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Sendurai A. Mani, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, Division of Pathology/Lab Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Co-Director, Metastasis Research Center, MDACC, Houston, TX
Co-Director, CCSG-Metastasis Research Program, MDACC, Houston, TX
Co-Director, Center for Stem Cells & Developmental Biology, MDACC, Houston, TX

Dual/Joint/Adjunct Appointment

Member of the Graduate Faculty, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Houston, TX
Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Bio Statement

Research Interests

Metastasis remain the ultimate cause of cancer related death. Carcinoma cells, which are initially confined to the primary tumor site by the continued expression of cell-cell adhesion molecules, acquire metastatic properties by activating a latent embryonic program, known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Through EMT, cancer cell acquires mesenchymal morphology, increased migration, invasion and stem cell properties. The stem cell properties help cancer cells to recreate tumor histopathologically similar to their tissue of origin at the metastatic site. At present, our laboratory is investigating the biology of metastasis at the molecular level and developing ways to diagnose and treat metastasis. 


Office Address

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
2130 West Holcombe Boulevard
Unit Number: 2951
Houston, TX 77030
Room Number: LSP9.2001
Phone: 713-792-9638
Fax: 713-834-6083

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

2000 Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, PHD, Molecular Biology

Postgraduate Training

2000-2007 Postdoc, Cancer Biology, Whitehead Institute/MIT, Cambridge, MA, Dr. Robert Weinberg


Academic Appointments

Member, Keck Center for Interdisciplinary Bioscience Training Programs and GCC Research Consortia, Houston, TX, 2009-present

Honors and Awards

2012-2015 The American Cancer Society M. Patricia Alexander Research Scholar, American Cancer Society
2012-2014 Career Development Award, MDACC Prostate Cancer SPORE
2008-2013 Fellow, M. D. Anderson Research Trust, The University of TX, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2008-2010 V-Scholar, The Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research
2008-2009 MD Anderson Faculty Development Award - CCSG, The University of TX, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
2001-2004 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Breast Cancer Reserach Program, Department of Defense

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Werden SJ, Sphyris N, Sarkar TR, Paranjape AN, LaBaff AM, Taube JH, Hollier BG, Ramirez-Peña EQ, Soundararajan R, den Hollander P, Powell E, Echeverria GV, Miura N, Chang JT, Piwnica-Worms H, Rosen JM, Mani SA. Phosphorylation of serine 367 of FOXC2 by p38 regulates ZEB1 and breast cancer metastasis, without impacting primary tumor growth. Oncogene. e-Pub 6/2016. PMID: 27292262.
2. Paranjape AN, Soundararajan R, Werden SJ, Joseph R, Taube JH, Liu H, Rodriguez-Canales J, Sphyris N, Wistuba I, Miura N, Dhillon J, Mahajan N, Mahajan K, Chang JT, Ittmann M, Maity SN, Logothetis C, Tang DG, Mani SA. Inhibition of FOXC2 restores epithelial phenotype and drug sensitivity in prostate cancer cells with stem-cell properties. Oncogene. e-Pub 1/2016. PMID: 26804168.
3. Pietilä M, Vijay GV, Soundararajan R, Yu X, Symmans WF, Sphyris N, Mani SA. FOXC2 regulates the G2/M transition of stem cell-rich breast cancer cells and sensitizes them to PLK1 inhibition. Sci Rep 6:23070, 2016. e-Pub 4/2016. PMID: 27064522.
4. Toneff MJ, Sreekumar A, Tinnirello A, Hollander PD, Habib S, Li S, Ellis MJ, Xin L, Mani SA, Rosen JM. The Z-cad dual fluorescent sensor detects dynamic changes between the epithelial and mesenchymal cellular states. BMC Biol 14(1):47, 2016. e-Pub 6/2016. PMCID: PMC4912796.
5. Bhowmik SK, Ramirez-Peña E, Arnold JM, Putluri V, Sphyris N, Michailidis G, Putluri N, Ambs S, Sreekumar A, Mani SA. EMT-Induced Metabolite Signature Identifies Poor Clinical Outcome. Oncotarget. e-Pub 7/2015. PMID: 26315396.
6. Soundararajan R, Paranjape AN, Barsan V, Chang JT, Mani SA. A novel embryonic plasticity gene signature that predicts metastatic competence and clinical outcome. Sci Rep 5:11766, 2015. e-Pub 6/2015. PMCID: PMC4485318.
7. Sarkar TR, Battula VL, Werden SJ, Vijay GV, Ramirez-Peña EQ, Taube JH, Chang JT, Miura N, Porter W, Sphyris N, Andreeff M, Mani SA. GD3 synthase regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis in breast cancer. Oncogene 0. e-Pub 8/2014. PMID: 25109336.
8. Malouf GG, Taube JH, Lu Y, Roysarkar T, Panjarian S, Estecio MR, Jelinek J, Yamazaki J, Raynal NJ, Long H, Tahara T, Tinnirello A, Ramachandran P, Zhang XY, Liang S, Mani SA, Issa JP. Architecture of epigenetic reprogramming following Twist1 mediated epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Genome Biol 14(12). e-Pub 12/2013. PMID: 24367927.
9. Taube JH, Malouf GG, Lu E, Sphyris N, Vijay V, Ramachandran PP, Ueno KR, Gaur S, Nicoloso MS, Rossi S, Herschkowitz JI, Rosen JM, Issa JP, Calin GA, Chang JT, Mani SA. Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-203 is required for EMT and cancer stem cell properties. Sci Rep 3:2687, 9/2013. PMCID: PMC3776231.
10. Hollier BG, Tinnirello AA, Werden SJ, Evans KW, Taube JH, Sarkar TR, Sphyris N, Shariati M, Kumar SV, Battula VL, Herschkowitz JI, Guerra R, Chang JT, Miura N, Rosen JM, Mani SA. FOXC2 expression links epithelial-mesenchymal transition and stem cell properties in breast cancer. Cancer Res 73(6):1981-92, 3/15/2013. e-Pub 2/1/2013. PMCID: PMC3602160.
11. Battula VL, Shi Y, Evans KW, Wang RY, Spaeth EL, Jacamo RO, Guerra R, Sahin AA, Marini FC, Hortobagyi G, Mani SA, Andreeff M. Ganglioside GD2 identifies breast cancer stem cells and promotes tumorigenesis. J Clin Invest. e-Pub 5/2012. PMID: 22585577.
12. Guo W, Keckesova Z, Donaher JL, Shibue T, Tischler V, Reinhardt F, Itzkovitz S, Noske A, Zürrer-Härdi U, Bell G, Tam WL, Mani SA, van Oudenaarden A, Weinberg RA. Slug and sox9 cooperatively determine the mammary stem cell state. Cell 148(5):1015-28, 3/2/2012. PMID: 22385965.
13. Mego M, Mani SA, Lee BN, Li C, Evans KW, Cohen EN, Gao H, Jackson SA, Giordano A, Hortobagyi GN, Cristofanilli M, Lucci A, Reuben JM. Expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition-inducing transcription factors in primary breast cancer: The effect of neoadjuvant therapy. Int J Cancer. e-Pub 3/2011. PMID: 21387303.
14. Taube JH, Herschkowitz JI, Komurov K, Zhou AY, Gupta S, Yang J, Hartwell K, Onder TT, Gupta PB, Evans KW, Hollier BG, Ram PT, Lander ES, Rosen JM, Weinberg RA, Mani SA. Core epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition interactome gene-expression signature is associated with claudin-low and metaplastic breast cancer subtypes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107(35):15449-54, 8/2010. e-Pub 8/2010. PMCID: PMC2932589.
15. Battula VL, Evans KW, Hollier BG, Shi Y, Marini FC, Ayyanan A, Wang RY, Brisken C, Guerra R, Andreeff M, Mani SA. Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition-Derived Cells Exhibit Multi-Lineage Differentiation Potential Similar to Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Stem Cells 28(8):1435-45, 8/2010. e-Pub 6/22/2010. PMID: 20572012.
16. Onder TT, Gupta PB, Mani SA, Yang J, Lander ES, Weinberg RA. Loss of E-cadherin promotes metastasis via multiple downstream transcriptional pathways. Cancer Res 68(10):3645-54, 5/2008. PMID: 18483246.
17. Mani SA, Guo W, Liao MJ, Eaton EN, Ayyanan A, Zhou AY, Brooks M, Reinhard F, Zhang CC, Shipitsin M, Campbell LL, Polyak K, Brisken C, Yang J, Weinberg RA. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition generates cells with properties of stem cells. Cell 133(4):704-15, 5/2008. PMCID: PMC2728032.
18. Mani SA, Yang J, Brooks M, Schwaninger G, Zhou A, Miura N, Kutok JL, Hartwell K, Richardson AL, Weinberg RA. Mesenchyme Forkhead 1 (FOXC2) plays a key role in metastasis and is associated with aggressive basal-like breast cancers. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104(24):10069-74, 6/2007. PMCID: PMC1891217.
19. Yang J, Mani SA, Donaher JL, Ramaswamy S, Itzykson RA, Come C, Savagner P, Gitelman I, Richardson A, Weinberg RA. Twist, a Master Regulator of Morphogenesis, Plays an Essential Role in Tumor Metastasis. Cell 117(7):927–939, 6/2004. PMID: 15210113.

Invited Articles

1. Pietilä M, Ivaska J, Mani SA. Whom to blame for metastasis, the epithelial-mesenchymal transition or the tumor microenvironment? Cancer Lett. e-Pub 1/2016. PMID: 26791236.
2. Chang JT, Mani SA. Sheep, wolf, or werewolf: Cancer stem cells and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Cancer Lett. e-Pub 3/2013. PMID: 23499890.
3. May CD, Sphyris N, Evans KW, Werden SJ, Guo W, Mani SA. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stem cells: a dangerously dynamic duo in breast cancer progression. Breast Cancer Res 13(1). e-Pub 2/2011. PMID: 21392411.
4. Mego M, Mani SA, Cristofanilli M. Molecular mechanisms of metastasis in breast cancer-clinical applications. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 7(12):693-701, 12/2010. e-Pub 10/19/2010. PMID: 20956980.
5. Hollier BG, Evans K, Mani SA. The Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition and Cancer Stem Cells: A Coalition Against Cancer Therapies. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 14(1):29-43, 3/2009. e-Pub 2/26/2009. PMID: 19242781.
6. Sphyris N, Mani, SA. The importance of the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Breast Cancer. Current Breast Cancer Reports 1:229-237, 2009.
7. Yang J, Mani SA, Weinberg RA. Exploring a new twist on tumor metastasis. Cancer Res 66(9):4549-52, 5/1/2006. PMID: 16651402.


1. Sphyris N, Mani SA. pIgR: Frenemy of Inflammation, EMT, and HCC Progression. J Natl Cancer Inst. e-Pub 10/2011. PMID: 22025623.
2. Mani SA, Barton MC. HDAC3 at the Fulcrum of an Epithelial-Mesenchymal Balance. Mol Cell 43(5):697-698, 9/2011. e-Pub 2011. PMID: 21884971.

Book Chapters

1. Taube, J., Mani, S.A. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, stem cells, and cancer progression. In: Nova publishers book on "Stem Cell, Regenerative Medicine and Cancer". Nova, 2010.

Last updated: 2/8/2016