Branden Moriarity, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics

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 Ingison

Administrative Phone

Administrative Email

Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN

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


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

  • McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, University of Minnesota (2020-2022)
  • Early Innovator Award, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota (2019)
  • Innovator in Translational Research, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota (2018)
  • 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)


Research Summary/Interests

Preclinical Drug Testing, Genome Engineering, Gene Therapy, and Cancer Immunotherapy.
Dr. Moriarity runs a basic/translational research laboratory working to develop novel cellular therapeutics for gene therapy and cancer immunotherapy with the goal of translating new therapeutics to the clinic. To accomplish these goals the Moriarity lab uses cutting edge genome engineering technologies including CRISPR/Cas9, base editor technology, transposons, and rAAV. These tools allow for high frequency gene knockout, gene knock-in, induction of targeted sequence changes, and activiation and/or repression of endogenous gene expression. Target cells for engineering include T cells, B cells, NK cells, Monocytes, and hematopoietic stem cells. In addition to developing cellular based therapeutics, the Moriarity lab also performs preclinical drug testing for pediatric cancers, such as osteosarcoma, in order to launch new clinical trials using antibody therapies rather than toxic chemotherapy. 


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.