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.

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;28:1337-1346.
  • Mooneyham A, Bazzaro M. Targeting deubiquitinating enzymes and autophagy in cancer. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1513:49-59.
  • 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;7:30962-30976.
  • 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;195:4760-4770.
  • 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;6:4159-4170.
  • Rivard C, Bazzaro M. Measurement of deubiquitinating enzyme activity via a suicidal HA-Ub-VS probe. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1249:193-200.
  • 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;20(12):3174-86.
  • 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.
  • Bazzaro M, Anchoori RK, Mudiam MK, Issaenko O, Kumar S, et al. 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;54(2):449-56.
Martina Bazzaro