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College of Pharmacy

Faculty and Staff

Michael Shtutman, Ph.D.

Title: Associate Professor
Director, Functional Genomics Core
Department: Drug Discovery & Biomedical Sciences (DDBS)
College of Pharmacy
Phone: 803-777-8988
Office: College of Pharmacy
715 Sumter Street - CLS 713A
Columbia, SC 29208
Michael Shtutman portrait


Ph.D.  Experimental Oncology, Cancer Research Center, Moscow, Russia, 1996
M.S.  Biotechnology, Moscow Mendeleev Chemical - Technological Institute, 1988

Postdoctoral Fellowship  Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, 1997-1999

Research Interests

The general research direction of my laboratory is identifying and exploring new molecular targets for cancer therapy using the methods of functional genomics, in particular, the selection of phenotype-modifying short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) and genetic suppressor elements (GSEs). The principal novel target that we have identified is the Zeta subunit of the COPI complex that coats intracellular vesicles and is involved in intracellular traffic and autophagy.

Two alternative forms of the Zeta subunit are encoded by the genes COPZ1 and COPZ2, and we have discovered that many types of cancer no longer express COPZ2, making such tumors uniquely dependent on COPZ1. COPZ1 inhibition has little effect on normal cells, but it kills tumor cells--both proliferating and quiescent--thus offering the potential for complete eradication of the tumor. We have found that COPZ2 silencing in cancers is a consequence of the inactivation of a tumor-suppressive micro RNA, miR152, which is encoded within the COPZ2 gene. Our current studies are concentrated on exploring COPZ1 as a novel target for cancer therapy and elucidating the mechanisms of the tumor-suppressive activity of miR152.


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