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Dr. Roger Abounader

M.D., Ph.D.
Roger Abounader

Brain Cancer


Assistant Professor of Neurology and Oncology


M.D., The University of Heidelberg, Germany Ph.D., Physiology, The University of Heidelberg, Germany


Fellow, Montreal Neurological Institute, Canada
Fellow, Department of Neurosciences, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Research Summary

Each year more than 17,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. These frequently lethal tumors are the second most common cause of cancer death in children. The growth of malignant brain tumors is strongly enhanced by the increased expression of soluble growth factors and their tyrosine kinase receptors and by the loss of expression of tumor suppressor genes. Scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor (SF/HGF) and its receptor c-met constitute one such growth factor/receptor system that plays an important role in human brain tumor malignancy. PTEN is a tumor suppressor gene that is found mutated in a large percentage of brain tumors.

Dr. Abounader’s research is on understanding the roles that SF/HGF, c-met and PTEN play in the cellular and molecular biology of human brain tumor malignancy and on translating discoveries into experimental therapies of the disease. The research focuses on studying the cell signaling pathways and transcriptional events that mediate the malignant properties of SF/HGF and on how they are regulated by PTEN. The knowledge obtained from these studies is then used to develop novel therapeutic strategies to experimental brain tumors using gene therapy and other molecular approaches. The techniques used are a wide array of state of the art cancer research methods including molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, gene differential expression, gene knock-down and delivery techniques and animal studies.

Journal Citations

Abounader R, Reznik T, Colantuoni C, Lucey B, Murillo F, Laterra J. PTEN regulates c-Met-dependent gene expression profiles by phosphatase-dependent and phosphatase-independent mechanisms. Oncogene, 23: 9173-9182, 2004.

Herynk M, Stoeltzing O, Reinmuth N, Abounader R, Laterra J, Radinsky R, Ellis L, Gallick G. Down-regulation of c-met in colorectal carcinoma cell lines delays tumorigenic growth and inhibits tumor development in the liver. Cancer Research, 15: 4274-4281, 2003.

Abounader R, Lal B, Luddy C, Koe G, Davidson B, Laterra J. In vivo targeting of SF/HGF and c-met expression via U1snRNA/Ribozymes inhibits glioma growth and angiogenesis and promotes tumor apoptosis. FASEB J, 16: 108-110, 2002.

Abounader R, Ranganathan S, Kim BY, Nichols C, and Laterra J. Signaling pathways in the induction of c-met receptor expression by its ligand scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor in human glioblastoma. J Neurochem, 76: 1497-1508, 2001.

Bowers DC, Fan S, Walter K, Abounader R, Williams JA, Rosen EM, Laterra J. Scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor protects against cytotoxic death in human glioblastoma via Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and AKT-dependent pathways. Cancer Res, 60: 4277-4283, 2000.

Abounader R, Ranganathan S, Lal B, Fielding K, Book A, Dietz H, Burger P, Laterra J. Reversion of human glioblastoma malignancy by U1snRNA/ribozyme targeting of scatter factor / hepatocyte growth factor and c-met gene expression. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 91: 1548-1556, 1999.


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