Muthusamy Thangaraju

Associate Professor

Muthusamy Thangaraju

Associate Professor

Academic Appointment(s)

Medical College of Georgia
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Graduate School

Bio

Dr. Muthusamy Thangaraju (Raju) is a breast cancer research scientist. I started my research career as a breast cancer Scientist in 1991 when I was a graduate student at the University of Madras, India. Then I moved to the McGill University, Montreal, Canada to do the post-doctoral fellowships where I studied the role of protein tyrosine phosphatases, SHP1 and SHP2, in breast cancer growth and progression. Then I joined the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and expanded my research in breast cancer and investigated the role of BRCA1 and BRCA2, the two breast cancer susceptibility genes, in the regulation of DNA damage repair and apoptosis in breast cancer. Then I joined the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Frederick, MD where I explored the functional implication of CCAAT/Enhancer Binding Protein delta (CEBPD) in mammary gland development and its relevance to mammary tumor growth and progression. Currently, I am an Associate Professor at the Augusta University and studying the role of epigenetics and regulation of mammary gland development and its association with mammary stem cells (MaSC) and breast cancer stem cell (BCSC) self-renewal.

Education

  • Ph.D., Biochemistry University of Madras, 1996

  • MS, Chemistry, General Bharathidasan University, 1989

Awards & Honors

  • Outstanding Young Scientist Award Augusta University, 2010

  • Spring Research Festivel Best Poster Award National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2002

  • NCI Research Fellowship National Cancer Institute, 2001

  • Travel grant UICC, 1998

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship Royal Victoria Hospital Research Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1998

Courses Taught Most Recent Academic Year

  • BCMB 8201

    Cur Topics & Tech in MB
  • BCMB 9010

    Seminar in BMB
  • BIOM 8021

    Biochem & Gene Regulation
  • MEDI 6320

    Brain, Behavior, & Movement
  • MEDI 6340

    Capstone in Medicine 1
  • BCMB 8340

    Elements of Scientific Pres
  • MEDI 6330

    Healthcare Across the Lifespan
  • MEDS 3000

    Biological Chemistry

Teaching Interests

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Signal Transduction, Epigenetics, Breast Cancer Stem Cell (BCSC) self-renewal, and Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD).

Scholarship

Selected Recent Publications

  • SLC6A14, a Na+/Cl--coupled amino acid transporter, functions as a tumor promoter in colon and is a target for Wnt signaling., 2020
    Journal Article, Academic Journal
  • Corresponding Author, 2019
    Book, Chapter in Scholarly Book-New
  • Wasf3 Deficiency Reveals Involvement in Metastasis in a Mouse Model of Breast Cancer., 2019
    Journal Article, Academic Journal
  • Metabolic Reprogramming by MYCN Confers Dependence on the Serine-Glycine-One-Carbon Biosynthetic Pathway., 2019
    Journal Article, Academic Journal
  • Primary tumor-induced immunity eradicates disseminated tumor cells in syngeneic mouse model., 2019
    Journal Article, Academic Journal

Research Interests

Role of epigenetics, especially DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), in regulation of mammary stem and progenitor cells (MaSC) and breast cancer stem cell (BCSC) self-renewal and its association in breast cancer growth and progression.
The main focus of my laboratory is to understand the role of DNMT1 in regulation of MaSC and BCSC self-renewal and to explore the role histone deacetylases (HDACs) and histone methyltransferases (HMTs) in these cells. We are also interested in developing small molecules to target BCSCs by utilizing state of the art gene-targeting strategies and spontaneous mouse mammary tumor models.

We are also interested to understand the role of Epigenetics, especially DNMT1 and DNMT3b, in the cytogenesis of autosomal polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).

Department Service

  • Department Space Committee 2015 - Present

    Role: Attendee, Meeting
  • Faculty recruitment committee 2015 - Present

    Role: Attendee, Meeting
  • Medical Student Interview Committee 2015 - Present

    Role: Attendee, Meeting
  • Students Promotion and Academic Committee 2015 - Present

    Role: Attendee, Meeting
  • Department faculty recruitment and P & T committee 2014 - Present

    Role: Committee Member

College Service

  • Medical Admission Interview Committee 2020 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • Institutional Tumor Tissue Repository 2015 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • Institutional Chemical Safety 1913 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • Student Promotion committee 2016 - 2019

    Role: Committee Member

University Service

  • Tumor Tissue Bank 2013 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • Institutional Chemical Safety 2011 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • Extramural grant review 2008 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • MD admission committee 2012 - 2026

    Role: Task Force Member
  • Medical students P & T Committee 2015 - 2019

    Role: Committee Member