Ajay Singh, Ph.D.

Professor of Oncologic Sciences

2016-03-09 MCI Ajay Singh 2 resized.jpg


USA Mitchell Cancer Institute
1660 Springhill Avenue
Mobile, Alabama 36604
(251) 445-9843


Professional Profile

Research Interests:
- Cancer progression and metastasis
- Therapeutic resistance in cancer
- Tumor-stromal interactions
- Molecular bases of cancer health disparities
- MicroRNAs in cancer
- Molecular diagnosis, prognosis and sub-classification of cancer
- Natural products as cancer prevention and therapy agents

- B.S., Zoology (Honors), Aligarh M. University, India 
- M.S., Biotechnology, Aligarh M. University, India
- Ph.D., Life Science, Devi Ahilya University, India

 Professional Appointments: 
- Professor of Oncologic Sciences, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute (2016-present)
- Associate Professor of Oncologic Sciences, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute (2014-2016)
- Assistant Professor of Oncologic Sciences, USA Mitchell Cancer Institute (2009-2014)
- Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of South Alabama (2010-present)
- Member Graduate Faculty, University of South Alabama (2010-present)
- Member, Biomedical Research Training Program, UNMC (2006-2009)
- Member, Graduate Faculty, UNMC (2006-2009)
- Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UNMC (2006-2009)

Honors and Academic Achievements:
- NIH research proposal (R01) received 3.0 percentile in scientific merit rating (2014)
- NIH research proposal (R21) received 1.0 percentile with a perfect priority score (2011)
- Invited faculty, Indian Society of Oncology Continuing Medical Education, Sushila Tiwari Memorial Cancer Research Institute, HIHT University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India (2008)
- Outstanding Performance Award, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska (2004, 2005, 2007)
- Dr. J. S. Pruthi Award by Indian Society of Spices, Calcutta, India (2002)
- Junior/Senior Research Fellowships by University grant commission (UGC) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Govt. of India (1994-2001)
- Department of Biotechnology (DBT) fellowship, Govt. of India (1992-94)

Professional Memberships:
- American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (Active Member Since 2006)
- Tumor Microenvironment (TME) working group (since 2010)
- Tumor Immunology working group (since 2011)
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, COM, UNMC (2006-2009)
- Biomedical Research Training Program, UNMC (2006-2009)
- Graduate Faculty, UNMC (2006-2009)
- Society of American Asian Scientists in Cancer Research (SAASCR) (2006-present)
- American Association of Indian Scientists in Cancer Research (AAISCR) (2006-present)
- Mitchell Cancer Institute, USA (2009-present)
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, COM, USA (2010-present)
- Graduate Faculty, Bio-medical Sciences, USA (2010-present)
- Society for Basic Urology Research (2010-present)
- American Society for Clinical Oncology (2011-present)

Other Professional Honors/Services:
- Inventor on three approved patents and two filed applications
- Scientist Reviewer, Department of Defense (DOD)- Congressionally-directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) (2008-present)
- Member, Review Committee, Florida State Bankhead and Coley Cancer Research Program (2010); and James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program (2010)
- Scientist Reviewer, Yorkshire Cancer Research, UK (2011, 2012)
- Scientist Reviewer, South African-Medical Research Council, SA (2012)
- Panel Member, Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Obesity Research Center-Pilot Grants (2013)
- Scientist Reviewer, The Terry Fox Foundation for Cancer Research, Canada/UAE, Project grants (2013)
- Member, R&D Committee, Veteran Affairs Research, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (2013, 2014)
- Scientist Reviewer, Al Jalila Foundation, UAE, Project grants (2014, 2015)
- Scientist Reviewer, Cancer Research, UK (2015)
- Scientist Reviewer, Prostate Cancer, UK (2015)
- Review panel member, CSR/NIH/NCI Study Sections (DT, TPM, Omnibus, SEP, etc.) (2014- present)
- Member of Editorial boards- PLOS ONE, Helion, World J. Biological Chemistry, Am. J. Clin. & Exp. Urology, J. Ovarian res., etc.
- Guest Editor of a Special Issue “MicroRNAs in Health and Disease” of Molecular and cellular Pharmacology (2011)
- Guest Editor of a Special Issue “MicroRNAs as Targets for Cancer Therapies” of BioMed. Research Int. (2015)
- Managing Editor- Frontiers in Bioscience, Special Issue- “Cancer Health Disparities: Underlying Biological Causes and Molecular Mechanisms” (2015-present)
- Reviewer for several scientific journals including, Cancer Res., Oncogene, Mol. Cancer Ther., Carcinogenesis, etc.
- Member, External Advisory Board, NIH MBRS-RISE program, Alabama State University, Montgomery, Ala. (2013-2018)
- Member, Organizing Committee, NanoBio Summits at ASU, UA & UAB (2013-2015)

Selected Publications:

1. Patel G., Patton M., Singh S., Khushman M., Singh A.P. (2016) Pancreatic cancer exosomes: shedding-off for a meaningful journey. Pancreatic Disorders & Ther. 6(2):e148

2. Tyagi N., Arora S., Deshmukh S.K., Singh S., Marimuthu S., Singh A.P. (2016) Exploiting nanotechnology for the development of microRNA-based cancer therapeutics. J. Biomed. Nanotech. 12(1): 28-42

3. Srivastava S., Bhardwaj A. Arora S., Singh S., Azim, S., Tyagi N., Carter, J.E., Wang B., and Singh A.P. (2015). MYB is a novel regulator of pancreatic tumor growth and metastasis. Brit. J. Cancer 113(12):1694-703

4. Tyagi N., Bhardwaj A., Srivastava S., Arora S., Marimuthu S., Singh A.P., Singh S. (2015) Development and characterization of a novel in vitro progression model of UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis Sci. Rep. 5:13894. doi: 10.1038/srep13894

5. Srivastava S., Arora S., Bhardwaj A. Tyagi N., Singh S., Andrews J., McClellan S., and Singh A.P. (2015). MicroRNA-345 confers apoptosis-resistance to pancreatic cancer cells via caspase-dependent and independent pathways. Brit. J. Cancer 113(4):660-8.

6. Khan M.A., Srivastava S.K., Bhardwaj A., Singh S., Arora S., Zubair H., Carter J.E., Singh A.P. (2015) Gemcitabine triggers angiogenesis-promoting molecular signals in pancreatic cancer cells: therapeutic implications. Oncotarget 6(36):39140-50.

7. Arora S., Tyagi N., Bhardwaj A., Rusu L., Palanki R., Vig K., Singh S.R., Singh A.P., Palanki S., Miller M.E., Singh S. (2015) Silver nanoparticles protect human keratinocytes against UVB radiation-induced DNA damage and apoptosis: potential for prevention of skin carcinogenesis. Nanomedicine 11(5):1265-75. 

8. Bhardwaj A., Srivastava S.K., Singh S., Arora S., Andrews J., McClellan S., Singh A.P. (2014) CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling counteracts docetaxel-induced microtubule stabilization via p21-activated kinase 4- dependent activation of LIM domain kinase 1. Oncotarget 5(22):11490-500

9. Arora S., Swaminathan S.K., Kirtane A., Srivastava S.K., Bhardwaj A., Singh S., Panyam J., and Singh A.P. (2014) Synthesis, characterization and evaluation of poly (D, L-lactide-co-glycolide)-based

nanoformulation of miR-150: potential implications for pancreatic cancer therapy. Int. J. Nanomed. 18(9):2933-42

10. Bhardwaj A., Singh S., Srivastava S.K., Arora S., Hyde S., Andrews J., Grizzle W.E. and Singh A.P. (2014)Restoration of PPP2CA reverses epithelial to mesenchymal transition and suppresses prostate tumor growth and metastasis in orthotopic mouse model. Br. J. Cancer. 110(8): 2000-10

11. Srivastava S.K., Arora S., Singh S., Bhardwaj A., Averett C. and Singh A.P. (2014) MicroRNAs in pancreatic malignancy: progress and promises. Cancer Lett. 347(2): 167-74

12. Arora,S., Bhardwaj, A., Singh, S., Srivastava, S.K., McClellan, S., Nirodi, C.S., Piazza G., Grizzle W.E., Owen, L,B., and Singh, A.P. (2013). An undesired effect of chemotherapy: gemcitabine promotes pancreatic cancer cell aggressiveness through ROS-dependent, NF-κB- and HIF-1α-mediated upregulation of CXCR4.

J. Biol. Chem. 288(29):21197-20713. Singh, A.P., Arora,S., Bhardwaj, A., Srivastava, S.K., Kadakia, M.P., Wang, B., Grizzle W.E., Owen, L,B., and Singh, S (2012). CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling axis induces SHH expression in pancreatic cancer cells via ERK-and Akt- mediated activation of NF-κB: implications for bidirectional tumor-stromal interactions. J. Biol. Chem. 287(46): 39115-24

14. Srivastava S.K., Bhardwaj A., Singh S. Arora S., McClellan S., Grizzle W.E., Reed E. and Singh A.P. (2012) Myb overexpression overrides androgen depletion- induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in prostate cancer cells, and confers aggressive malignant traits: potential role in castration-resistance. Carcinogenesis 33(6):1149-57

15. Arora S., Singh S., Piazza G.A., Contreras C., Panyam J., and Singh A.P. (2012) Honokiol: a novel natural agent for cancer prevention and therapy. Curr Mol Med. 12(10): 1244-1252

16. Srivastava S.K., Bhardwaj A., Singh S., Arora S., Wang B., Grizzle W.E., and Singh A.P. (2011) MicroRNA-150 directly targets MUC4 and suppresses growth and malignant behavior of pancreatic cancer cells. Carcinogenesis 32(12): 1832-9

17. Arora S., Bhardwaj A., Srivastava S.K., Singh S., McClellan S., Wang B., and Singh A.P. (2011) Honokiol arrests cell cycle, induces apoptosis, and potentiates the cytotoxic effects of gemcitabine in human pancreatic cancer cells. PLoS ONE 6(6): e21573

18. Bhardwaj A., Singh S., Srivastava S.K., Honkanen R.E., Reed E., and Singh A.P. (2011) Modulation of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity alters androgen-independent growth of prostate cancer cells: therapeutic implications. Mol Cancer Ther. 10(5): 720-731 (featured in “highlights of the issue”, p709)

19. Bhardwaj A., Singh S., and Singh, A.P. (2010) MicroRNA-based cancer therapeutics: big hope from small RNAs. Mol. Cell. Pharmacol. 2(5): 213-219.

20. Singh S., Srivastava S.K., Bhardwaj A., Owen L.B., and Singh A.P. (2010) CXCL12-CXCR4 signaling axis confers gemcitabine resistance to pancreatic cancer cells: a novel target for therapy. Brit. J. Cancer 103(11): 1671-1679.

21. Singh, A.P., Senapati, S., Moorthy, P.P., Jain, M., Lele, S., Davis, J., Remenga, S., and Batra, S.K. (2008) Clinical potential of mucins in the diagnosis and therapy of ovarian cancer. Lancet Oncol. 9(11): 1076-85. Jun 5. [Epub ahead of print]

22. Singh, A.P., Chaturvedi, P., Chauhan, S.C., Singh, P.K., Bafna, S., Mehta, P.P. and Batra, S.K. (2008) MUC4 interacts with and stabilizes the HER2 oncoprotein in pancreatic cancer cells. Cancer Res. 68(7): 2065-70.

23. Singh, A.P., Bafna, S., Chaudhary, K., Venkatraman, G., Smith, L., Johansson, S.L., Eudy, J, Batra, S.K. (2008) Genome-wide expression profiling reveals transcriptomic variation and perturbed gene networks in androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 259(1):28-38

24. Singh, A.P., Chaturvedi, P., Batra, S.K. (2007) Emerging roles of MUC4 in cancer: a novel target for diagnosis and therapy. Cancer Res 67, 433-6.

25. Singh, A.P., Chauhan, S.C., Andrianifahanana, M., Moniaux, N., Meza, J.L., Copin, M.C., Hollingsworth, M.A., Aubert, J.P. and Batra, S.K. (2007) Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) regulates the expression of MUC4 mucin in pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells by transcriptional and post-

translational mechanisms. Oncogene 26(1):30-41.

26. Singh, A. P., Chauhan, S.C., Bafna, S., Johansson, S.L., Smith, L.M., Moniaux, N., Lin, M.F. and Batra, S.K. (2006). Aberrant expression of transmembrane mucins, MUC1 and MUC4, in prostate carcinoma The Prostate 66(4):421-429.

27. Singh, A.P., Moniaux, N., Chauhan, S.C., Meza, J.L., and Batra, S.K. (2004) Inhibition of MUC4 mucin expression suppresses pancreatic tumor cell growth and metastasis. Cancer Res. 64(2): 622-30.


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