Sam Thiagalingam, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Medicine
Molecular Medicine (Biomolecular Medicine Unit) Section

PhD, Johns Hopkins University
MS, Bowling Green State University



Dr. Thiagalingam is an expert cancer geneticist and was the first to show that SMAD4 inactivation is a critical event during the late stages of colon cancer progression. He was a lead researcher in the team that first identified a family of five novel SMAD genes. He also proposed a simple minded multi-modular molecular network (MMMN) cancer progression model as a road map to visualize the various gene alterations in modules of networks of pathways. Recently, his studies found that intact hyperactive TGFß-Smad signaling is required to sustain “epigenetic memory” responsible for epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a critical step during conversion to malignant cancer. His long-term goal is to identify novel cancer biomarkers and therapeutic targets by contributing to the “big picture” of interconnected network of events that mediate cancer progression to metastasis using breast and colon cancers as the model systems.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences


Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine



2008-2011 Susan G. Komen for the Cure : Investigator Initiated Research Award
2006-2008 NARSAD/Brain & Behavior Research Foundation: NARSAD Independent Investigator Award - 2006/2007 NARSAD Dr. Walter F. Nichols Investigator
2001-2005 Department of Defense BCRP, USAMRMC: Career Development Award
2000-2002 Smith Family Foundation/The Medical Foundation: New Investigator Award (Dolphin Trust Investigator)


Dissecting the metastasis suppressor complex to identify colon cancer biomarkers
03/01/2013 - 02/29/2016 (PI)
NIH/National Cancer Institute
5R21CA165707-02

Identification and functional characterization of novel genes involved in breast cancer metastasis
12/01/2011 - 09/29/2013 (PI)
University of Cyprus

Identification and Functional Characterization of Novel Genes Involved in Breast Cancer Metastasis
12/01/2010 - 12/01/2012 (PI)
University of Cyprus Cyprus & EU Reg Dev

The Role of hBub1-p53 Pathway in Genomic Stability
08/01/2003 - 05/31/2009 (PI)
NIH/National Cancer Institute
5 R01 CA101773 05

Epigenetic Modulation of Serotonin Signaling in the Pathogenesis of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder
09/15/2006 - 09/14/2008 (PI)
National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depressi

Genetic Determinants of Epithelial DNA Damage in Smokers
09/30/2001 - 12/31/2005 (PI)
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
5 R01 ES10377 04

Metastatic Progression of Breast Cancer by Allelic Loss on Chromosome 18q21
09/01/2001 - 08/31/2005 (PI)
Department of Defense/Army


A Model System For Molecular
07/01/1999 - 09/30/2002 (PI)
American Lung Asso

Hbub1 For P53 Inactivation
07/01/2000 - 06/30/2002 (PI)
Medical Foundation



Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2014 Dissecting the metastasis suppressor complex to identify colon cancer biomarkers 5R21CA165707-02 2
2013 Dissecting the metastasis suppressor complex to identify colon cancer biomarkers 1R21CA165707-01A1 2
2007 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 5R01CA101773-05 8
2006 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 5R01CA101773-04 8
2005 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 5R01CA101773-03 8
2004 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 5R01CA101773-02 8
2004 Genetic Determinants of Epithelial DNA Damage in Smokers 5R01ES010377-04 11
2003 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 1R01CA101773-01 8
2003 Genetic Determinants of Epithelial DNA Damage in Smokers 5R01ES010377-03 11
2002 Genetic Determinants of Epithelial DNA Damage in Smokers 5R01ES010377-02 11
Showing 10 of 11 results. Show All Results
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Nohesara S, Ghadirivasfi M, Barati M, Ghasemzadeh MR, Narimani S, Mousavi-Behbahani Z, Joghataei M, Soleimani M, Taban M, Mehrabi S, Thiagalingam S, Abdolmaleky HM. Methamphetamine-induced psychosis is associated with DNA hypomethylation and increased expression of AKT1 and key dopaminergic genes. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2016 Dec; 171(8):1180-1189. PMID: 27753212; DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32506;.
  2. Ozturk S, Papageorgis P, Wong CK, Lambert AW, Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam A, Cohen HT, Thiagalingam S. SDPR functions as a metastasis suppressor in breast cancer by promoting apoptosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Jan 19; 113(3):638-43.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26739564; PMCID: PMC4725521; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1514663113;.
  3. Lambert AW, Wong CK, Ozturk S, Papageorgis P, Raghunathan R, Alekseyev Y, Gower AC, Reinhard BM, Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam S. Tumor Cell-Derived Periostin Regulates Cytokines That Maintain Breast Cancer Stem Cells. Mol Cancer Res. 2016 Jan; 14(1):103-13.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26507575; PMCID: PMC4715959; DOI: 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-15-0079;.
  4. Abdolmaleky HM, Pajouhanfar S, Faghankhani M, Joghataei MT, Mostafavi A, Thiagalingam S. Antipsychotic drugs attenuate aberrant DNA methylation of DTNBP1 (dysbindin) promoter in saliva and post-mortem brain of patients with schizophrenia and Psychotic bipolar disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2015 Dec; 168(8):687-96. PMID: 26285059; DOI: 10.1002/ajmg.b.32361;.
  5. Papageorgis P, Ozturk S, Lambert AW, Neophytou CM, Tzatsos A, Wong CK, Thiagalingam S, Constantinou AI. Targeting IL13Ralpha2 activates STAT6-TP63 pathway to suppress breast cancer lung metastasis. Breast Cancer Res. 2015; 17:98.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26208975; PMCID: PMC4531803; DOI: 10.1186/s13058-015-0607-y;.
  6. Abdolmaleky HM, Zhou JR, Thiagalingam S. An update on the epigenetics of psychotic diseases and autism. Epigenomics. 2015; 7(3):427-49. PMID: 26077430; DOI: 10.2217/epi.14.85;.
  7. Abdolmaleky HM, Nohesara S, Ghadirivasfi M, Lambert AW, Ahmadkhaniha H, Ozturk S, Wong CK, Shafa R, Mostafavi A, Thiagalingam S. DNA hypermethylation of serotonin transporter gene promoter in drug naïve patients with schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2014 Feb; 152(2-3):373-80.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24411530; DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2013.12.007;.
  8. Lambert AW, Ozturk S, Thiagalingam S. Integrin signaling in mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer. ISRN Oncol. 2012; 2012:493283.View Related Profiles. PMID: 22523705; PMCID: PMC3317013; DOI: 10.5402/2012/493283;.
  9. Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam S. Can the schizophrenia epigenome provide clues for the molecular basis of pathogenesis? Epigenomics. 2011 Dec; 3(6):679-83. PMID: 22126286; DOI: 10.2217/epi.11.94;.
  10. Nohesara S, Ghadirivasfi M, Mostafavi S, Eskandari MR, Ahmadkhaniha H, Thiagalingam S, Abdolmaleky HM. DNA hypomethylation of MB-COMT promoter in the DNA derived from saliva in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. J Psychiatr Res. 2011 Nov; 45(11):1432-8. PMID: 21820670; DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.06.013;.
Showing 10 of 47 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 47 publications over 24 distinct years, with a maximum of 5 publications in 2011

YearPublications
19891
19911
19921
19933
19942
19951
19963
19973
19991
20013
20021
20031
20041
20054
20062
20071
20082
20092
20101
20115
20121
20141
20154
20162
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Cancer genetics
cancer metastasis
EMT
Epigenetics
signaling pathways
SMAD genes
TGFß

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Research / Scholarly Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:


72 E. Concord St Evans Building
Boston MA 02118
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