Kendra Marr

MD/PhD Candidate

Kendra Marr

MD/PhD Candidate

Research Advisor:

Anne Cress

Research Topic:

Cancer of the prostate is the most prevalent non-cutaneous cancer and second-most deadly cancer in American men. Given that the 5-year survival for organ confined disease is near 100%, but drops to a mere 30% with distant spread, understanding disease progression is essential to developing appropriate diagnostics to address this striking decrease in survival. Towards this unmet clinical need, my graduate thesis work aims to delineate the events of prostate cancer progression with a particular focus on early invasion of the tumor through the prostatic smooth muscle capsule.

Selected Publications:

Rubenstein CS, Gard JMC, Wang M, McGrath JE, Ingabire N, Hinton JP, Marr KD, Simpson SJ, Nagle RB, Miranti CK, Warfel NA, Garcia JGN, Arif-Tiwari H, Cress AE. Gene editing of α6 integrin inhibits muscle invasive networks and increases cell-cell biophysical properties in prostate cancer. Cancer Res. 2019 Jul 23. pii: canres.0868.2019. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0868. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31337652.

Ragkousi K, Marr K, McKinney S, Ellington L, Gibson MC. Cell-Cycle-Coupled Oscillations in Apical Polarity and Intercellular Contact Maintain Order in Embryonic Epithelia. Curr Biol. 2017 May 8;27(9):1381-1386. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.064. Epub 2017 Apr 27. PubMed PMID: 28457868.

Erwin AA, Galdos MA, Wickersheim ML, Harrison CC, Marr KD, Colicchio JM, Blumenstiel JP. piRNAs Are Associated with Diverse Transgenerational Effects on Gene and Transposon Expression in a Hybrid Dysgenic Syndrome of D. virilis. PLoS Genet. 2015 Aug 4;11(8):e1005332. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005332. eCollection 2015 Aug 4. PubMed PMID: 26241928; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC452466

Selected Awards/Honors:

Carter Travel Award, 2020
ARCS Foundation Scholar, 2019-2020
Leadership Award, Commitment to Underserved People, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, 2018
Travel Grant, Graduate and Professional Student Council, University of Arizona, 2017
Presidential Recognition for Community Service, Executive Office of the President of the United States, 2016
Volunteer Award, Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved, 2016
Departmental Honors in Biology, University of Kansas, 2014
Undergraduate Research Award, University of Kansas, 2013

Selected Presentations:

Marr KD, Ignatenko N, Warfel NA, Batai K, Cress AE, Pollock GR, Wong AC, Lee BR. Use of 3D video microscopy of human-derived prostate organoids to assess features of early invasive prostate cancer. Poster presentation at AUA Annual Meeting. Washington, DC. May 15, 2020.

Marr KD, Arif-Tiwari H, Manzi NI, Wang M, Gard JMC, Garcia JGN, Cress AE. Smooth muscle invasion by prostate cancer requires laminin-binding integrins. Poster presentation at AACR Advances in Prostate Cancer Meeting, Denver, CO. Mar. 13, 2020.

Marr KD, Arif-Tiwari H, Hinton JP, Nagle RB, Martin DR, Cress AE. "Characterizing the Molecular Tumor Landscape in Prostate Cancer Patients". Oral presentation at APSA West Regional Meeting. Loma Linda, CA. Nov. 17, 2019.

Marr KD, Arif-Tiwari H, Hinton JP, Nagle RB, Martin DR, Cress AE. "Characterizing the Molecular Tumor Landscape in Prostate Cancer Patients". Poster presentation at ACP Arizona Chapter Annual Meeting. Tucson, AZ. Oct. 18, 2019.

Marr KD. "Prostate Cancer: Smooth Muscle Microenvironment". Invited talk at inaugural University of Arizona Department of Urology Research Symposium. Tucson, AZ. Oct. 8, 2019.

Marr KD. "Measuring Early Invasion Events in Prostate Cancer". Arizona Cancer Center Prostate Cancer Retreat, University of Arizona. Jun. 19, 2019.

Marr KD; Padilla A, Lander E, Lee JR, Derksen D. “Students Helping Arizona Register Everyone (SHARE): A program to register Arizona communities in the ACA Marketplace”. Oral Presentation at Lead Serve Lead 2017: The AAMC Annual Meeting. Boston, MA. Nov. 4, 2017.


  • University of Kansas, BS, Biology - Cell Biology concentration, 2014
Current Graduate Students