical pathways

Gough SM, Goldberg L, Pineda M, Walker RL, Zhu YJ, Bilke S, Chung YJ, Dufraine J, Kundu S, Jacoby E, Fry TJ, Fischer S, Panzer-Gr├╝mayer R, Meltzer PS, Aplan PD
Blood Adv. . 1(20): 1749-1759, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

Thymic precursor cells generate acute myeloid leukemia in NUP98-PHF23/NUP98-HOXD13 double transgenic mice

Kundu S, Park ES, Chung YJ, Walker RL, Zhu YJ, Negi V, Meltzer PS, Aplan PD
Sci Rep.. 9(1): 17213, 2019. [ Journal Article ]

Genome Organization Drives Chromosome Fragility.

Canela A, Maman Y, Jung S, Wong N, Callen E, Day A, Kieffer-Kwon KR, Pekowska A, Zhang H, Rao SSP, Huang SC, Mckinnon PJ, Aplan PD, Pommier Y, Aiden EL, Casellas R, Nussenzweig A
Cell. 170(3): 507-521, 2017. [ Journal Article ]

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Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Dengchao Cao, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist
Yang-Jo Chung, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Vijay Negi, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Nupur Nigam, Ph.D.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Olivia Tuckey, B.S.
Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Doyeal Yu, Ph.D.
Special Volunteer
Ryan Bertoli
Program Specialist
Claire Simmons


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