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Graduate Students Postdoctoral Fellows Researchers / Staff Principal Investigator

Graduate Students

Jonathan Cooper – Cancer Biology

Jonathan Cooper

Education: B.S. – Biology, 2010, Dallas Baptist University

Research Interests: Exploring the intersection between cellular growth and renewal signaling pathways and their dysregulation in cancer.  Specifically, I am interested in investigating the key players in cellular responses to nutrient availability and probing for selective vulnerabilities in cancers harboring aberrant nutrient sensing.


Cooper, J. M., Bodemann, B. O., and White, M. A. (2013). The RalGEF/Ral pathway: evaluating an intervention opportunity for Ras cancers. The Enzymes 34, 137-157.

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Banu Eskiocak – Cancer Biology

Banu Eskiocak

Education: D.D.S. – Dentistry, 2007, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey

Research Interests: Understanding the regulation of proliferation and survival signals in melanoma. As one of the most aggressive tumors, melanoma metastasis to distant organs correlates with less than 9 months of median survival. Molecular heterogeneity in melanoma limits the effectiveness of conventional therapies.  This, together with fast development of resistance to next generation drugs, raises the need for additional therapeutic strategies. To help address this need, we are combining genome-wide RNAi screens in metastatic melanoma cell lines with whole genome copy number analyses of human melanoma samples in order to isolate compendiums of gene products responsible for the bypass of normal proliferation and survival restraints during melanomagenesis. Moreover, to be able to develop therapies against these targets, we apply regularized linear regression models that return sparse expression signatures predictive of target sensitivity, which by nature, may serve as molecular response predictors.


Eskiocak, B., Ali, A., and White, M.A. (2014). The Estrogen-Related Receptor alpha Inverse Agonist XCT 790 Is a Nanomolar Mitochondrial Uncoupler. Biochemistry 53, 4839-4846.

Kim, H.S., Mendiratta, S., Kim, J., Pecot, C.V., Larsen, J.E., Zubovych, I., Seo, B.Y., Kim, J., Eskiocak, B., Chung, H., McMillan, E., Wu, S., De Brabander, J., Komurov, K., Toombs, J.E., Wei, S., Peyton, M., Williams, N., Gazdar, A.F., Posner, B.A., Brekken, R.A., Sood, A.K., Deberardinis, R.J., Roth, M.G., Minna, J.D., White, M.A. (2013). Systematic identification of molecular subtype-selective vulnerabilities in non-small-cell lung cancer. Cell 155, 552-566.

Acharya, A., Baek, S.T., Huang, G., Eskiocak, B., Goetsch, S., Sung, C.Y., Banfi, S., Sauer, M.F., Olsen, G.S., Duffield, J.S., Olson, E.N., Tallquist, M.D. (2012). The bHLH transcription factor Tcf21 is required for lineage-specific EMT of cardiac fibroblast progenitors. Development 139, 2139-2149.

Acharya, A., Baek, S.T., Banfi, S., Eskiocak, B., and Tallquist, M.D. (2011). Efficient inducible Cre-mediated recombination in Tcf21 cell lineages in the heart and kidney. Genesis 49, 870-877.

Mellgren, A.M., Smith, C.L., Olsen, G.S., Eskiocak, B., Zhou, B., Kazi, M.N., Ruiz, F.R., Pu, W.T., and Tallquist, M.D. (2008). Platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta signaling is required for efficient epicardial cell migration and development of two distinct coronary vascular smooth muscle cell populations. Circulation research 103, 1393-1401.

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Ji Mi Kim – Cancer Biology

Ji Mi Kim

Education: B.S., 2004, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST); M.S., 2007, Seoul National University

Research Interests: Investigating selective dependency of NSCLC cell lines on nuclear transport machinery and unraveling target independent effect of siRNA.


Zhong, R*., Kim, J.*, Kim, H.S., Kim, M., Lum, L., Levine, B., Xiao, G., White, M.A., and Xie, Y. (2014). Computational detection and suppression of sequence-specific off-target phenotypes from whole genome RNAi screens. Nucleic acids research , DOI: 10.1093/nar/gku306 . *Joint First Authours

Kim H, Mendiratta S, Kim J, Pecot C, Larsen J, Zubovych I, Seo B, Kim J, Eskiocak B, Chung H, McMillan E, Wu S, De Brabander J, Komurov K, Toombs J, Wei S, Peyton M, Williams N, Gazdar A, Posner B, Brekken R, Sood A, Deberardinis R, Roth M, Minna M, and White M. A. (2013). Systematic identification of molecular subtype-selective vulnerabilities in non small cell lung cancer. Cell 155: 552-66.

Min J., Choi E.S., Hwang K., Kim J., Sampath S., Venkitaraman A.R., Lee H. (2012), “The breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2 is required for the maintenance of telomere homeostasis," J Biol Chem, 287(7):5091-101.

Choi E., Choe H., Min J., Choi J.Y., Kim J., Lee H. (2009), “BubR1 acetylation at prometaphase is required for modulating APC/C activity and timing of mitosis," EMBO J, 28(14), 1991-3.

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Elizabeth McMillan – Cell Regulation with Supplemental Curricula in Computational, Systems Biology

Elizabeth McMillan

Education: B.A. – Biology, B.A. – Mathematics, 2011, New York University College of Arts and Sciences/New York University Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

Research Interests: A major challenge of cancer research is the development of drugs that can target the appropriate population of patients and the segregation of patients into subgroups with the best matched pharmaceuticals so as to maximize efficacy. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the leading cause of cancer related death in the United States, and it currently suffers from a lack of effective pharmaceuticals. In order to identify novel compounds that can be effective in treating NSCLC, we have applied parallel screening of various libraries of chemical compounds in a panel of NSCLC cell lines. These libraries come from both renewable marine natural products as well as purchased form various sources, however, most have unknown mechanism of action. We currently have developed a class of algorithms that use statistical methods to assign enrollment biomarkers to the different classes of pharmaceuticals. These algorithms accomplish two tasks. First, they allow us to fit a mathematical model to each compound, which will enable us to predict sensitivities to each of the compounds in untested cell lines and tumors. In addition, biomarkers that are specifying sensitivity to a compound could hint at a common perturbed upstream or downstream biology in the sensitive versus resistant cells that will then allow us to extrapolate mechanism of action hypotheses for each of the uncharacterized compounds. Experimental validations on both fronts have proven to be successful.  Thus, In addition to a rapid mechanism of identifying new effective drugs in NSCLC and drug mechanisms of action, th ese methods will allow us to segregate patients into groups based on their biomarker status to allow us to assign the best matched drug that will be effective in treating that person’s cancer.


Ekas, L. A., T. J. Cardozo, M. S. Flaherty, E. A. McMillan, F. C. Gonsalves and E. A. Bach (2010). "Characterization of a dominant-active STAT that promotes tumorigenesis in Drosophila." Dev Biol 344(2): 621-636.

Kim, H. S., S. Mendiratta, J. Kim, C. V. Pecot, J. E. Larsen, I. Zubovych, B. Y. Seo, J. Kim, B. Eskiocak, H. Chung, E. McMillan, S. Wu, J. De Brabander, K. Komurov, J. E. Toombs, S. Wei, M. Peyton, N. Williams, A. F. Gazdar, B. A. Posner, R. A. Brekken, A. K. Sood, R. J. Deberardinis, M. G. Roth, J. D. Minna and M. A. White (2013). "Systematic identification of molecular subtype-selective vulnerabilities in non-small-cell lung cancer." Cell 155(3): 552-566.

Osborne, J. K., M. L. Guerra, J. X. Gonzales, E. A. McMillan, J. D. Minna and M. H. Cobb (2014). "NeuroD1 mediates nicotine-induced migration and invasion via regulation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in a subset of neural and neuroendocrine carcinomas." Mol Biol Cell 25(11): 1782-1792

Borkowski, R., Du, L., Zhao, Z., McMillan, E., Kosti, A., Yang, C., Suraokar, M., Wistuba, I., Gazdar, A., Minna, J., White, M.A.* and Pertsemlidis, A.*. 2014. Genetic mutation of p53 and suppression of the miR17~92 cluster are synthetic lethal in non-small cell lung cancer due to upregulation of vitamin D signaling. Cancer Research in press. *co-corresponding authors.

Witkiewicz, A.K., McMillan, E.A., Balaji, U., Baek, H., Lin, W., Mansour, J., Mollaee, M., Wagner, K., Koduru, P., Yopp, A., Choti, M., Yeo, C.J., McCue, P., White, M.A., and Knudsen, E.S. 2015. Whole exome sequencing of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma reveals hallmarks of disease etiology, prognosis, and targets for therapeutic intervention. Nature Communications 6:6744.

Potts, M.B., McMillan, E.A., Rosales, T. I., Kim, H.S., Ou, Y.H., Tooms, J.E., Brekken, R.A., Minden, M.D., MacMillan, J.B., and White, M.A. 2015. Exceptional responders to dedemnin B illuminate the mechanism of action and pharmacogenomics biomarkers for antineoplastic activity. Nature Chemical Biology

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Chensu Wang – Biomedical Engineering

Chensu Wang

Education: B.S. – Biomedical Engineering, 2011, Southeast University, Nanjing, China

Research Interests: The interface between engineering and biology; in particular the design and development of nanotechnology tools that illuminate dynamic cell biological processes in space and time. My current project is the application of novel pH-responsive nanoprobes for analysis of autophagosome biogenesis at single organelle resolution. (Joint student with Professor Jinming Gao)

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Aubhishek Zaman– Cancer Biology

Aubhishek Zaman

Education: M.S. – Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Research Interests: Cancer therapeutics and its mode of actions; key players in cellular growth, vesicular traffic and cellular responses to nutrient availability,.

Publications (selected):

Zaman A* and Razzaque S  ‘Designing Novel Antibacterials: Application of Omics Science’ Klimik Dergisi. 2013; 26; 2-8

Islam MR, Zaman A, Jahan I, Chakravorty R, Chakraborty S*. ‘In silico QSAR analysis of quercetin reveals its potential as therapeutic drug for Alzheimer's disease.’J Young Pharm. 2013 Dec;5(4):173-9.

Islam MR*, Hosen MI, Zaman A, Islam MO. ‘Structural, functional and molecular docking study to characterize GMI1 from Arabidopsis thaliana.’ Interdiscip Sci. 2013 Mar;5(1):13-22.

Zaman A*, Rahaman MH, Razzaque S. ‘Kaposi's sarcoma: a computational approach through protein-protein interaction and gene regulatory networks analysis.’ Virus Genes. 2013 Apr;46(2):242-54. doi: 10.1007/s11262-012-0865-z. Epub 2012 Dec 25.

Zaman A*, Fancy NN. ‘A computational prediction of structure and function of novel homologue of Arabidopsis thaliana Vps51/Vps67 subunit in Corchorus olitorius.’ Interdiscip Sci. 2012 Dec;4(4):256-67.

Zaman A*.Docking studies and network analyses reveal capacity of compounds from Kandelia rheedii to strengthen cellular immunity by interacting with host proteins during tuberculosis infection.’ Bioinformation. 2012;8(21):1012-20.

Islam R, Sakib M S, and Zaman A* ‘A Computational Assay to Design an Epitope-based Peptide Vaccine against Chikungunya Virus.’ Future Virology. 2012; 7 (10):1029–1042.

Zaman A* (2012) ‘Characterization of Coilin protein nucleotide binding region in Homo sapiens’ Online Journal of Bioinformatics, 13(2):314-330.

Zaman A* ‘Drug Designing Approaches Using In-Silico Techniques’ Lambert Academic Press (LAP). 2012; ISBN: 978-3-659-15283-2

*Corresponding author

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Postdoctoral Fellows

Hua Gao, Ph.D. – Intervention Targets (Non-small Cell Lung Cancer)

Hua Gao, Ph.D.

Education: B.S. – Biochemistry, 1999, Xiamen University, China; Ph.D. – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2008, Baylor College of Medicine; Postdoctoral Fellow, 2008-2011, UT Southwestern

Research Interests: Isolating oncogenotype-linked intervention targets against lung cancer, specifically, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The heterogeneous response of patients to available therapies, and the bottlenecks to development of direct chemical inhibitors of many oncogenic protein variants in tumors, indicates that attention to pharmaceutically addressable wild-type proteins that support tumorigenic activities is warranted. I am employing genetic and biochemical approaches to identify such proteins.


Hua, G., Tasha B. TORO, Margherita PASCHINI, Bari Braunstein-Ballew, Rachel B. CERVANTES and Victoria LUNDBLAD,"Telomerase recruitment in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is not dependent on Tel1-mediated phosphorylation of Cdc13," Genetics, 2010, 186(4): 1147-1159.

Hua, G., Rachel B CERVANTES, Edward K MANDELL, Joel H OTERO, Victoria LUNDBLAD,"RPA-like proteins mediate yeast telomere function," Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2007, 14(3): 208-214.

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Malia B. Potts, Ph.D. – Cancer Biology

Malia B. Potts, Ph.D.

Education: B.S. – Biology, 2001, Duke University; Ph.D. – Genetics and Development, 2008, UT Southwestern

Research Interests: Three aspects of cancer biology: 1) how miRNA’s act as tumor suppressors in breast cancer and colon cancer; 2) the signaling pathways that regulate autophagy; and 3) identification of marine natural products with potential as cancer therapeutics.


Potts, M.B., McMillan, E.A., Rosales, T. I., Kim, H.S., Ou, Y.H., Tooms, J.E., Brekken, R.A., Minden, M.D., MacMillan, J.B., and White, M.A. (2015). Exceptional responders to dedemnin B illuminate the mechanism of action and pharmacogenomics biomarkers for antineoplastic activity. Nature Chemical Biology

Shields, B.B., Pecot, C.V., Potts, M.B., Nagel, C., Purinton, S., Wang, Y., Ivan, C., Kim, H.S., Borkowski, R., Kahn, S., Rodriguez-Aguayo, C., Lopez-Berestein, G., Lea, J., Gazdar, A., Baggerly, K.A., Sood, A.K., and White, M.A. (2014).  MicroRNA induction of fatal differentiation programs is a common vulnerability in ovarian cancer, in revision.

Potts, M.B., Kim, H.S., Fisher, K.W., Hu, Y., Carrasco, Y., Bulut, G.B., Ou, Y.-H., Herrera-Herrera, M.L., Cubillos, F., Mendiratta, S., Xiao, G., Hofree, M., Ideker, T., Xie, Y., Huang, L.J.-S., Lewis, R.E., MacMillan, J.B., and White, M.A. (2013).  Using Functional Signature Ontology (FUSION) to identify mechanisms of action for natural products.  Sci. Signal., 6(297), ra90.

*Hu, Y., *Potts, M.B., Colosimo, D., Herrera-Herrera, M.L., Legako, A.G., Yousufuddin, M., White, M.A., and MacMillan, J.B. (2013).  Discoipyrroles A-D: Isolation, structure determination, and synthesis of potent migration inhibitors from Bacillus hunanensis.  J. Am. Chem. Soc. 135(36), 13387-92.  *Equal contribution.

Potts, M.B. and Cameron, S. (2011), "Cell lineage and cell death: Caenorhabditis elegans and cancer research,"  Nat. Rev. Cancer  11(1), 50-8.

Potts, M.B., Wang, D.P., and Cameron, S. (2009), "Trithorax, Hox, and TALE-class homeodomain proteins ensure cell survival through repression of the BH3-only gene egl-1," Dev. Biol. 329(2), 374-85.

Liu, H., Strauss, T.J., Potts, M.B., and Cameron, S. (2006),  "Direct regulation of egl-1 and of programmed cell death by the Hox protein MAB-5 and by CEH-20, a C. elegans homolog of Pbx1," Development 133(4), 641-50.

Potts, M.B., Vaughn, A.E., McDonough, H., Patterson, C., and Deshmukh, M. (2005), "Reduced Apaf-1 levels in cardiomyocytes engage strict regulation of apoptosis by endogenous XIAP," J. Cell Biol. 171(6), 925-30.

Deming, P.B., Schafer, Z.T., Tashker, J.S., Potts, M.B., Deshmukh, M., and Kornbluth, S. (2004), "BCR-Abl-mediated protection from apoptosis downstream of mitochondrial cytochrome c release," Mol. Cell Biol. 23, 10289-99.

Potts P.R., Singh S., Knezek M., Thompson, C.B., and Deshmukh, M. (2003), "Critical function of endogenous XIAP in regulating caspase activation during sympathetic neuronal apoptosis," J. Cell Biol. 163(4), 789-799.

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Martin Dietrich - Cancer Biology

Education: M.D. – Medicine 2006, University of Heidelberg; Ph.D. – Genetics 2006, University of Heidelberg; Ph.D. – Molecular Biology 2010, UT Southwestern

Research Interest: My research interest is in the field of personalized approaches for lung cancer. The identification of ALK rearrangements and EGFR mutations changed the landscape for a subset of patients. However, the vast majority of lung cancer patient still does not benefit from this progress and undergo conventional chemotherapy. Like a fingerprint, each lung cancer provides its own unique signature of molecular changes. My work at the bench and in clinic focuses on identifying and exploiting genetic vulnerabilities of thoracic malignancies, in particular cancers of the lung.  Currently, most clinical trials that substantiate our clinical treatment are a “one size fits all” approach, with little understanding about which patients will actually benefit from chemotherapy treatment. My greater goal is to understand the individual tumor biology, taking into account genetic, epigenetic and metabolic changes, and providing patients with personalized treatment strategies.


Kidd S, Spaeth E, Dembinski JL, Dietrich M, Watson K, Klopp A, et al. Direct evidence of mesenchymal stem cell tropism for tumor and wounding microenvironments using in vivo bioluminescent imaging. Stem Cells. 2009 Oct;27(10):2614-23.

Carter BZ, Mak DH, Schober WD, Dietrich MF, Pinilla C, Vassilev LT, et al. Triptolide sensitizes AML cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis via decrease of XIAP and p53-mediated increase of DR5. Blood. 2008 Apr 1;111(7):3742-50.

Ling X, Konopleva M, Zeng Z, Ruvolo V, Stephens LC, Schober W, et al. The novel triterpenoid C-28 methyl ester of 2-cyano-3, 12-dioxoolen-1, 9-dien-28-oic acid inhibits metastatic murine breast tumor growth through inactivation of STAT3 signaling. Cancer Res. 2007 May 1;67(9):4210-8.

Ling X, Wang Y, Dietrich MF, Andreeff M, Arlinghaus RB. Vaccination with leukemia cells expressing cell-surface-associated GM-CSF blocks leukemia induction in immunocompetent mice. Oncogene. 2006 Jul 27;25(32):4483-90.

Konopleva M, Contractor R, Tsao T, Samudio I, Ruvolo PP, Kitada S, et al. Mechanisms of apoptosis sensitivity and resistance to the BH3 mimetic ABT-737 in acute myeloid leukemia. Cancer Cell. 2006 Nov;10(5):375-88.

Kidd S, Caldwell L, Dietrich M, Samudio I, Spaeth EL, Watson K, et al. Mesenchymal stromal cells alone or expressing interferon-beta suppress pancreatic tumors in vivo, an effect countered by antiinflammatory treatment. Cytotherapy. Sep;12(5):615-25.

Dietrich MF, Karner CM, Johnson EB, Kappesser N, Tennert C, Percin F, et al. Lrp4 regulates initiation of ureteric budding and is crucial for kidney formation--a mouse model for Cenani-Lenz syndrome. PLoS One.5(4):e10418.

Dietrich MF, van der Weyden L, Prosser HM, Bradley A, Herz J, Adams DJ. Ectodomains of the LDL receptor-related proteins LRP1b and LRP4 have anchorage independent functions in vivo. PLoS One.5(4):e9960.

Dieckmann M, Dietrich MF, Herz J. Lipoprotein receptors--an evolutionarily ancient multifunctional receptor family. Biol Chem. Nov;391(11):1341-63

Christopher DeSevo

Christopher DeSevo

Education: B.S – Biochemistry 2006, Rowan University; Ph.D – Cancer Biology, 2013, UT Southwestern.

Research interest: miRNA have profound regulatory effects as demonstrated by their down regulation in cancerous tissue and ability to regulate the hallmarks of cancer. As such, my graduate work focused on the direct and indirect regulation of miR-10a regulation of the PI3K/AKT/GAT6 pathway, cancer stem cell maintenance and drug resistance in non-small cell lung cancer under the guidance of Dr. John Minna.  After receiving my PhD, I was in search of a postdoctoral fellowship in a laboratory that focused on large data acquisition and interpretation.  After several interviews at laboratories around the country I chose to stay at UTSW and join the laboratory of Dr. Michael White.
As a therapeutic tool, miRNA offer the advantage of targeting multiple genes and processes in a cancerous cell while having minimal effect on normal tissue.  As such, we have identified genotype-specific vulnerabilities of over 50 Lung, Breast, and Colon cancer cell lines screened with genome wide miRNA mimic libraries. Yet, while progress has been made in an attempt to bring oligonucleotide-based therapies to the clinic, issues with delivery and bioavailability hamper widespread clinical application.  To circumvent these issues, we have developed Functional Signature Ontology, FuSiOn. FuSiOn maps effect of perturbagens to a 13-reporter gene set that are capable of producing a genetic fingerprint.
Natural compounds are a rich and diverse source of bioactive compounds that can have potent antitumor activity. Yet the mechanism of action can be difficult, time-consuming and costly to discern. With this training grant, we will use FuSiOn to cluster gene signature to quickly elucidate mechanism of action and targets of natural products with similar effects of endogenous miRNA expediting bench side discoveries to clinical application.


DeSevo C, Du L, Behrens C, Wistuba II, Minna JD, Pertsemlidis A. (2013). miR-10a Regulation of the PI3K Pathway Through Direct and Indirect Mechanism in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. (In preparation)

DeSevo C, Shao C, Larsen J, Minna JD, Pertsemlidis A. (2013). miR-10a Regulation of Cancer Stem Cells Through Modulation of the WNT Pathway in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. (In preparation)

Caudy AA, Guan Y, Jia Y, Hansen C, Desevo C, et al. (2013)Saccharomyces bayanus, a New System for Comparative Functional Genomics. Genetics113 (1): e152918

Du L, Subauste MC, DeSevo C, Zhao Z, Baker M, Borkowski R, Schageman J, Greer R, Yang C, Suraokar M, Wistuba I, Gazdar A, Minna J, Pertsemlidis A. (2012) miR-337-3p and Its Targets STAT3 and RAP1A Modulate Taxane Sensitivity in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers. PLoS ONE 7(6): e39167.

Calahan D, Dunham M, DeSevo C, Koshland D. (2011) Genetic Analysis of Desiccation Tolerance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genetics 180(2):507-519

Martin O, DeSevo C, Guo B, Koshland D, Dunham M, Zheng Y. (2009) Telomere Behavior in a Hybrid yYast. Cell Research 19(7):910-2.

Gresham D, Desai M, Tucker C, Jenq H, Pai D, Ward A, DeSevo C, Botstein D, Dunham M. (2008) The Repertoire and Dynamics of Evolutionary Adaptations to Controlled Nutrient-Limited Environments in Yeast. PLoS Genet. 4(12):e1000303.

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Rachel Vaden

Rachel Vaden

Education: B.S. – Chemistry, 2008, University of West Georgia; PhD – Chemistry, 2015, University of Utah

Research interest: The use of molecular tools to probe biological systems can provide insight into complex cellular processes and disease states.  My research is focused on understanding how genetic mutations acquired during tumor progression can confer sensitivity to novel bioactive compounds.  Not only can these studies facilitate clinical therapeutic development by identifying patient populations that are likely to be sensitive a specific treatment, but they can also provide direct mechanistic information about cancer signaling pathways that may be used to inform additional treatment design strategies.


Vaden RM, Gligorich KM, Jana R, Sigman MS, & Welm BE (2014) The small molecule C-6 is selectively cytotoxic against breast cancer cells and its biological action is characterized by mitochondrial defects and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Breast Cancer Res 16(6):472.

Gligorich KM*, Vaden RM*, Shelton DN, Wang G, Matsen CB, Looper RE, Sigman, MS, & Welm BE (2013) Development of a screen to identify selective small molecules active against patient-derived metastatic and chemoresistant breast cancer cells. Breast Cancer Res 15(4):R58.

Pathak TP, Osiak JG, Vaden RM, Welm BE, Sigman MS (2012) Synthesis and Preliminary Biological Study of Bisindolylmethanes Accessed by an Acid-Catalyzed Hydroarylation of Vinylindoles. Tetrahedron 68(26):5203.

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Researchers / Staff

Kiran Kaur, Ph.D. – Adjunct Instructor / Lab Manager

Kiran Kaur, Ph.D.

Education: M.S., 1982, University of Kentucky; Ph.D. 1994, Southern Methodist University


Saurabh Mendiratta – Research Scientist

Saurabh Mendiratta

Education: M.S. – Biotechnology, 2003, MS University, Baroda, India; M.S. – Cell and Molecular Biology, 2006, University of Texas at Dallas

Research Interests: High throughput SiRNA and chemical compound screening to identify gene targets selectively required for cancer cell survival.


Kim, H. S., Mendiratta S., J. Kim, C. V. Pecot, J. E. Larsen, I. Zubovych, B. Y. Seo, J. Kim, B. Eskiocak, H. Chung, E. McMillan, S. Wu, J. De Brabander, K. Komurov, J. E. Toombs, S. Wei, M. Peyton, N. Williams, A. F. Gazdar, B. A. Posner, R. A. Brekken, A. K. Sood, R. J. Deberardinis, M. G. Roth, J. D. Minna and M. A. White (2013). "Systematic identification of molecular subtype-selective vulnerabilities in non-small-cell lung cancer." Cell 155(3): 552-566.

Potts, M.B., Kim, H.S., Fisher, K.W., Hu, Y., Carrasco, Y., Bulut, G.B., Ou, Y.-H., Herrera-Herrera, M.L., Cubillos, F., Mendiratta, S., Xiao, G., Hofree, M., Ideker, T., Xie, Y., Huang, L.J.-S., Lewis, R.E., MacMillan, J.B., and White, M.A. (2013).  Using Functional Signature Ontology (FUSION) to identify mechanisms of action for natural products.  Sci. Signal., 6(297), ra90.

Ward S.E., Kim H.S., Komurov K. Mendiratta S., Tsai P.L, Schmolke M., Satterly N., Manicassamy B., Forst C.V., Roth M.G., García-Sastre A., Blazewska K.M., McKenna C.E., Fontoura B.M., White M.A., "Host Modulators of H1N1 Cytopathogenicity," PLoS One, 2012;7(8):e39284. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

Goldsmith E.J., Mendiratta S., Akella R., Dahlgren K., "Natural language query in the biochemistry and molecular biology domains based on cognition search™," Summit on Translat Bioinforma, 2009 Mar 1;2009:32-7.

Tracy Rosales - Research Technician II

Tracy Rosales

Education: B.S. - Biology, University of Texas at Dallas

Research Interests: Understanding the effects of didemnin B, a potential anticancer drug isolated from marine species Trididemnum solidum, on autophagy-regulating pathways.


Potts, M.B., McMillan, E.A., Rosales, T. I., Kim, H.S., Ou, Y.H., Tooms, J.E., Brekken, R.A., Minden, M.D., MacMillan, J.B., and White, M.A. 2015. Exceptional responders to dedemnin B illuminate the mechanism of action and pharmacogenomics biomarkers for antineoplastic activity. Nature Chemical Biology

Jean René Clemenceau - Research Technician II

Jean Clemenceau

Education: B.S. - Informatics, 2013, Baylor University

Role: I develop and mantain user interfaces for the data produced, gathered, and used by the lab and fellow contributors to the different current projects. I strive to create user friendly tools that can increase the efficiency of drug discovery from massive amounts of data.

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Principal Investigator

Michael A. White, Ph.D. – Professor, Cell Biology

Michael A. White, Principal Investigator

Grant A. Dove Chair for Research in Oncology
The Sherry Wigley Crow Cancer Research Endowed Chair in Honor of Robert Lewis Kirby, M.D.

Education: University of Iowa (1986), Undergraduate; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1992), Graduate

Research Interests: Cancer, molecular architecture of growth regulatory signal transduction cascades, oncogenes, signal transduction and tumor suppressors

Publications: 1992 – 2015

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