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Said Sebti, Ph.D.

Massey Cancer Center research program membership

Developmental Therapeutics

Massey Cancer Center leadership roles

Associate director for basic research, VCU Massey Cancer Center

Department affiliations

Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medicine

Endowed and distinguished chair or professorship

Lacy Family Endowed Chair of Cancer Research


PhD, Purdue University (1984)

Research description

My research is focused on: 1) Understanding the mechanisms by which aberrant signal transduction pathways, particularly those mediated by small GTPases (KRas), contribute to the onset of cancer, and 2) Developing novel anticancer drugs based on interference with these pathways. The lab expertise spans from drug design and discovery to validation in human cancer cells, animal models, and biomarker-driven human clinical trials of novel anticancer drugs. The following are examples of research programs pursued in my laboratory: 1) Understanding how GTPases, such as K-Ras, Ral and Rho, cause cancer, 2) Understanding the mechanism by which KRas regulates the tumor suppressor p53, 3) Designing drugs that bind directly to KRas, interfere with binding to its effectors and/or inhibit kinases and other proteins that are synthetic lethal to KRas to kill tumors addicted to mutant KRas, 4) Discovering cell surface proteins whose expression is specific for mutant KRas addicted human tumors, 5) Identifying diagnostic tools to detect human tumors that harbor mutant K-Ras, 6) Developing novel anticancer drugs based on blocking the following cancer-causing proteins: Akt, RhoK, and Aurora kinases, STAT3, Bcl/Mcl, FTase, GGTase and the proteasome, and 7) Combining targeted therapy with chemo and immune therapies to treat cancer.

Disease focus of research

Breast, Hematologic Malignancies, Colorectal, Pancreatic, Respiratory/lung

Research keywords

Apoptosis,Biomarkers,Cancer cell biology,Cancer therapy resistance,Cell signaling,Chemical biology,Clinical trials,Drug discovery,Molecular medicine,Oncogenes,Precision medicine,Proteomics,Screening,Signal transduction,Targeted therapies,Translational science,Tumor suppressors

Published research (during tenure as a Massey Cancer Center member)

Search In PubMed

Contact information


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