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Dr. Rossi's Lab

Recent Research and Thesis Projects

2014, Jennifer Dobrodziej, Undergraduate Research: Analyzing gene expression of integrin proteins and motility of T47D and HCC 1143 breast cancer cells.

The goal of this research was to study the expression of Integrin-linked kinase, Integrin α2 and Integrin β6 in the T47D and HCC 1143 breast cancer cell lines for a relationship between gene expression and cell motility/increased metastasis. 

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2014, Yuan You, Independent Study: Developing 2D and 3D culture systems to examine the morphological and structural differences of breast cancer cell lines.

The goal of this study was to further develop suitable 3D cell culture methods to meet the requirements of future research and understand the morphological and structural differences in breast cancer cell lines in 2D and 3D cultures.

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2014, Brandy Morneau, Independent Study: Changes in cellular attachment associated with metastasis in triple negative breast cancer cell lines.

The goal of this independent study was to develop models of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) from triple negative breast cancer cell lines which will then be used to relate the various behaviors to the expression and activation of cell attachment pathway proteins.

Sarah at incubator

2014, Sarah Alobaid, Thesis Project: Effect of MNPs-Fe3O4 with doxorubicin and electromagnetic radiation on improving treatment of T47D breast cancer cells.

The major aim of this thesis was to test whether the use of  magnetic nanoparticles will enhance the efficacy of doxorubicin and to test the effect of exposing treated cells to different electromagnetic radiation wavelengths from 0 to 20 M Hz.

In February 2015 Sarah presented her work at the Biophysics conference. a link to her poster is here. She then presented a further version of her work at the ASBMB meeting in March which is available also.


2014, Monica Mierzejewski, Undergraduate Research Project: Determination of receptor expression by breast cancer cell lines.

The goal of her project was to verify the presence or absence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), HER-2/Neu, progesterone receptor (PgR) and the estrogen receptor (ER) proteins in five breast cancer cell lines.


2014, Guleser Ozturkler, Independent Study: Characterization of type 1 cadherin expression by MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

The goal of this study was to determine the mRNA levels for E-cadherin, N-cadherin, P-cadherin and R-cadherin in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line grown at various cell densities. The hypothesis was that as the MCF-7 cells transition from a monolayer to domed foci that the expression of these type I cadherins would switch from those representing a less mobile epithelial phenotype to a more aggressive phenotype.


2013, Rebecca L. Podszus, Honors Thesis Project: Parabens and Their Effects on Breast Cancer Cells

Rebecca examined the effects of methylparaben and propylparaben on the proliferation of both A549 lung cancer cells and T47D breast cancer cells. It was hypothesized that treating them with the parabens would increase their proliferation.

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2013, Sarada Gandhi, Independent Study: Developing techniques to study metastasis in vitro. 2014 Thesis Project: Changes in the expression of integrins αvβ3 and αvβ6 in the presence or absence of fibronectin in A549 lung adenocarcinoma.

Fibronectin is the common ligand for integrins αvβ3 and αvβ6. Gandhi is studying if there is crosstalk between these proteins in regulating the processes of cell migration, invasion and metastasis.

Gandhi had a poster at the World Forum on Biology in Savannah GA. Her poster was Characterization of A-549 Lung Adenocarcinoma Using In Vitro Metastatic Models.

Arun Timmaraju

2012, Arun Timmaraju, Independent Study: Developing different techniques to study cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in in vitro models of metastasis. Thesis Project: Characterization of Integrin expression profiles and metastatic potential of A-549 lung cancer cell line sub-clones in 2-D and 3-D environments

Arun developed two models of EMT using the A-549 non-small cell lung cancer cell line. In both models the cells underwent EMT expressing the putative lung cancer stem cell marker CD44 and possessing increased tumorigenic potential. As stem-like cancer cells have been implicated in relapse and drug resistance, the two models may be harnessed as potential tools to study drug resistance mechanisms in stem-like lung cancer.


2013, Mazen Mohamed, Independent Study: Determination of P-Selectin and E-Selectin expression by breast cancer side population vs. the parental cells.


2013, Hiba Aloush, Independent Study: Developing different techniques to study cell-cell interactions with in vitro models of cell adhesion.


2012, Rany Farid, Research Project: Neural differentiating conditions for in vitro treatment of tetratomic cancer stem cells.


2012, Junning Huang, Research Project: Examination of the tumor suppressor role of MDM2 and FOXO3A in HCT-116 cells in response to the anticancer drugs 5-fluorouracil and etoposide.


2012, Jayme Phillips, Research Project: Comparison of expressed/phosphorylated p21Cip1 and p27Kip1 in three cancer cell lines.


2012, Hussein Alhinas, Research Project: Investigating the role of Bim, Bax and AKT as biomarker proteins of Ramos and HCT-116 cell lines in response to chemotherapy treatment.


2012, Fatimah S. Sharyawi, Research Project: Assessing the effect of inhibition PI3 kinase on PI3 kinase/ Akt pathway on a colon cancer cell line


2012, Akmam Binta Chowdhury, Research Project: Examination of nimesulide, a cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitor, in cell proliferation and death of the PC-3 prostate cancer cell line.


2012, Tracy A. Brennan, Research Project: Inhibition of proliferation and apoptotic properties of curcumin, in breast and colon cancer.


2012, Natalia Junqueira Sumi, Thesis Project: FOXO3 as a target for apoptosis of cancer cells.


2012, Kirstin Didrikson, Undergraduate Research Project: Comparison of cell-cell interactions between two breast cancer cell lines.


2012, Jai Rathore, Honors Thesis Project: Role of Bak/Bax in drug induced apoptosis of breast cancer cells.


2012, Bryan Neumann, Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship: Effects of exemestane on two-dimensional and three-dimensional T47D breast cancer cell cultures.


2011, Sarra Rahem, Research Project: Maspin expression influences response to chemotherapeutic drugs through AKT pathway modulation.


2011, Samah J. Almehmadi, Research Project: The effect of MDM2 inhibitors and doxorubicin treatment on different cancer cell lines.


2011, Rakesh Reddy Peddareddygari, Research Project: Study of GSK 3β protein from A549 human lung cancer cells and apoptosis induced by 5-fluorouracil and etoposide.


2011, Olatz Arrizabalaga, Research Project: The induction of apoptosis under the actions of doxorubicin and carboplatin versus its rescue using propranolol: the role of p53 and Bax in the intrinsic apoptotic pathway.