26689-O'Hagan, Heather

Heather M. O'Hagan, PhD

Associate Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics

Biology Building Room 108
1001 E. 3rd St.
Bloomington, IN 47405
Pubmed Logo


Dr. Heather M. O’Hagan earned a B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan. Her doctoral research under the mentorship of Dr. Mats Ljungman focused on mechanisms of activation of the tumor suppressor p53 after DNA damage and the inhibition of transcription. Dr. O’Hagan completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Baylin at the Johns Hopkins University where she researched DNA damage-induced epigenetic alterations and how the epigenetic silencing of key genes contributes to carcinogenesis. In 2013, Dr. O’Hagan joined the Indiana University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and the Medical Sciences Program. In 2021, she was promoted to Associate Professor and gained tenure in 2022. The long-term goal of her group is to understand how epigenetic factors contribute to cancer initiation and progression.

For more information on the research being done in the O'Hagan laboratory please go to http://ohaganlab-iu.strikingly.com/.

Key Publications

Ghobashi AH, Vuong TT, Kimani JW, Ladaika CA, Hollenhorst PC, O’Hagan HM. (2023) Activation of AKT induces EZH2-mediated b-catenin trimethylation in colorectal cancer. iScience. 26(9):107630.

Sriramkumar S, Sood R, Huntington TD, Ghobashi AH, Vuong TT, Metcalfe TX, Wang W, Nephew KP, O'Hagan HM. (2022) Platinum-induced mitochondrial OXPHOS contributes to cancer stem cell enrichment in ovarian cancer. J Transl Med. 20(1):246.

Miller SA, Policastro RA, Sriramkumar S, Lai T, Huntington TD, Ladaika CA, Kim D, Hao C, Zentner GE, O’Hagan HM. (2021) LSD1 and aberrant DNA methylation mediate persistence of enteroendocrine progenitors that support BRAF mutant colorectal cancer. Cancer Research. 81(14):3791-3805.

DeStefano Shields CE, White JR, Chung L, Wenzel A, Hicks JL, Tam AJ, Chan JL, Dejea CM, Fan H, Maiuri AR, Sriramkumar S, Podicheti R, Rusch DB, Wang H, De Marzo AM, Huso DL, Besharati S, Anders RA, Baylin SB, O'Hagan HM#, Housseau F#, Sears CL#. (2021) Bacterial-driven inflammation and mutant BRAF expression combine to promote murine colon tumorigenesis that is sensitive to immune checkpoint therapy. Cancer Discovery. 11(7):1792-1807. #Co-corresponding authors

Sriramkumar S, Matthews TD, Ghobashi AH, Miller SA, VanderVere-Carozza PS, Pawelczak KS, Nephew KP, Turchi JJ, O’Hagan HM. (2020) Platinum-induced ubiquitination of phosphorylated H2AX by RING1A is mediated by replication protein A in ovarian cancer. Molecular Cancer Research. 18(11):1699-1710.

Miller SA, Policastro RA, Savant SS, Sriramkumar S, Ding N, Lu X, Mohammad HP, Cao S, Kalin JH, Cole PA, Zentner GE, O’Hagan HM. (2020) LSD1 mediates AKT activity in PIK3CA mutant colorectal cancer. Molecular Cancer Research. 18(2):264-277. Featured as the February 2020 “Editor’s Pick” and cover article.

Maiuri AR, Li H, Stein BD, Tennessen JM, O'Hagan HM. (2018) Inflammation-induced DNA methylation of DNA polymerase gamma alters the metabolic profile of colon tumors. Cancer Metabolism. 6:9.

Maiuri AR, Peng M, Sriramkumar S, Kamplain CM, DeStefano Shields CE, Sears CL, O'Hagan HM. (2017) Mismatch Repair Proteins Initiate Epigenetic Alterations during Inflammation-Driven Tumorigenesis. Cancer Res. 77(13):3467-3478. Selected as a NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month.

Ding N, Bonham EM, Hannon BE, Amick TR, Baylin SB and O'Hagan HM. (2016). Mismatch repair proteins recruit DNA methyltransferase 1 to sites of oxidative DNA damage. J Mol Cell Bio. 8(3): 244-54. 

O'Hagan HM, Wang W, Sen S, Destefano Shields C, Lee SS, Zhang YW, Clements EG, Cai Y, Van Neste L, Easwaran H, Casero RA, Sears CL and Baylin SB. (2011). Oxidative damage targets complexes containing DNA methyltransferases, SIRT1, and polycomb members to promoter CpG islands. Cancer Cell. 20(5): 606-19.

O'Hagan HM, Mohammad HP and Baylin SB. (2008). Double strand breaks can initiate gene silencing and SIRT1-dependent onset of DNA methylation in an exogenous promoter CpG island. PLoS Genet. 4(8): e1000155.

Looking for patient care?

To schedule an appointment with a faculty member physician of IU School of Medicine, contact Indiana University Health at 888-484-3258 or use the physician finder by clicking the button below.