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Sumitra Deb, Ph.D.

Massey Cancer Center research program membership

Cancer Molecular Genetics

Department affiliations

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine


PhD, Calcutta University, India (1982)

Research description

The main research interest of our laboratory is to understand the molecular biology of cellular proliferation and its control, how that gets altered in cancer, and how we can use the altered properties to our advantage in targeting cancer cells. We are currently focusing on understanding the molecular biology of the human tumor suppressor p53 and how mutations in p53 lead to cancer. Mutation in the p53 tumor suppressor gene is a common event in human cancer, and in most human carcinomas containing p53 mutations, the mutant protein is over-expressed suggesting the existence of a selection pressure to maintain expression. Most of these mutations are single amino acid changes instilling gain-of-function (GOF) oncogenic phenotypes in cells. Currently, we are focused on how to target GOF p53 proteins and how GOF is attained by p53 mutation.

Disease focus of research


Research keywords

Animal models,Cancer cell biology,Cell cycle regulation,Cell signaling,Drug discovery,Molecular medicine,Oncogenes,Precision medicine,Signal transduction,Targeted therapies,Tumor suppressors

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

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Contact information


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