Named Professorships

M. Sharon Stack

M. Sharon Stack

Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth M. Riley Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute

An outstanding scholar and nationally known cancer researcher, M. Sharon Stack joined Notre Dame as the inaugural Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth M. Riley Science Director of the Mike and Josie Harper Cancer Research Institute and a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame. The Harper Cancer Research Institute is a novel collaboration between the University of Notre Dame and the Indiana University School of Medicine. Professor Stack’s responsibilities include promoting collaborative cancer efforts on campus, crossing college boundaries and institutions, and working with clinicians in the local oncology community. In January 2013, Stack was appointed as sole Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute.

In this role, Stack works collaboratively with the clinicians in the community and at partner institutions such as Indiana University School of Medicine and the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center to develop and foster a collaborative and innovative cancer research program and works to identify emerging areas of high-priority basic science research that will be at the forefront of future cancer research and incorporate these areas in the planning, recruitment and research activities of the Harper Cancer Research Institute.

Prior to joining Notre Dame’s faculty in 2011, Stack was professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences and a professor of cancer research at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Stack also served as a professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Her interests include proteinase regulation, cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion, ovarian and oral tumors, mechanotransduction, and extracellular matrix remodeling. Her research focus is in the area of molecular mechanisms of metastasis.

Stack has served as a full member of the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute Tumor Progression and Metastasis (TPM) study section and currently performs ad hoc review service for both TPM and Tumor Microenvironment as well as intramural review for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). She also has served on review panels organized by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command for all three of their cancer programs: breast, prostate and ovarian, since 1994, and is currently a member of the Integration Panel for the Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Stack also is on the editorial board of Cancer Research and is a retired member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Biochemical Journal editorial boards.

Professor Stack earned her bachelor of science in Biochemistry from Clemson University in 1981, followed by a Fulbright Fellowship year in Bonn, Germany. She earned a master of science in Biomedical Sciences from East Tennessee State University in 1985. In 1989, she received her doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Louisville and completed postdoctoral training in biochemical pathology at Duke University Medical Center. She also served for several years as a research assistant professor at the Duke Medical Center prior to joining the faculty at Northwestern University Feinberg Medical School.


Contact Professor Stack.
Visit her website

The Dunne/Riley Directorship was established in 2008 by James J. (’78) and Susan Dunne and Richard T. (’78) and Constance Riley. Former Notre Dame roommates, Jimmy and Rich created this position to memorialize their mothers, both lost to cancer.