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Thiruvengadam Arumugam, Ph.D.

Present Title & Affiliation

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Cancer Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Research Interests

  The goal of my research is to improve the treatment of pancreatic cancer and better patient outcome from this aggressive cancer. Resistance to chemo and radiotherapy is one of the major problems in pancreatic cancer management. Gemcitabine is the standard chemotherapy for this cancer and it has very meager benefits initially, and after that this drug is completely ineffective. My recent study showed that most of the pancreatic cancer cells lines are resistance to gemcitabine and other drugs, suggesting resistant mechanism is global. Resistant cells has mesenchymal phenotype, suggested EMT (Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition) is one of the phenomena behind the drug resistance. Another approach to understand the drug resistance is identifying the gene expression that will be induced after gemcitabine treatment, this study revealed number of cell cycle regulator, de-toxifying molecules, anti-apoptotic molecules and also lots of novel genes that was not reported elsewhere. This study will be extended further with patient tissue xenograft, aiming to personalized medicine.  Pancreatic cancer is highly desmoplastic in nature, unfortunately tumor orthotopic model using cells lines is not reproducing this tumor-microenvironment in animals models. Recently we have developed new cell lines from post-operative pancreatic cancer tissue and all our primary cell line creates extensive stroma and resembles exactly human pancreatic cancer tissue histology. Since microenvironment plays a major role in tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis and drug resistance, our lab is using this cell lines to further understand the role of stroma on drug resistance.

Another focus of my research is to develop blocker for S100-RAGE interactions. This molecule plays a crucial role in tumor growth, angiogenesis, metastasis and also drug resistance. RAGE is a central mediator of inflammation in tumor tissue, vascular, neuronal, renal complications and other pathological conditions. Recently I am engaged in developing novel small peptide to block this RAGE mediated pathological function.

Apart from my laboratory research I am also interested in optical imaging for tumor growth, metastasis and gene delivery. I have been in-charge of the south campus animal imaging facility that includes bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging.



Education & Training

Degree-Granting Education

1999 University of Madras, Madras, India, PHD, Endocrinology
1991 University of Madras, Madras, India, MPhil, Endocrinology
1990 Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India, MS, Zoology
1988 Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India, BS, Zoology

Professional Memberships

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
Member, 2004-2008
American Pancreatic Association (APA)
Member, 2002-present
International Society of Gastrointestinal Oncology (ISGIO)
Member, 2005-2008
Life Member of Society of Reproductive Biology and Comparative Endocrinology (SRBCE)
Member, 1995-present

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Original Research Articles

1. Arumugam T, Brandt W, Ramachandran V, Moore TT, Wang H, May FE, Westley BR, Hwang RF, and Logsdon CD. TFF1 stimulates both pancreatic cancer and stellate cells and increases metastasis. Pancreas, 11/2011.
2. Chandramouli A, Mercado-Pimentel ME, Hutchinson A, Gibadulinova A, Olson ER, Dickinson S, Shanas R, Davenport J, Owens J, Bhattacharyya AK, Regan JW, Pastorekova S, Arumugam T, Logsdon CD, Nelson MA. The induction of S100P expression by the Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2))/EP4 receptor signaling pathway in colon cancer cells. Cancer Biol. Ther. 10(10), 11/2010. PMID: 20890108.
3. Arumugam T, Logsdon CD. S100P: a novel therapeutic target for cancer. Amino Acids. e-Pub 5/2010. PMID: 20509035.
4. Arumugam T, Ramachandran V, Fournier KF, Wang H, Marquis L, Abbruzzese JL, Gallick GE, Logsdon CD, McConkey DJ, Choi W. Epithelial to mesenchymal transition contributes to drug resistance in pancreatic cancer. Cancer Res 69(14):5820-8, 7/2009. e-Pub 7/2009. PMID: 19584296.
5. Ramachandran V, Arumugam T, Langley R, Hwang RF, Vivas-Mejia P, Sood AK, Lopez-Berestein G, Logsdon CD. The ADMR receptor mediates the effects of adrenomedullin on pancreatic cancer cells and on cells of the tumor microenvironment. PLoS One 4(10):e7502, 2009. e-Pub 10/2009. PMCID: PMC2760778.
6. Pan X, Arumugam T, Yamamoto T, Levin PA, Ramachandran V, Ji B, Lopez-Berestein G, Vivas-Mejia PE, Sood AK, McConkey DJ, Logsdon CD. Nuclear factor-kappaB p65/relA silencing induces apoptosis and increases gemcitabine effectiveness in a subset of pancreatic cancer cells. Clin Cancer Res 14(24):8143-51, 12/2008. PMID: 19088029.
7. Ramachandran V, Arumugam T, Wang H, and Logsdon CD. Anterior Gradient 2 (AGR2) is Expressed and Secreted During the Development of Pancreatic Cancer and Promotes Cancer Cell Survival. Cancer Research 18(19):7811-8, 10/2008. PMID: 18829536.
8. Hwang RF, Moore T, Arumugam T, Ramachandran V, Amos KD, Rivera A, Ji B, Evans DB, Logsdon CD. Cancer-associated stromal fibroblasts promote pancreatic tumor progression. Cancer Res. 68(3):918-26, 2/2008. PMCID: PMCPMC2519173.
9. Gray MJ, Van Buren G, Dallas NA, Xia L, Wang X, Yang AD, Somcio RJ, Lin YG, Fan F, Mangala LS, Arumugam T, Logsdon CD, Lopez-Berestein G, Sood AK, Ellis LM. Therapeutic targeting of neuropilin-2 on colorectal carcinoma cells implanted in murine liver. J. Natl Cancer Inst. 100(1):109-20, 1/2008. PMID: 18182619.
10. Logsdon CD, Fuentes MK, Huang EH, and Arumugam T. RAGE and RAGE ligands in Cancer. Special Issue Curr Mol. Med 7(8):777-89, 12/2007. PMID: 18331236.
11. Fuentes MK, Nigavenkar SS, Arumugam T, Logsdon CD, Schmidt AM, Park JC, and Huang EH. RAGE activation by S100P in Colon Cancer Stimulates Growth, Migration and Cell Signaling Pathways. Dis Colon Rectum 50(8):1230-40, 8/2007. PMID: 17587138.
12. Lu C, Kamat A, Lin Y, Merritt W, Landen C, Kim T, Spannuth W, Arumugam T, Han L, Jennings N, Logsdon CD, Jaffe R, Coleman R, Sood AK. Dual Targeting of Endothelial Cells and Pericytes in Antivascular Therapy for Ovarian Carcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 13(14):4209-17, 7/2007. PMID: 7634550.
13. Simeone DM, Ji B, Banerjee M, Arumugam T, Li D, Anderson M, Baberer AM, Greenson J, Brand RE, Ramachandran V, Logsdon CD. CEACAM1, a novel biomarker for pancreatic cancer. Pancreas 34(4):436-43, 5/2007. PMID: 17446843.
14. Ramachandran V, Arumugam T, Rosa FH, Greenson JK, Simeone DM, Logsdon CD. Adrenomedullin is expressed in pancreatic cancer and stimulates cell growth and invasion in an autocrine manner via the ADMR receptor. Cancer Research 67(6):2666-75, 3/2007. PMID: 17363587.
15. Kubisch CH, Sans MD, Arumugam T, Ernst SA, Williams JA, and Logsdon CD. Early activation of endoplasmic reticulum stress is associated with arginine-induced acute pancreatitis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 291(2):G238-45, 8/2006. PMID: 16574987.
16. Arumugam T, Ramachandran V, Logsdon CD. Effect of cromolyn on S100P interactions with RAGE and pancreatic cancer growth and invasion in mouse models. J Natl Cancer Inst. 98(24):1806-18, 2006.
17. Arumugam T, Simeone DM, Van Golen K, Logsdon CD. S100P promotes pancreatic cancer growth, survival, and invasion. Clin Cancer Res 11(15):5356-64, 8/2005. PMID: 16061848.

Last updated: 11/28/2012