Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Peter Lab

About Our Lab

The lab of Dr. Marcus E. Peter studies various forms of cell death including apoptosis, which is a fundamental process to regulate homeostasis of all tissues and to eliminate unwanted cells specifically in the immune system. Another interest lies in the study of RNA interference and based on toxic RNAs to development a novel form of cancer treatment. The laboratory is located within the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern University.


Oct 29, 2018: Cancer's Most Deadly Assassin Exists in Every Cell

A kill code is embedded in every cell in the body whose function may be to cause the self-destruction of cells that become cancerous, the Peter Lab reports in Nature Communications.

Click here to read the press release.

Jan 4, 2019: Interview with Dr. Peter on the kill code on American Medicine Today

Click here to listen to the interview.

Feb 12, 2018: Huntington's disease provides new cancer weapon

Trinucleotide repeat disorders like Huntington's disease show severe neurological pathologies, but are also characterised by reduced cancer susceptibility. A new study from the PeterLab demonstrates that siRNAs based on trinucleotide repeats show specific toxicity against cancer cells, explaining the low cancer incidence in triple repeat diseases.

Click here to read the press release.

Feb 24, 2018: Interview with Dr. Peter on the Huntington's disease study on the show Futureproof on newstalk 106-108fm Ireland

Click here to listen to the interview.

Oct 25, 2017: Suicide Molecules Kill Any Cancer Cell

Small RNA molecules can trigger a mechanism hidden in every cell, forcing it to commit suicide, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study, the first to identify molecules that trigger such a fail-safe mechanism.

Click here to read the press release.

Nov 22, 2017: GW Podcast Interview of Dr. Peter on the discovery of the kill switch

Peter Lab discusses toxic RNAs to kill cancer cells on The GW Center for Healthcare Innovation & Policy Research podcast.

Click here to listen to the interview.


In August 2015, Dr. Peter was selected as an inaugural recipient of the NCI R35 Outstanding Investigator Award (OIA), which provides seven years of research support to investigators with outstanding records of productivity and achievement in cancer research.


Recent Publications

For more publication information see Northwestern Scholars and for more information see Marcus Ernst Peter, PhD, faculty profile.

Marcus Ernst Peter, PhD

Marcus Ernst Peter, PhD

Marcus E. Peter, Ph.D. Tomas D. Spies Professor of Cancer Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Division Hematology/Oncology.
Member and Program Leader "Translational Research in Solid Tumors (TRIST)" Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.