Biochemistry and Microbiology

BBSC, 1 John Marshall Drive , Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-7301  |  fax: (304) 696-7253  Email: tmathis@marshall.edu

Research Interest

Richard M. Niles, Ph.D., Professor, Chair
of Biochemistry and Microbiology, and
Senior Associate Dean
 for Research and Graduate Education
Phone: (304) 696-7323 Fax: (304) 696-7253
E-Mail: niles@marshall.edu
Office: BBSC 301B

Major Research Interests

Our laboratory is investigating the mechanism by which dietary constituents such as vitamin A, resveratrol (red wine), quercetin (apples), etc arrest growth of melanoma cells and prevent melanocytes from being converted to melanoma cells.  Melanoma is rapidly increasing in incidence, especially in the under 40 year old population.  In its early stage, it is curable by surgery, but once its spreads, it is notoriously resistant to treatment.



A recent area of investigation is production of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1alpha) by melanoma cells under conditions of normal oxygen tension. HIF-1alpha is normally produced under hypoxic conditions and allows tumor cells to recruit a blood supply (angiogenesis) and shift their metabolism to produce energy under hypoxic conditions (glycolysis). The role of HIF-1alpha expression by melanoma cells in normal oxygen conditions may contribute to their malignant properties.

Representative Publications

Huang, Y., Minigh, J., Miles, S., and Niles, R.M.  Retinoic acid Decreases ATF-Phosphorylation and Sensitizes Melanoma Cells to Taxol- Mediated Growth Inhibition. J. Mol. Signaling 3:3, 2008.

Estler, M., Boskovic, G., Denvir, J., Miles, S., Primerano, D.A., and Niles, R.M.  Global Analysis of Gene Expression Changes During Retinoic Acid-Induced Growth Arrest and Differentiation of Melanoma:  Comparison to Differentially Expressed Genes in Melanocytes vs. Melanoma.  BMC-Genomics, 9:478 ,2008. Epub.

Fan, J., Zhu, G.Z., and Niles, R.M.  Expression and Function of CD9 in Melanoma Cells.  Mol. Carcinogenesis 49: 85-92, 2010.

Mills, C.N., Joshi, S.S., and Niles, R.M.  Expression and Function of Hypoxia Inducible Factor-alpha in Human Melanoma Under Non-hypoxic Conditions.  Mol Cancer 8: 104, 2009, Epub.

Fan, J., Eastham, L., Varney. M.E., Hall, A., Adkins, N.L., Sollars, V.E., Georgel, G., and Niles, R.M. Silencing and Re-expression of Retinoic Acid Receptor Beta2 in Human Melanoma.  Pig Cell & Melanoma Res 23: 419-429, 2010.

Recent Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows

Goran Boskovic, Ph.D., 1997-2004 (postdoctoral fellow), Manager, Microarray Facility, Marshall University, Huntington, WV

Caroline Mills, Ph.D., 2001-2007 (graduate student), Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pathology, University of Alabama – Birmingham

Jun Fan, Ph.D. 2004-2009 (postdoctoral fellow), Manager DNA Sequencing Facility, Marshall University, Huntington. WV

Current Laboratory Personnel - select  to view