Department of Pathology
Scott Oakes studies how mammalian cells commit “suicide” in response to various forms of damage and what goes wrong with this process in cancer and other diseases. In particular, his research focuses on a type of stress that occurs when the cell’s protein folding factory—an organelle called the endoplasmic reticulum—is overwhelmed and protein quality control fails. He is engaged in developing drugs that would control cell fate under these conditions and potentially benefit patients with cancer or neurodegeneration.
His discoveries have been published in Science, Cell, Nature Cell Biology, and Cell Metabolism. He was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation and has won numerous awards, including a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Physician-Scientist Award, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award, Harrington Discovery Institute Scholar-Innovator Award, American Association for Cancer Research Award, and American Society for Investigative Pathology Outstanding Investigator Award.
Oakes received his MD from the University of Connecticut and completed his residency in pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he was a professor of pathology at the University of California, San Francisco.