Hilary A. Coller

5145 Terasaki Life Sciences
610 Charles E. Young Drive East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7329
Phone: 310-825-3483


Position Titles

Professor, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology
Professor, Biological Chemistry


Hilary Coller, Ph.D., is Professor of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, UCLA and Professor of Biological Chemistry at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University. She received a PhD in Toxicology from MIT where she studied the role of environmental chemicals as mutagenic agents in human tissue.  She did postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute in the laboratories of Dr. Eric Lander and Todd Golub, and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the laboratory of Dr. Jim Roberts.  The Coller laboratory applies systems biology approaches, cell, molecular biology and biochemical approaches and mouse models to understand the molecular basis of cellular quiescence.  The laboratory has discovered new molecular insights into the cell cycle arrest achieved by quiescent cells and the ability of quiescent cells to survive.  Dr. Coller is an Associate Editor of Physiological Genomics and leads the Systems Biology of Cell State Regulation Theme for the journal. At UCLA, she is the Chair of the Bioinformatics-IDP Outreach Committee.

Research Description

Hilary A. Coller, PhD, focuses her research on understanding the molecular basis of quiescent cells (cells in a temporary non-dividing state). Quiescence is a common state for many somatic cells including stem cells and the failure to appropriately regulate the transition between quiescence and proliferation underlies several common and lethal disorders (such as cancer). While the commonly held perception of quiescence is as a sleepy or default state, her research instead suggests that quiescence is an active and highly regulated process.

Using sophisticated technologies and computational approaches to understand the cellular networks that underlie quiescence, Dr. Coller’s lab is applying next generation sequencing, mass spectrometry proteomics and mass spectrometry metabolomics to generate high-quality datasets defining the characteristics of proliferating and quiescent cells. She has also developed specific computational and algorithmic approaches for analyzing and interpreting these datasets.

A key goal of Dr. Coller’s work is translating these findings to better understand the changes that occur during tumor dormancy.  She also utilizes similar approaches to understand the changes that occur when fibroblasts become activated to cancer-associated fibroblasts. Her research suggests new strategies to revolutionize treatment of patients with cancer and patients who need to replace a damaged or diseased tissue or organ.

Awards & Honors

2013        Leukemia Lymphoma Society New Idea Award
2008        Johnson & Johnson Focused Funding Award
2007        PhRMA Foundation Research Starter Award in Bioinformatics
2007        Keck Foundation Excellence in Research Award
2005        Rita Allen Foundation Scholar (Milton E. Cassel memorial award)
2004        Recipient of the Quest for the Cure Research Fund, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
2002        Leukemia Lymphoma Society Special Fellow
2002        Young Investigator Travel Fellowship, The Cell Cycle as a Target in Chemoprevention and Cancer
1999        Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Biomedical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship
1991        Best Thesis in Technology and Policy
1991        Claire Booth Luce Fellowship
1990        Ida Green Fellowship (MIT)
1989        National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship honorable mention
1985        National Merit Scholarship