Sam Thiagalingam, PhD

Associate Professor, Medicine

Sam Thiagalingam
617.358.3688
72 E. Concord St Evans Building

Biography

Dr. Thiagalingam is an expert cancer geneticist and was the first to show that SMAD4 inactivation is a critical event during the late stages of colon cancer progression. He was a lead researcher in the team that first identified a family of five novel SMAD genes. He also proposed a simple minded multi-modular molecular network (MMMN) cancer progression model as a road map to visualize the various gene alterations in modules of networks of pathways. Recently, his studies found that intact hyperactive TGFß-Smad signaling is required to sustain “epigenetic memory” responsible for epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a critical step during conversion to malignant cancer. His long-term goal is to identify novel cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets by contributing to the “big picture” of interconnected network of events that mediate cancer progression to metastasis using breast and colon cancers as the model systems. In addition to studying the various aspects of cancer, Dr. Thiagalingam has also been interested in taking an interdisciplinary approach to studying epigenomics of other complex diseases such as schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). Recent studies by the lab found that there is asymmetric expression of many genes involved in the TGFB super family signaling pathways and those known to establish left-right asymmetry in SCZ and BD. Research efforts are ongoing to correlate epigenomic alterations in SCZ and BD to pathogenesis to identify effective therapeutic targets and agents.

Other Positions

  • Associate Professor, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
  • Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University
  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

Education

  • Johns Hopkins University, PhD
  • Bowling Green State University, MS
  • University of Jaffna, BSc

Publications

  • Published on 7/28/2021

    Abdolmaleky HM, Zhou JR, Thiagalingam S. Cataloging recent advances in epigenetic alterations in major mental disorders and autism. Epigenomics. 2021 08; 13(15):1231-1245. PMID: 34318684.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/23/2020

    Thiagalingam S. Epigenetic memory in development and disease: Unraveling the mechanism. Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2020 04; 1873(2):188349. PMID: 31982403.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/13/2020

    Wong CK, Lambert AW, Ozturk S, Papageorgis P, Lopez D, Shen N, Sen Z, Abdolmaleky HM, Gyorffy B, Feng H, Thiagalingam S. Targeting RICTOR Sensitizes SMAD4-Negative Colon Cancer to Irinotecan. Mol Cancer Res. 2020 03; 18(3):414-423. PMID: 31932471.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/28/2019

    Wong CK, Gromisch C, Ozturk S, Papageorgis P, Abdolmaleky HM, Reinhard BM, Thiagalingam A, Thiagalingam S. MicroRNA-4417 is a tumor suppressor and prognostic biomarker for triple-negative breast cancer. Cancer Biol Ther. 2019; 20(8):1113-1120. PMID: 30922194.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/5/2019

    Kalli M, Mpekris F, Wong CK, Panagi M, Ozturk S, Thiagalingam S, Stylianopoulos T, Papageorgis P. Activin A Signaling Regulates IL13Ra2 Expression to Promote Breast Cancer Metastasis. Front Oncol. 2019; 9:32. PMID: 30805303.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/23/2018

    Abdolmaleky HM, Gower AC, Wong CK, Cox JW, Zhang X, Thiagalingam A, Shafa R, Sivaraman V, Zhou JR, Thiagalingam S. Aberrant transcriptomes and DNA methylomes define pathways that drive pathogenesis and loss of brain laterality/asymmetry in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2019 03; 180(2):138-149. PMID: 30468562.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/18/2016

    Nohesara S, Ghadirivasfi M, Barati M, Ghasemzadeh MR, Narimani S, Mousavi-Behbahani Z, Joghataei M, Soleimani M, Taban M, Mehrabi S, Thiagalingam S, Abdolmaleky HM. Methamphetamine-induced psychosis is associated with DNA hypomethylation and increased expression of AKT1 and key dopaminergic genes. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2016 Dec; 171(8):1180-1189. PMID: 27753212.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/6/2016

    Ozturk S, Papageorgis P, Wong CK, Lambert AW, Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam A, Cohen HT, Thiagalingam S. SDPR functions as a metastasis suppressor in breast cancer by promoting apoptosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jan 19; 113(3):638-43. PMID: 26739564.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/27/2015

    Lambert AW, Wong CK, Ozturk S, Papageorgis P, Raghunathan R, Alekseyev Y, Gower AC, Reinhard BM, Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam S. Tumor Cell-Derived Periostin Regulates Cytokines That Maintain Breast Cancer Stem Cells. Mol Cancer Res. 2016 Jan; 14(1):103-13. PMID: 26507575.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/18/2015

    Abdolmaleky HM, Pajouhanfar S, Faghankhani M, Joghataei MT, Mostafavi A, Thiagalingam S. Antipsychotic drugs attenuate aberrant DNA methylation of DTNBP1 (dysbindin) promoter in saliva and post-mortem brain of patients with schizophrenia and Psychotic bipolar disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2015 Dec; 168(8):687-96. PMID: 26285059.

    Read at: PubMed

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