Manya Dhar-Mascareno Ph.D.

Manya Dhar-Mascareno Ph.D.

  • Director of Institute of Cancer Research and Education
  • SUNY College at Old Westbury

Research Interests 

  • Understanding cancer biology
  • Discovering cancer treatments
  • Animal models of cancer research
  • Diagnostic Markers for cancer

Dr. Dhar-Mascareno is a trained molecular oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center where she studied the human GM-CSF receptor and identified novel components in the GM-CSF receptor in cancer cell lines. Additionally she has studied the role of reactive oxygen species and cytokine signaling in angiogenesis, a key step of tumor growth. Over the past few years her laboratory has been studying prostate cancer and the mechanisms involved in metastasis. Her interest is to identify specific molecular targets for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics. Her laboratory has identified Hexim1, a novel biomarker for advanced stages of prostate cancer. Based on existing transgenic models of prostate cancer, Dr. Dhar-Mascareno has genetically modified the expression of Hexim1 gene to generate more aggressive and invasive prostate cancer models. Her research is currently funded by an R15 Grant for NCI/ NIH and Faculty Development grants from The College at Old Westbury. 

Hexim1 haploinsufficiency enhances the expression of epithelial–mesenchymal migration markers in wound-healing assay. (Left) RAMP-C2 and TRAMP-C2-HT (Hexim1heterozygous) prostate cancer cell lines were subjected to wound healing and stained with actin-phalloidin-488. The dotted red line highlights the border zone at 0 h. (Right) Enhanced magnification of TRAMP-C2 and TRAMP-C2-HT cells stained with phalloidin-488 and nuclear DAPI.

Student Training Opportunities

Students in the Mascareno lab are directly involved in many aspects of scientific experiments. Our goal is to provide a better understanding of how science is conducted and we expect the students to fully participate in experiments and data preparation. These include cloning of genes in plasmid vectors, mammalian cell culture maintenance, transfection of plasmids in mammalian cells, immunoblot analysis, fluorescent microscopy and gene expression microarray analyses. Students will also learn the application of bioinformatics tools in biomedical research. Students will learn safe practices, how to perform a variety of laboratory techniques, how to record scientific data and present our experimental data in various forums. At the end of the training the student will be able to show results in a poster, give oral presentations and discuss their research with the scientific community on college, state and nationwide conferences.

Hexim 1 haploinsufficiency results in more aggressive tumor growth in mouse model of prostate tumor (FVB myc). (Top) Tumor progression is monitored using MRI in collaboration with Stony Brook University. Dissected tumor from (Bottom Left) iFVB-AAA2Pbmyc or (Bottom right) iFVB-AAA2Pbmyc Hexim1-heterzygotes

Current Lab Members

  • Susan Ramirez   (Research Assistant)
  • Karan Kumar (Undergraduate Researcher)
  • Naadia Hameed (Undergraduate Researcher)

Lab Alumni

Lab Alumni
Name Time in Lab Current Position
Amandeep Singh Spring 2008 Albert Einstein School of Medicine, NY
Sharita Lowe Spring 2008 Resident Nurse at North Shore Hospital
Winchester Stuart Spring 2009 Dental School University of Buffalo
Ingrid Perez Spring 2009  
Diana Pedroz  2008-2010  
Onaje Rickerby  Fall 2009 Dental School UMDNJ
Shabih Quereshi Fall 2010  
Bilal Butt 2010- 2011 SUNY, Syracuse Medical School
Ivan Belishov 2010-2011 Research Scientist, University of Rochester, NY
Nally Calzado 2008-2010 SUNY, Stony Brook Medical School
Tataiana Jean Jacques Fall 2012  
Sameha Tariq 2013-2015  
Susan Ramirez 2013-2014 Research Assistant, SUNY College at Old Westbury
Daniel Park Summer 2014  
Yuvraj Singh 2013-2014 Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Deodate Davis 2013-2015  
Udayani Rabindranath    
Lesley Benavides    

Selected  Publications

  • Mascareno EJ, Belashov I, Siddiqui MA, Liu F, Dhar-Mascareno M. (2012): Hexim-1 modulates androgen receptor and the TGF-β signaling during the progression of prostate cancer. Prostate 2012 Jun 15; 72(9):1035-44. 
  • Dhar-Mascareno, M., Mascareno, E. and Golde, D. W. (2009) Early signaling By VEGF and PlGF in Human Bone Marrow Derived Endothelial Cells is mediated by superoxide. J Vasc Res.  46(6):601-8.
  • Dhar-Mascareno, M., Pedraza, A. and Golde D.W. (2005) PI3-kinase activation by GM-CSF in endothelium acts upstream of Jak/Stat Pathway: role of alpha-GMR . BBRC 337:551-556.
  • Dhar-Mascareno, M., Cárcamo, J. M., Golde, D. W (2005). Hypoxia And Hypoxia-Re-Oxygenation Induced Mitochondrial Damage and Apoptosis in Human Endothelial Cells is Inhibited by Vitamin-C. Free Radical Biology and Medicine  38(10): 1311-1322
  • Dhar-Mascareno, M., Chen, J., Zhang, R. H., Cárcamo, J. M., Golde, D. W. (2003). Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor Signals for Increased Glucose Transport via Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase and Hydrogen Peroxide-Dependent Mechanisms. J Biol Chem Mar 28; 278 (13): 11107-14.

Small molecules modeled to bind Hexim1 show defects in cell migration. Structural drug design was used to identify small molecules that bind to Hexim1.  These molecules have been tested for defects in cell migration via in vitro wound healing assays inTramp Ht cell lines, Human PC3, and Du145 prostate cancer cell lines.