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Tasneem Bawa-Khalfe, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Department of Cardiology - Research, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Research Interests

The epigenetic events directed by the SUMO conjugation/deconjugation machinery

Changes to the SUMO machinery that support cancer development and progression 

Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

2003 University of Houston College of Pharmacy, Houston, TX, PHD, Pharmacology
1998 Baylor University, Waco, TX, BS, Biochemistry

Postgraduate Training

2006-2009 Research Fellowship, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Dr. Edward Yeh
2004-2006 Research Fellowship, U.T. Health Science Center, Houston, TX, Dr. Edward Yeh
2003-2004 Research Fellowship, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, Dr. Edward Yeh


Academic Appointments

Instructor, Department of Cardiology - Research, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 4/2009-5/2013

Other Appointments/Responsibilities

Teaching Assistant, University of Houston College of Pharmacy, Houston, TX, 2001-2003
Research Assistant, University of Houston, College of Pharmacy, Houston, TX, 2000-2001
Teaching Assistant Coordinator, Unversity of Houston College of Pharmacy, Houston, TX, 1999-2000

Honors and Awards

2012 First Place Junior Faculty Poster Award, Division of Internal Medicine Research Retreat, MD Anderson Cancer Center
2011 Cyrus Scholar Awards Finalist in Basic/Translational Research, MD Anderson Cancer Center
2005 First Place Postdoctoral Research Poster, The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston
2000 Graduate Student Poster Award, University of Houston
1999-2003 Graduate Assistant Tuition Fellowship, University of Houston
1998 Chemistry Undergraduate Student Fellowship, Baylor University

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Wang Q, Xia N, Li T, Xu Y, Zou Y, Zuo Y, Fan Q, Bawa-Khalfe T, Yeh ET, Cheng J. SUMO-specific protease 1 promotes prostate cancer progression and metastasis. Oncogene 32(19):2493-8, 5/9/2013. e-Pub 6/25/2012. PMID: 22733136.
2. Zhang S, Liu X, Bawa-Khalfe T, Lu LS, Lyu YL, Liu LF, Yeh ET. Identification of the Molecular Basis of Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity. Nat Med 18(11):1639-42, 11/2012. e-Pub 10/2012. PMID: 23104132.
3. Bawa-Khalfe T, Lu LS, Zuo Y, Huang C, Dere R, Lin FM, Yeh ET. Differential Expression of SUMO-Specific Protease 7 Variants Regulates Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(43):17466-17471, 10/2012. e-Pub 10/2012. PMCID: PMC3491469.
4. Bawa-Khalfe T, Cheng J, Lin SH, Ittmann MM, Yeh ET. SENP1 induces prostate intraepithelial neoplasia through multiple mechanisms. J Biol Chem 285(33):25859-66, 8/13/2010. e-Pub 6/15/2010. PMCID: PMC2919148.
5. Bawa-Khalfe T, Cheng J, Wang Z, Yeh ET. Induction of the SUMO-specific protease 1 transcription by the androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells. J Biol Chem 52(282):37341-49, 2007. e-Pub 10/2007. PMID: 17932034.
6. Bawa-Khalfe T, Altememi GF, Mandyam CD, Schwarz LA, Eikenburg DC, Standifer KM. The presence of beta2-adrenoceptors sensitizes alpha2A-adrenoceptors to desensitization after chronic epinephrine treatment. BMC Pharmacol 7:16, 2007. PMCID: PMC2234403.
7. Cheng J, Bawa T,. Role of desumoylation in the development of prostate cancer. Neoplasia 8(8):667-76, 2006. PMCID: PMC1601940.
8. Bawa T, Altememi GF, Eikenburg DC, Standifer KM. Desensitization of alpha 2A-adrenoceptor signalling by modest levels of adrenaline is facilitated by beta 2-adrenoceptor-dependent GRK3 up-regulation. Br J Pharmacol 138(5):921-31, 3/2003. PMCID: PMC1573738.

Invited Articles

1. Bawa-Khalfe T, Yeh ET. SUMO losing balance: SUMO proteases disrupt SUMO homeostasis to facilitate cancer development and progression. Genes Cancer 1(7):748-758, 7/2010. PMCID: PMC2998238.


1. Bawa-Khalfe T, Cheng J, Yeh ETH. Induction of SENP1 directly regulates the development of prostate cancer. Division of Internal Medicine: 2006 Research Retreat Submission #5, 2006.
2. Bawa-Khalfe T, Lee P, Cheng J, Peng Y, Wang Z, Yeh ETH. Induction of Sentrin/SUMO-Specific Protease 1 by Androgen in Prostate Cancer Cells. The Third International Conference of Ubiquitin, Ubiquitin-like Proteins and Cancer Session XIII Group 2, 2006.
3. Bawa T, Eikenburg DC. Chronic co-activation of α2-and β2-adrenoceptors desensitizes α2-AR signaling via GRK3 upregulation. The Pharmacologist 44:A198, 2002.

Book Chapters

1. Bawa-Khalfe T, Yeh ETH. The In Vivo Functions of Desumoylating Enzymes. In: Conjugation and Deconjugation of Ubiquitin Family Modifiers, Subcellular Biochemistry. 54. Ed(s) Groettrup M. Landes Bioscience and Springer Science, LLC: Austin, Texas, 170-183, 2010.

Grant & Contract Support

Title: SUMO-meditated regulatory control of active chromatin sites
Funding Source: UT MD Anderson, Center for Cancer Epigenetics
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 10/1/2013 - 9/30/2014
Title: De-SUMOylation and the hypoxic response
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Investigator
Principal Investigator: Dr. Edward Yeh
Duration: 3/1/2009 - 1/31/2014
Title: Role of SENP1 in Prostate Cancer Pathogenesis
Funding Source: NIH/NCI
Role: Principal Investigator
Duration: 9/2006 - 9/2008

Last updated: 9/6/2013