Martina Bazzaro, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health (OBGYN)


Research Interests:

My laboratory is interested in studying the mechanisms regulating cytoskeletal dynamics in neurons with a focus on regulation of myosins and microtubules.    

Our goal is to understand how myosin and microtubule dynamics influence normal and diseased brain functions.   Our laboratory was the first to discover a role for the myosin co-chaperone UNC-45A during myposin II-assisted cytokinesis in mammalian cells.  Since then, we have discovered that UNC-45A is required for additional cytoskeletal-associated functions, including intracellular transport and neurite outgrowth.  

Because we believe that successful collaborations are at the core of scientific discovery, we have partnered with scientists and researchers across the University, and other national and international institutions.  For our studies, we, along with our partners, utilize innovative techniques, including Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), TIRF Microscopy, HPLC, and FPLC techniques to investigate how UNC-45A regulated myosin and microtubule dynamics in vitro and in vivo.  

Our laboratory welcomes energetic students, capable of thinking outside the box, and willing to make important contributions to scientific discovery.  Students in the laboratory are encouraged to write their own grants, papers, and to become independent investigators early on in the process.  Our students are known to have multiple first author publications and be recipients of grant awards.  


Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

Iizuka Y, Mooneyham A, Sieben A, Chen K, Maile M, Hellweg R, Schütz F, Teckle K, Starr T, Thayanithy V, Vogel RI, Lou E, Lee MK, Bazzaro M. UNC-45A is required for neurite extension via controlling NMII activation. Mol Biol Cell. 2017 May 15;28(10):1337-1346. PMID: 28356421

Mooneyham A, Bazzaro M. Targeting Deubiquitinating Enzymes and Autophagy in Cancer. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1513:49-59. PMID: 27807830

Mooneyham A, Mullany S, Zhao X, Shahi M, Richter J, Klein M, Chen L, Ding R, Konecny G, Kommoss S, Winterhoff B, Ghebre R, Bazzaro M. USP14 is a predictor of recurrence in endometrial cancer and a molecular target for endometrial cancer treatment. Oncotarget. 2016 May 24;7(21):30962-76. PMID: 27121063

Iizuka Y, Cichocki F, Sieben A, Sforza F, Karim R, Coughlin K, Isaksson Vogel R, Gavioli R, McCullar V, Lenvik T, Lee M, Miller J, Bazzaro M. UNC-45A Is a Nonmuscle Myosin IIA Chaperone Required for NK Cell Cytotoxicity via Control of Lytic Granule Secretion. J Immunol. 2015 Nov 15;195(10):4760-70. PMID: 26438524

Vogel RI, Coughlin K, Scotti A, Iizuka Y, Anchoori R, Roden RB, Marastoni M, Bazzaro M. Simultaneous inhibition of deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) and autophagy synergistically kills breast cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2015 Feb 28;6(6):4159-70. PMID: 25784654

Rivard C, Bazzaro M. Measurement of deubiquitinating enzyme activity via a suicidal HA-Ub-VS probe. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1249:193-200. PMID: 25348307

Coughlin K, Anchoori R, Iizuka Y, Meints J, MacNeill L, Vogel RI, Orlowski RZ, Lee MK, Roden RB, Bazzaro M. Small-molecule RA-9 inhibits proteasome-associated DUBs and ovarian cancer in vitro and in vivo via exacerbating unfolded protein responses. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Jun 15;20(12):3174-86. PMID: 24727327

Anchoori RK, Khan SR, Sueblinvong T, Felthauser A, Iizuka Y, Gavioli R, Destro F, Isaksson Vogel R, Peng S, Roden RB, Bazzaro M. Stressing the ubiquitin-proteasome system without 20S proteolytic inhibition selectively kills cervical cancer cells. PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23888. PMID: 21909374

Bazzaro M, Anchoori RK, Mudiam MK, Issaenko O, Kumar S, Karanam B, Lin Z, Isaksson Vogel R, Gavioli R, Destro F, Ferretti V, Roden RB, Khan SR. α,β-Unsaturated carbonyl system of chalcone-based derivatives is responsible for broad inhibition of proteasomal activity and preferential killing of human papilloma virus (HPV) positive cervical cancer cells. J Med Chem. 2011 Jan 27;54(2):449-56.

Martina Bazzaro