Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Eyler Lab Overview

Christine Eyler, MD, PhD, the Butler Harris Assistant Professor in Radiation Oncology, hopes her research will help find more effective ways to vanquish tumors. She examines how tumors change during radiation treatment, with the goal of identifying new targets for therapy. She is currently investigating rectal cancer.

Dr. Eyler subjects rectal cancer organoids – three-dimensional cultures of cells from patients’ tumors – to treatments including radiation and chemotherapy to investigate how tumor response changes over time, both genetically and epigenetically. 

In addition to studying irradiated rectal cancer, Dr. Eyler uses new technology to learn about how epigenetic changes promote cancer growth in the first place. A common type of epigenetic change is called methylation, in which the addition or subtraction of a molecule called methyl influences gene expression. Another epigenetic player involves the architecture of chromatin, the proteins that form the structural scaffolding for DNA. Changes in the architecture of chromatin can bring certain proteins and genes in a long DNA strand close to one another, influencing whether or not those genes are expressed. Dr. Eyler is using new technology to shine a light on that architecture. Understanding how gene dysregulation leads to cancer could yield important new information about how to stop it.

Eyler Receives V Foundation "Scholar Award" Grant

Christine Eyler, MD, PhD, has been awarded a V Foundation for Cancer Research "V Scholar Award" grant for her research on deciphering drivers of cell changes in response to rectal cancer radiation. 

Eyler Awarded K08

Christine Eyler, MD, PhD, was recently awarded a K08 Mentored Clinical Science Research Career Development Award from the NIH/NCI. The title of the award is "Harnessing treatment-induced tumor evolution and collateral sensitivities using a human rectal cancer co-clinical platform"; the overall goal of the project is to identify and validate evolving rectal cancer collateral sensitivities during chemoradiotherapy.

Eyler Awarded Strong Start Funding

Christine Eyler, MD, PhD, is one of six School of Medicine faculty members to win a 2021 Physician Scientist "Strong Start" Award. The Strong Start program funds early-career physician-scientists as they develop their research. Dr. Eyler will receive $75,000 annually for three years.