Kasey Couts, PhD
Assistant Professor, Medicine-Medical Oncology

Graduate School :
  • PhD, University of Colorado - Boulder (2010)
Undergraduate School:
  • BA/BS, Valparaiso University (IN) (2004)
Languages: English
Department: Medicine-Medical Oncology

Professional Titles

  • Co-Director, CU Center for Rare Melanomas

Research Interests

My research interests are primarily focused on understanding the development and pathobiology underlying rare melanomas (such as mucosal, acral, and ocular melanomas) in order to 1) identify risk factors to improve prevention and early detection, 2) develop novel tumor/blood diagnostics for rare melanoma subtypes, 3) establish methods for halting progression and eliminating micro-metastatic disease, and 4) improve efficacy of current therapies (targeted and immunotherapies) and develop new treatment modalities which are effective for rare melanoma patients


  • Holman BN, Van Gulick RJ, Amato CM, MacBeth ML, Davies KD, Aisner DL, Robinson WA, Couts KL. Clinical and molecular features of subungual melanomas are site-specific and distinct from acral melanomas. Melanoma Res. 2020 Dec;30(6):562-573. PubMed PMID: 33156595
  • Mukherjee N, Skees J, Todd KJ, West DA, Lambert KA, Robinson WA, Amato CM, Couts KL, Van Gulick R, MacBeth M, Nassar K, Tan AC, Zhai Z, Fujita M, Bagby SM, Dart CR, Lambert JR, Norris DA, Shellman YG. MCL1 inhibitors S63845/MIK665 plus Navitoclax synergistically kill difficult-to-treat melanoma cells. Cell Death Dis. 2020 Jun 8;11(6):443. PubMed PMID: 32513939
  • Borgers JSW, Tobin RP, Vorwald VM, Smith JM, Davis DM, Kimball AK, Clambey ET, Couts KL, McWilliams JA, Jordan KR, Torphy RJ, Schulick R, McCarter MD. High-Dimensional Analysis of Postsplenectomy Peripheral Immune Cell Changes. Immunohorizons. 2020 Feb 18;4(2):82-92. PubMed PMID: 32071067
  • Tobin RP, Jordan KR, Kapoor P, Spongberg E, Davis D, Vorwald VM, Couts KL, Gao D, Smith DE, Borgers JSW, Robinson S, Amato C, Gonzalez R, Lewis KD, Robinson WA, Borges VF, McCarter MD. IL-6 and IL-8 Are Linked With Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Accumulation and Correlate With Poor Clinical Outcomes in Melanoma Patients. Front Oncol. 2019;9:1223. PubMed PMID: 31781510
  • Hintzsche JD, Gorden NT, Amato CM, Kim J, Wuensch KE, Robinson SE, Applegate AJ, Couts KL, Medina TM, Wells KR, Wisell JA, McCarter MD, Box NF, Shellman YG, Gonzalez RC, Lewis KD, Tentler JJ, Tan AC, Robinson WA. Whole-exome sequencing identifies recurrent SF3B1 R625 mutation and comutation of NF1 and KIT in mucosal melanoma. Melanoma Res. 2017 Jun;27(3):189-199. PubMed PMID: 28296713
  • Borgers JSW, Tobin RP, Torphy RJ, Vorwald VM, Van Gulick RJ, Amato CM, Cogswell DT, Chimed TS, Couts KL, Van Bokhoven A, Raeburn C, Lewis K, Wisell J, McCarter MD, Mushtaq RR, Robinson WA. Melanoma Metastases to the Adrenal Gland are Highly Resistant to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. JNCCN 2020, in press.
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Specialty Information

  • Psychology

General Information

Graduate Schools:
  • PhD, University of Colorado - Boulder (2010)
Undergraduate Schools:
  • BA/BS, Valparaiso University (IN) (2004)
Languages: English
Department: Medicine-Medical Oncology