Welcome to the Bastian Lab
We search for biomarkers that can assist diagnosis or improve therapy
Molecular taxonomy
A major goal of our lab is to assist in the development of a molecular taxonomy of melanocytic neoplasia that distinguishes distinct melanoma subtypes and delineates their evolution from pre-neoplastic lesions.

What are the molecular alterations in tumor and host cells that define a melanoma?

The Bastian Lab studies tumors that arise from melanocytes, the melanin-producing cells of the skin and other organs. Pigment cell tumors are an ideal model to study the processes involved in early cancer formation, as pigment cell tumors are often removed at very early stages. In fact, most melanocytic tumors that are removed are completely harmless (so called moles or nevi), but some are potentially dangerous (called melanomas). Melanomas can arise from moles or other precursor lesions or can form seemingly from normal skin. We are studying the mechanisms of how moles form and what makes them cancerous. Our goal is to develop objective diagnostic algorithms that can assess how far an individual patient’s tumor has evolved and how treatment is best be tailored to the individual patient.