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Ben C Valdez, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Stem Cell Transplantation - Research, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Dual/Joint/Adjunct Appointment

Adjunct Associate Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Research Interests

 Research Interests

My research interests focus on the identification of genes involved in cellular resistance of leukemia and lymphoma cells to drugs used in preconditioning therapy prior to stem cell transplantation. Using genetics and biochemical approaches to dissect the mechanisms of drug resistance, I hope to identify gene products and signal transduction pathways that can be pharmacological targets to sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy. Moreover, identification of genes that confer resistance to specific anti-cancer drug will be relevant to administration of appropriate alternative treatment modality to leukemia and lymphoma patients.

 My laboratory uses drug combinatorial approach to make cancer cells sensitive to chemotherapy. Specifically, we combine nucleoside analogs and DNA alkylating agents and determine their mechanism of synergistic cytotoxicity. We recently proposed a model suggesting that nucleoside analogs induce chromatin remodeling and make genomic DNA more accessible to DNA alkylators resulting in massive DNA damage and cell killing. Results from these studies are used as preclinical basis for proposing clinical trials.

 I am also interested in the roles of the nucleolus in carcinogenesis and drug resistance. Recent findings suggest the function of the nucleolus in the regulation of p53 activity. I have done functional studies of some nucleolar proteins including their putative roles in human diseases, and I plan to relate these findings with the proliferation of leukemia cells.

Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Unit Number: 423
Houston, TX 77030
Room Number: FC5.2024
Phone: 713-745-4370
Fax: 713-794-4902

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1988 Lousiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, PHD, Biochemistry
1979 University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines, BS, Cum Laude, Applied Chemistry

Postgraduate Training

1/1989-1/1994 Postgraduate Training, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, Instructor

Experience/Service

Academic Appointments

Assistant Professor, Department of Stem Cell Transplantation - Research, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 5/2005-8/2011
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 1/1995-5/2005
Instructor, Pharmacology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 1/1989-1/1994
Graduate Assistant, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, 1/1983-12/1988
Instructor, Department of Chemistry, University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines, 6/1979-12/1982

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Henning D, So RB, Jin R, Lau LF, Valdez BC. Silencing of RNA helicase II/Gualpha inhibits mammalian ribosomal RNA production. J Biol Chem 278(52):52307-14, 12/2003. PMID: 14559904.
2. So RB, Gonzales B, Henning D, Dixon J, Dixon MJ, Valdez BC. Another face of the Treacher Collins syndrome (TCOF1) gene: identification of additional exons. Gene 328:49-57, 3/2004. PMID: 15019983.
3. Valdez BC, Henning D, So RB, Dixon J, Dixon MJ. The Treacher Collins syndrome (TCOF1) gene product is involved in ribosomal DNA gene transcription by interacting with upstream binding factor (UBF). Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 101(29):10709-14, 7/2004. PMID: 15249688.
4. Gonzales B, Henning D, So RB, Dixon J, Dixon MJ, Valdez BC. The Treacher Collins syndrome (TCOF1) gene product is involved in methylation of ribosomal RNA. Hum Mol Genet 14(14):2035-43, 7/2005. PMID: 15930015.
5. Yang H, Henning D, Valdez BC. Functional interaction between RNA helicase II/Gu(alpha) and ribosomal protein L4. FEBS J 272(15):3788-802, 8/2005. PMID: 16045751.
6. Gonzales B, Yang H, Henning D, Valdez BC. Cloning and functional characterization of the Xenopus orthologue of the Treacher Collins syndrome (TCOF1) gene product. Gene 359:73-80, 10/2005. PMID: 16125876.
7. Holmström TH, Mialon A, Kallio M, Nymalm Y, Mannermaa L, Holm T, Johansson H, Black E, Gillespie D, Salminen TA, Langel U, Valdez BC, Westermarck J. c-Jun supports ribosomal RNA processing and nucleolar localization of RNA helicase DDX21. J Biol Chem 283(11):7046-53, 3/14/2008. e-Pub 1/7/2008. PMID: 18180292.
8. Valdez BC, Murray D, Ramdas L, de Lima M, Jones R, Kornblau S, Betancourt D, Li Y, Champlin RE, Andersson BS. Altered gene expression in busulfan-resistant human myeloid leukemia. Leuk Res 32(11):1687-1697, 11/2008. e-Pub 3/12/2008. PMCID: PMC2633244.
9. Valdez BC, Li Y, Murray D, Corn P, Champlin RE, Andersson BS. 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine sensitizes busulfan-resistant myeloid leukemia cells by regulating expression of genes involved in cell cycle checkpoint and apoptosis. Leuk Res 34(3):364-72, 3/2010. e-Pub 9/3/2009. PMCID: PMC2823987.
10. Valdez BC, Andersson BS. Interstrand crosslink inducing agents in pretransplant conditioning therapy for hematologic malignancies. Environ Mol Mutagen 51(6):659-68, 7/2010. PMID: 20577993.
11. Valdez BC, Li Y, Murray D, Champlin RE, Andersson BS. The synergistic cytotoxicity of clofarabine, fludarabine and busulfan in AML cells involves ATM pathway activation and chromatin remodeling. Biochem Pharmacol 81(2):222-32, 1/15/2011. e-Pub 10/8/2010. PMCID: PMC3006064.
12. Andersson BS, Valdez BC, de Lima M, Wang X, Thall PF, Worth LL, Popat U, Madden T, Hosing C, Alousi A, Rondon G, Kebriaei P, Shpall EJ, Jones RB, Champlin RE. Clofarabine ± fludarabine with once daily i.v. busulfan as pretransplant conditioning therapy for advanced myeloid leukemia and MDS. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 17(6):893-900, 6/2011. e-Pub 10/11/2010. PMCID: PMC3760472.
13. Nieto Y, Thall P, Valdez B, Andersson B, Popat U, Anderlini P, Shpall EJ, Bassett R, Alousi A, Hosing C, Kebriaei P, Qazilbash M, Frazier E, Gulbis A, Chancoco C, Bashir Q, Ciurea S, Khouri I, Parmar S, Shah N, Worth L, Rondon G, Champlin R, Jones RB. High-Dose Infusional Gemcitabine Combined with Busulfan and Melphalan with Autologous Stem-Cell Transplant in Patients with Refractory Lymphoid Malignancies. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 18(11):1677-86, 11/2012. e-Pub 5/27/2012. PMCID: PMC4010147.
14. Valdez BC, Nieto Y, Murray D, Li Y, Wang G, Champlin RE, Andersson BS. Epigenetic modifiers enhance the synergistic cytotoxicity of combined nucleoside analog-DNA alkylating agents in lymphoma cell lines. Exp Hematol 40(10):800-10, 10/2012. e-Pub 6/2012. PMCID: PMC3447105.
15. Nieto Y, Popat U, Anderlini P, Valdez B, Andersson B, Liu P, Hosing C, Shpall EJ, Alousi A, Kebriaei P, Qazilbash M, Parmar S, Bashir Q, Shah N, Khouri I, Rondon G, Champlin R, Jones RB. Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation for Refractory or Poor-Risk Relapsed Hodgkin's Lymphoma: Effect of the Specific High-Dose Chemotherapy Regimen on Outcome. Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 19(3):410-7, 3/2013. e-Pub 11/2/2012. PMID: 23128322.
16. Valdez BC, Zander AR, Song G, Murray D, Nieto Y, Li Y, Champlin RE, Andersson BS. Synergistic cytotoxicity of gemcitabine, clofarabine and edelfosine in lymphoma cell lines. Blood Cancer J 4:e171, 2014. e-Pub 1/10/2014. PMCID: PMC3913938.

Last updated: 7/31/2014