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College of Pharmacy

Faculty and Staff

Alexander Gasparian, Ph.D.

Title: Clinical Assistant Professor
Department: Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences (DDBS)
College of Pharmacy
Phone: 803-777-9325
Office: College of Pharmacy
715 Sumter Street - CLS 518
Columbia, SC 29208
Alexander Gasparian portrait


Ph.D.  Experimental Oncology, Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Center, 1997
M.S.  Biochemistry, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1993

Postdoctoral fellowship
Cancer biology, AMC Cancer Research Center, Denver, CO, 1999 – 2001


Alexander Gasparian, Ph.D., has research interests spanning various aspects of cancer biology and treatment. In his early research, he identified a set of genetic markers associated with the progression of ovarian and lung cancer. In his post-doctoral research, he analyzed the mechanism of constitutive activation of transcription factor NF-kappaB in castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Similarly to findings in other systems, he showed a protective role of NF-kappaB activation in drug-induced death of CRPC cells that provides a basis for the development of combination therapies for CRPC that include NF-kappaB inhibitors.

Gasparian participated in the discovery of a new class of prospective anti-cancer drugs named “Curaxins” targeting important molecular pathways in cancer cells (including inhibition of FACT complex, inhibition of NF-kappaB and activation of tumor suppressor p53). Curaxins are currently in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of unresectable solid tumors. His recent studies addressed the mechanisms of cancer cell death after the depletion of coatomer protein complex COPI in cancer cells. Currently, Gasparian works on several projects focused on targeting transcription-regulating kinase CDK8 in cancer cells.

Awards & Honors

  • Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Award, University of South Carolina, 2023
  • P2 Teacher of the Year, USC College of Pharmacy, 2022-23


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