Branden Moriarity, PhD

Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Branden Moriarity

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-625-2226

Fax 612-625-9810

Lab Phone 612-625-2226

Office Address:
Cancer Cardiovascular Research Building
2231 6th Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Mailing Address:
Masonic Cancer Research Ctr
1st Floor Mailroom CCRB
2812A (Campus Delivery Code)
2231 6th St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Administrative Assistant Name
Rebecca Godar

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

PhD, Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Genetics, University of Minnesota Medical School


Dr. Moriarity is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology. He graduated from Saint Olaf College in 2007 with a BA in Biology, Chemistry, and Biomolecular sciences. He received his Ph.D. in molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics at the University of Minnesota in 2012. From 2012-2014 he was post doctoral fellow in David Largaespda’s lab where he worked on identifying the genetics of pediatric sarcomas. Dr. Moriarity joined the Department of Pediatrics Faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2014.

Awards & Recognition

  • Recipient of travel award from CGE for the 2014 FASEB Genome Engineering conference in Nassau, Bahamas
  • Musculoskeletal Training Grant recipient 2010 (2010-2012)
  • Recipient of travel award from CGE for the 2010 FASEB Genome Engineering conference in Steamboat, CO
  • Recipient of Courtland and Ellen Agre award for highest-ranked Chemistry student going on to graduate school 2007
  • Received HHMI international scholars summer research award 2006
  • Graduated Cum Laude from St. Olaf College


Research Summary/Interests

Pediatric cancer genetics, Gene-editing, Immunotherapy
Pediatric cancer genetics, gene and immunotherapy, genome engineering. Dr. Moriarity’s laboratory is working on studying the genetics of pediatric cancer, including sarcomas and brain tumors, to identify novel therapeutic targets to better treat pediatric cancer patients. The Moriarity lab uses animal models and comparative genomics approaches to identify new candidate cancer genes. Once identified, candidate genes are functionally studied in human cancer and immortalized cell lines using cutting edge technologies, such as targeted nucleases. The primary targeted nucleases used in the Moriarity lab are the CRISPR/Cas9 and Transcriptional Activator-Like Effector (TALEN) systems, which are used to knockout genes, induce targeted sequence changes, activate and/or repress endogenous gene expression.


Natalie K. Wolf, David A. Largaespada, Branden S. Moriarity. 2015. Coping with cancer genes altered by copy number. Oncotarget. Nov 3;6(34):35155-6.

Amy P Chiu, Barbara R Tschida, Lilian H Lo, Branden S Moriarity, Dewi K Rowlands, David A Largaespada, Vincent W Keng. 2015. Transposon mouse models to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of hepatitis B viral induced hepatocellular carcinoma. World J Gastroenterol. Nov 14;21(42):12157-70.

Nuri A. Temiz*, Branden S. Moriarity*, Natalie K. Wolf, David Largaespada, Aaron L. Sarver. 2016. Transposon-RNA fusion sequence from SB accelerated muring tumors allows precision analyses of forward genetic cancer screens. Genome Res. Jan;26(1):119-29. *These authors contributed equally

Lisa Mirabello*, Roelof Koster*, Branden Moriarity, Logan Spector, Paul S. Meltzer, Mitchell J. Machiela, Nathan Pankratz, Orestis Panagiotou, David Largaespada, Zhaoming Wang, Julie M. Gastier-Foster, Richard Gorlick, Chand Khanna, Silvia Regina Caminada de Toledo, Antonio S. Petrilli, Ana Patiño-Garcia, Luis Sierrasesúmaga, Fernando Lecanda, Irene L. Andrulis, Jay S. Wunder, Nalan Gokgoz, Massimo Serra, Claudia Hattinger, Piero Picci, Adrienne M. Flanagan, Roberto Tirabosco, Maria Fernanda Amary, Dina Halai, Mandy Ballinger, David M. Thomas, Donald A. Barkauskas, Neyssa Marina, Lee Helman, George M. Otto, Kelsie L. Becklin, Natalie K. Wolf, Madison T. Weg, Margaret Tucker, Sholom Wacholder, Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., Neil E. Caporaso, Joseph F. Boland, Belynda D. Hicks, Aurelie Vogt, Laurie Burdette, Meredith Yeager, Robert N. Hoover, Stephen J. Chanock, Sharon A. Savage. 2015. A genome-wide scan identifies variants in NFIB associated with metastasis in patients with osteosarcoma. Cancer Discov. 5(9):920-31. *Co-First Authors

Marc Zuckermann, Volker Hovestadt, Christiane B. Knobbe-Thomsen, Marc Zapatka, Paul A. Northcott, Kathrin Schramm, Jelena Belic, David T.W. Jones, Barbara Tschida, Branden Moriarity, David Largaespada, Martine F. Roussel, Andrey Korshunov, Guido Reifenberger, Stefan M. Pfister, Peter Lichter, Daisuke Kawauchi & Jan Gronych. 2015. Somatic CRISPR/Cas9-mediated tumour suppressor disruption enables versatile brain tumour modelling. Nature Communications. Jun 11; 6:7391.

Branden S. Moriarity and D.A. Largaespada. 2015. Sleeping Beauty Transposon Insertional Mutagenesis Based Mouse Models for Cancer Gene Discovery. Current Opinion in Genetics & Development. Jun 3; 30:66-72.

Branden S. Moriarity, George M. Otto, Natalie Wolf, Luke A. Manlove, Eric P. Rahrmann, Sam Molyneux, Kevin Holly, Aaron L. Sarver, Chand Khanna, Stephen Hewitt, Marc lydania, Rama Khokha, Michael A. Dyer & David A. Largaespada. 2015. A Sleeping Beauty Forward Genetic Screen Identifies Genes Promoting Osteosarcoma Development and Metastasis. Nature Genetics. Jun; 47(6):615-24.

Susan K. Rathe, Branden S. Moriarity, Christopher B. Stoltenberg, Morito Kurata, Natalie K. Aumann, Eric P. Rahrmann, Natashay J. Bailey, Ellen G. Melrose, Dominic A. Beckmann, Chase R. Liska, David A. Largaespada. (2014). Using RNA-seqand targeted nucleases to identify mechanisms of drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia. Scientific Reports. 4(6048) doi:10.1038/srep06048.

Ming V. Li, Dip Shukla, Brian H. Rhodes, Anjali Lall, Jingmin Shu, Branden S. Moriarity, and David A. Largaespada. (2014). HomeRun Vector Assembly System: a Flexible and Standardized Cloning System for Assembly of Multi-Modular DNA.PLoS ONE. 24;9(6):e100948.

Branden S. Moriarity, Eric P. Rahrmann, Dominic A. Beckmann, Caitlin B. Conboy, Adrienne L. Watson, Daniel F. Carlson, Erik R. Olson, Kendra A. Hyland, Scott C. Fahrenkrug, R. Scott McIvor& David A. Largaespada. (2014). Simple and Efficient Methods for Enrichment and Isolation of Endonuclease Modified Cells.PLoS ONE. 9(5): e96114. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096114

Eric P. Rahrmann, Branden S. Moriarity, George M. Otto, Adrienne L. Watson, Kwangmin Choi, Margaret H. Collins, Margaret Wallace, Beau R. Webber, Colleen L. Forster, Anthony E. Rizzardi, Stephen C. Schmechel, Nancy Ratner, David A. Largaespada. (2014). Trp53 haploinsufficiencymodifies EGFR-driven peripheral nerve sheath tumorigenesis. Am J Pathol. doi:10.1016/j.ajpath.2014.04.006.

Yuen-Yi Tseng, Branden S. Moriarity, Wuming Gong, Thomas C Beadnell, Jaclyn Essig, M. Gerard O'Sullivan, David A. Largaespada, York Marahrens, Kathryn L. Schwertfeger, Anindya Bagchi. (2014). Pvt1-Dependence in Cancer with MYC Copy-Number-Increase. Nature. 10.1038/nature13311.

Adrienne L. Watson, Eric P. Rahrmann, Branden S. Moriarity, Kwangmin Choi, Caitlin B. Conboy, Andrew D. Greeley, Amanda L. Halfond, Leah K. Anderson, Brian R. Wahl, Vincent W. Keng, Anthony E. Rizzardi, Colleen L. Forster, Margaret H. Collins, Aaron L. Sarver, Margaret R. Wallace, Stephen C. Schmechel, Nancy Ratner, and David A. Largaespada. (2013). Canonical Wnt/?-catenin signaling drives human schwann cell transformation, progression, and tumor maintenance. Cancer Discov. 2013 Jun;3(6):674-89. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.

Eric P Rahrmann, Adrienne L Watson, Vincent W Keng, Kwangmin Choi, Branden S Moriarity, Dominic A Beckmann, Natalie Wolf, Aaron Sarver, Margaret H Collins, Christopher L Moertel, Margaret R Wallace, Bernat Gel, Eduard Serra, Nancy Ratner, & David A Largaespada. (2013). Forward genetic screen for malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor formation identifies new genes and pathways driving tumorigenesis. Nat Genet. 2013 Jul;45(7):756-66. doi: 10.1038/ng.2641.

Branden S. Moriarity, Eric P. Rahrmann, Vincent W. Keng, Luke S. Manlove, Dominic A. Beckmann, Natalie K. Wolf,Touba Khurshid, Jason B. Bell, & David A. Largaespada. (2013). Modular Assembly of Transposon Integratable Multigene Vectors Using RecWay Assembly. Nucleic Acids Research, 2013, 1–12 doi:10.1093/nar/gkt115.

Vincent W. Keng, Daniela Sia, Aaron L. Sarver, Barbara R. Tschida, Danhua Fan, Clara Alsinet, Manel Sole, Wai L. Lee, Timothy P. Kuka, Branden S. Moriarity, Augusto Villanueva, Adam J. Dupuy, Jesse D. Riordan, Jason B. Bell, Kevin A. T. Silverstein, Josep M. Llovet and David A. Largaespada (2012). Sex bias occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma in Poly7 molecular subclass is associated with EGFR. Hepatology. Jan;57(1):120-130.

Vincent W. Keng, Adrienne L. Watson, Eric P. Rahrmann, Hua Li, Barbara R. Tschida, Branden S. Moriarity, Kwangmin Choi, Tilat A. Rizvi, Margaret H. Collins, Margaret R. Wallace, Nancy Ratner and David A. Largaespada (2012). Conditional inactivation of Pten with EGFR overexpression in Schwann cells models sporadic MPNST. Sarcoma. 2012:620834.

11.Andrew Wilber, Fernando Ulloa Montoya, Luke Hammer, Branden S. Moriarity, Aron M. Geurts, David A. Largaespada, Catherine M. Verfaillie, R. Scott McIvor, and Uma Lakshmipathy. (2011). Efficient Non-Viral Integration and Stable Gene Expression in Multipotent Adult Progenitor Cells. Stem Cells Int. 2011:717069. Epub 2011 Oct 2.

Branden S. Moriarity and D. A. Largaespada. (2011). A comprehensive guide to sleeping Beauty–Based somatic transposon mutagenesis in the mouse. Current Protocols in Mouse Biology.

Branden S. Moriarity, Nováková O, Farrell N, Brabec V, Kaspárková J. (2007). 1,2-GG intrastrand cross-link of antitumor dinuclear bifunctional platinum compound with spermidine linker inhibits DNA polymerization more effectively than the cross-link of conventional cisplatin. Arch Biochem Biophys.15;459(2):264-72.