Cancer Institute

  • Asok Dasmahapatra

    Senior Research Scientist
    National Center for Natural Products Research
    Associate Professor of Pharmacology
    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
    Basic Cancer Science at Oxford Program
    Ph.D., Zoology, 1981, University of Calcutta, West Bengal, India
    Postdoc, 1985-1986, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
    Post doc, 1991-1993, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
    Post doc, 1997-2002, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

    Contact information
    P.O. Box 1848
    Faser Hall #313
    University, MS 38677
    Phone: (662) 915-7077
    Fax: (662) 915-5148


    Research interests

    • Epigenetic mechanisms involved in cancer
    • Anticancer drug development from natural products

    Research synopsis

    The broad goal of our research is to understand the epigenetic mechanisms involved in cancer development specifically breast cancer and its prevention by bioactive molecules present in natural products. For many years, the search for therapeutic substances for cancer were concentrated on genetic mechanisms, however, it is now clear that deregulation of epigenetic processes are equally important in the propagation of this disease. Moreover, compared to genetic mutation, epigenetic modifications occur frequently and are thought to be reversible; thus the inhibition of these mechanisms could be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer. Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanism(s) by which natural products or bioactive molecules present in the natural products can prevent epigenetic disorders observed in cancer.

    Selected publications

    • Khan SI, Aumsuwan P, Khan IA, Walker LA, Dasmahapatra A K. Epigenetic events associated with breast cancer and their prevention by dietary components targeting the epigenome. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 25:61-73 (2012)  
    • Khan SI, Zhao J, Khan IA, Walker LA, Dasmahapatra AK. Potential utility of natural products as regulators of breast cancer-associated aromatase promoters. Reproductive Biol. Endocrinol. (1n press) 2011.
    • Zhao J, Dasmahapatra AK, Khan SI, Khan IA. Anti-aromatase activity of the constituents from damiana (Turnera diffusa). Ethnopharmacol. 120 :387-393 (2008).
    • Dasmahapatra A. K., Trewin A.L., Hutz R.J. Estrous cycle-regulated expression of CYP1B1 mRNA in the rat ovary. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 133B: 127-134 (2002).
    • Dasmahapatra A.K., Wimpee B.A.B., Trewin A.L., Hutz R.J. 2,3,7,8- Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin increases steady-state estrogen receptor-β mRNA levels after CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 induction in rat granulose cells in vitro. Cell. Mol. Endocrinol. 182: 39-49 (2001).
    • Dasmahapatra AK, Wimpee BAB, Trewin AL, Wimpee CL, Ghorai JK, Hutz RJ: Demonstration of TCDD attenuated P450 steroidogenic enzyme mRNA transcription in rat granulosa cell in vitro using competitive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay. Mol.Cell.Endocrinol. 164:5-18 (2000).