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Anil K. Sood, M.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Graduate Faculty, Regular Member, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX
Professor, Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Director, Ovarian Cancer Research, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Vice Chairman, Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, Translational Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Co-Director, Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Director, Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program, Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Dual/Joint/Adjunct Appointment

Professor, Department of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

 Dr. Sood is Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Departments of Gynecologic Oncology & Reproductive Medicine. He is also Director of the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program and Co-Director of the Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNA. His research is focused in three main areas: 1) development of new strategies for systemic in vivo siRNA delivery using biocompatible nanoparticles; 2) effect of neuroendocrine stress hormones on ovarian cancer growth and progression; and 3) development of novel anti-vascular therapeutic approaches. Dr. Sood has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and has authored and co-authored several book chapters, and he serves on the editorial board for several journals. He is a Deputy Editor for Gynecologic Oncology. Dr. Sood has received major recognition for his research accomplishments including the Hunter Award, the Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Prize, and the GCF/Claudia Cohen Research Prize for Outstanding Gynecologic Cancer Researcher.  He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, an honor society for physician-scientists. Dr. Sood is actively involved in teaching graduate students and clinical fellows.  He is a member of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and teaches classes related to cancer cell signaling pathways.

Research Interests

My research is focused in three main areas: 1) Effects of neuroendocrine pathways on ovarian cancer growth and progression. The adverse effects of stress pathways on the immune system have been known for a long time. My laboratory made the novel observation that stress hormones can have direct effects on ovarian cancer cells via beta-adrenergic receptors and promote angiogenesis, tumor growth and metastasis. Ongoing work is focused on dissecting the molecular and biological processes involved in mediating the effects of stress biology on tumor microenvironment. 2) Development of novel anti-vascular therapeutic approaches. Our ongoing studies in this area are focused on understanding the functional significance of key tyrosine kinases such as EphA2 and focal adhesion kinase in tumor angiogenesis. In addition, we are examining the relevance of perivascular cells in protecting tumor-associated endothelial cells.  Based on these findings, we have developed novel strategies for targeting both endothelial cells and pericytes in ovarian cancers. 3) Development of new strategies for systemic in vivo siRNA delivery. The use of siRNA as a method of gene silencing has rapidly become a powerful tool for determining protein function and gene discovery. The extraordinary sequence specificity of siRNA makes it an attractive tool for cancer therapy. We are utilizing nanovectors for highly efficient in vivo delivery of siRNA with the hope of translating this work for clinical applications in the near future. 

Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1155 Herman Pressler
Department of Gynecologic Oncology
Unit Number: 1362
Houston, TX 77030
Room Number: CPB6.3275
Phone: 713-792-4130
Fax: 713-792-7586

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1991 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, MD, Medicine
1986 Davidson College, Davidson, NC, BS, Pre Med

Postgraduate Training

7/1995-6/1998 Fellow, Gynecologic Oncology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA, Barrie Anderson, M.D., Fellowship Director
7/1991-6/1995 Resident, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Florida, Shands Teaching Hospital, Gainesville, FL, Patrick Duff, M.D., Residency Director

Board Certifications

4/2001 American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Certification of Special Qualifications in Gynecologic Oncology
11/1999 American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Experience/Service

Administrative Appointments/Responsibilities

Co-Director, Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 2007-present
Director, Journal Club, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 7/2003-present

Other Appointments/Responsibilities

Executive Committee Member, Reproductive Scientist Development Program, San Francisco, CA, 1/2006-present
Chair, Internal Advisory Committee, Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research, U54 Puerto Rico Cancer Center/The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, San Juan, PR, 2006-present
Member, Gynecologic Cancer Scientific Steering Committee, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, 2006-2010

Institutional Committee Activities

Chairman, Internal Advisory Committee, U54 Puerto Rico Cancer Center/M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research, 2007-present
Member, Fellowship Admissions Committee, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1/2004-present
Member, Research Affairs Committee, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1/2004-present
Member, Executive Committee, Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1/2004-present

Honors and Awards

2009 Elected, The American Society for Clinical Investigation
2009 Excellence in Teaching Award, Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
2008 Elected, Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
2008 Elected Fellow, The American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society
2007 Educator of the Month, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
2007 Excellence in Ovarian Cancer Research Award, The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation/Margaret Greenfield/Carmel Cohen, MD
2006-2009 Faculty Scholar Award, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
2005 Educator of the Month, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
2003 Charles A. Hunter, Jr. Prize Thesis Award, The American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society. Functional role of matrix metalloproteinases in ovarian tumor cell plasticity
2003 Outstanding educator, UT M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2002-2004 James F. Nolan Award for the best overall research presentation, Western Association of Gynecologic Oncologists and the Felix Rutledge Society, Monterey, CA

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Shahzad MM, Arevalo JM, Armaiz-Pena GN, Lu C, Stone RL, Moreno-Smith M, Nishimura M, Lee JW, Jennings NB, Bottsford-Miller J, Vivas-Mejia P, Lutgendorf SK, Lopez-Berestein G, Bar-Eli M, Cole SW, Sood AK. Stress effects on FosB and interleukin-8 (IL-8) driven ovarian cancer growth and metastasis. J Biol Chem 285(46):35462-70, 11/12/2010. e-Pub 9/8/2010. PMCID: PMC2975170.
2. Lu C, Han HD, Mangala LS, Ali-Fehmi R, Newton CS, Ozbun L, Armaiz-Pena GN, Hu W, Stone RL, Munkarah A, Ravoori MK, Shahzad MM, Lee JW, Mora E, Langley RR, Carroll AR, Matsuo K, Spannuth WA, Schmandt R, Jennings NB, Goodman BW, Jaffe RB, Nick AM, Kim HS, Guven EO, Chen YH, Li LY, Hsu MC, Coleman RL, Calin GA, Denkbas EB, Lim JY, Lee JS, Kundra V, Birrer MJ, Hung MC, Lopez-Berestein G, Sood AK. Regulation of tumor angiogenesis by EZH2. Cancer Cell 18(2):185-97, 8/9/2010. PMCID: PMC2923653.
3. Ahmed AA, Lu Z, Jennings NB, Etemadmoghadam D, Capalbo L, Jacamo RO, Barbosa-Morais N, Le XF, Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group, Vivas-Mejia P, Lopez-Berestein G, Grandjean G, Bartholomeusz G, Liao W, Andreeff M, Bowtell D, Glover DM, Sood AK, Bast RC. SIK2 is a centrosome kinase required for bipolar mitotic spindle formation that provides a potential target for therapy in ovarian cancer. Cancer Cell 18(2):109-21, 8/9/2010. PMID: 20708153.
4. Sood AK, Armaiz-Pena GN, Halder J, Nick AM, Stone RL, Hu W, Carroll AR, Spannuth WA, Deavers MT, Allen JK, Han LY, Kamat AA, Shahzad MM, McIntyre BW, Diaz-Montero CM, Jennings NB, Lin YG, Merritt WM, DeGeest K, Vivas-Mejia PE, Lopez-Berestein G, Schaller MD, Cole SW, Lutgendorf SK. Adrenergic modulation of focal adhesion kinase protects human ovarian cancer cells from anoikis. J Clin Invest 120(5):1515-1523, 5/3/2010. e-Pub 4/12/2010. PMCID: PMC2860925.
5. Stone RL, Sood AK, Coleman RL. Collateral damage: toxic effects of targeted antiangiogenic therapies in ovarian cancer. Lancet Oncol 11(5):465-75, 5/2010. e-Pub 3/10/2010. PMID: 20226736.
6. Lee JW, Han HD, Shahzad MM, Kim SW, Mangala LS, Nick AM, Lu C, Langley RR, Schmandt R, Kim HS, Mao S, Gooya J, Fazenbaker C, Jackson D, Tice DA, Landen CN, Coleman RL, Sood AK. Molecularly targeted chemotherapy using a novel EphA2 immunoconjugate in ovarian carcinoma. J Natl Cancer Inst 101(101):1193-1205, 9/2009. e-Pub 7/2009. PMCID: PMC2736292.
7. Merritt WM, Lin YG, Han LY, Kamat AA, Spannuth WA, Schmandt R, Urbauer D, Pennacchio LA, Cheng JF, Nick AM, Deavers MT, Mourad-Zeidan A, Wang H, Mueller P, Lenburg ME, Gray JW, Mok S, Birrer MJ, Lopez-Berestein G, Coleman RL, Bar-Eli M, Sood AK. Dicer, Drosha, and outcomes in patients with ovarian cancer. N Engl J Med 359(25):2641-50, 12/2008. PMCID: PMC2710981.
8. Merritt WM, Lin YG, Spannuth WA, Fletcher MS, Kamat AA, Han LY, Landen CN, Jennings N, DeGeest K, Langley R, Villares G, Sanguino A, Lutgendorf SK, Lopez-Berestein G, Bar-Eli MM, Sood AK. Effects of IL-8 targeted therapy with liposome incorporated siRNA on ovarian cancer growth. J Natl Cancer Inst 100:359-372, 2008.
9. Fernandez A, Sanguino A, Peng Z, Ozturk E, Chen J, Crespo A, Shavrin A, Qin C, Maxwell D, Ma J, Trent J, Lin YG, Gelovani J, Bornmann W, Sood AK, Lopez-Berestein G. Curbing cardiotoxicity of anti-cancer drug imatinib through rational molecular re-engineering: From in silico design to animal model. J Clinl Invest 117(12):4044-4054, 12/2007.
10. Nilsson MB, Armaiz-Pena G, Takahashi R, Lin YG, Trevino J, Li Y, Arevalo J, Lutgendorf SK, Gallick GG, Lopez-Berestein G, Cole SW, Sood AK. Stress hormones regulate IL-6 expression by ovarian carcinoma cells through a Src-dependent mechanism. J Biol Chem 282(41):29919-29926, 8/2007.
11. Landen CN, Jr, Lu C, Han LY, Coffman KT, Bruckheimer E, Halder J, Mangala LS, Merritt WM, Lin YG, Gao C, Schmandt R, Kamat AA, Li Y, Thaker P, Gershenson DM, Parikh NU, Gallick GE, Kinch MS, Sood AK. Efficacy and antivascular effects of EphA2 reduction with an agonistic antibody in ovarian cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 98:1558-70, 11/2006. PMID: 17077358.
12. Thaker PH, Han LY, Kamat AA, Arevalo JM, Takahashi R, Lu C, Jennings NB, Armaiz-Pena G, Bankson JA, Ravoori M, Merritt WM, Lin YG, Mangala LS, Kim TJ, Coleman RL, Landen CN, Li Y, Felix E, Sanguino AM, Newman RA, Lloyd M, Gershenson DM, Kundra V, Lopez-Berestein G, Lutgendorf SK, Cole SW, Sood AK. Chronic stress promotes tumor growth and angiogenesis in a mouse model of ovarian carcinoma. Nat Med 12:939-44, 8/2006. PMID: 16862152.
13. Antoni MH, Lutgendorf SK, Cole SW, Dhabhar FS, Sephton SE, McDonald PG, Stefanek M, Sood AK. The influence of bio-behavioral factors on tumour biology: pathways and mechanisms. Nat Rev Cancer 6(3):240-8, 3/2006. PMID: 16498446.
14. Landen CN, Jr, Chavez-Reyes A, Bucana C, Schmandt R, Deavers MT, Lopez-Berestein G, Sood AK. Therapeutic EphA2 gene targeting in vivo using neutral liposomal small interfering RNA delivery. Cancer Res 65(15):6910-8, 8/2005. PMID: 16061675.
Other Articles
1. Sood AK, Sorosky JI. Invasive cervical cancer complicating pregnancy. How to manage the dilemma. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am 25(2):343-52, 6/1998. PMID: 9629575.

Last updated: 5/5/2014