Cancer Center Member
Malathy Shanmugam, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
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Cancer Focused Research:
Dr. Mala Shanmugam’s research focuses on targeting abnormal glucose metabolism in the hematologic malignancies: multiple myeloma, CLL and mantle cell lymphoma. Elevated glucose consumption is a hall mark of numerous cancers. This phenomenon while forming the basis for clinical imaging of cancer has not yet been targeted for therapy. Dr. Shanmugam has identified a uniquely regulated subset of tumor-specific glucose transporters that facilitate elevated glucose entry in myeloma and are proving to be promising targets for therapy. Suppression of these uniquely regulated/expressed transporters has been found to engage the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis via regulation of specific signaling cascades. Recent work has identified abnormalities in trafficking proteins that enable abnormal plasma membrane localization of these glucose transporters. She is also investigating metabolic reprogramming in resistance mechanisms elicited in response to glucose deprivation. Her research spans from understanding basic mechanism to pre-clinical translational studies in order to target tumor-specific glucose utilization. Dr. Shanmugam’s research has been funded by the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society, the Wendy Wills Case Foundation and more recently the National American Cancer Society.