Sam Thiagalingam, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Biomedical Genetics

PhD, Johns Hopkins University
MS, Bowling Green State University
BSc, University of Jaffna

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. In addition to studying the various aspects of cancer, Dr. Thiagalingam has also been interested in taking an interdisciplinary approach to studying epigenomics of other complex diseases such as schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD). Recent studies by the lab found that there is asymmetric expression of many genes involved in the TGFB super family signaling pathways and those known to establish left-right asymmetry in SCZ and BD. Research efforts are ongoing to correlate epigenomic alterations in SCZ and BD to pathogenesis to identify effective therapeutic targets and agents.

Associate Professor
Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Boston University
BU-BMC Cancer Center

Boston University
Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research

Boston University
Genome Science Institute

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

Illuminating Dynamic Receptor Clustering in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Signal Transduction Pathway Using Plasmon Coupling
04/01/2020 - 03/31/2025 (Co-Investigator)
PI: Bjorn Reinhard, Dr. rer. nat.
NIH/National Cancer Institute

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

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 8
2013 Dissecting the metastasis suppressor complex to identify colon cancer biomarkers 1R21CA165707-01A1 8
2007 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 5R01CA101773-05 9
2006 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 5R01CA101773-04 9
2005 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 5R01CA101773-03 9
2004 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 5R01CA101773-02 9
2004 Genetic Determinants of Epithelial DNA Damage in Smokers 5R01ES010377-04 11
2003 The role of hBUB1-p53 pathway in genomic stability. 1R01CA101773-01 9
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.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Abdolmaleky HM, Nohesara S, Thiagalingam S. Epigenome Defines Aberrant Brain Laterality in Major Mental Illnesses. Brain Sci. 2024 Mar 07; 14(3). PMID: 38539649; PMCID: PMC10968810; DOI: 10.3390/brainsci14030261;
  2. Nohesara S, Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam S. Potential for New Therapeutic Approaches by Targeting Lactate and pH Mediated Epigenetic Dysregulation in Major Mental Diseases. Biomedicines. 2024 Feb 18; 12(2). PMID: 38398057; PMCID: PMC10887322; DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines12020457;
  3. Nohesara S, Abdolmaleky HM, Zhou JR, Thiagalingam S. Microbiota-Induced Epigenetic Alterations in Depressive Disorders Are Targets for Nutritional and Probiotic Therapies. Genes (Basel). 2023 Dec 14; 14(12). PMID: 38137038; PMCID: PMC10742434; DOI: 10.3390/genes14122217;
  4. Nohesara S, Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam S, Zhou JR. Gut microbiota defined epigenomes of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases reveal novel targets for therapy. Epigenomics. 2024 Jan; 16(1):57-77. PMID: 38088063; PMCID: PMC10804213; DOI: 10.2217/epi-2023-0342;
  5. Nohesara S, Abdolmaleky HM, Thiagalingam S. Epigenetic Aberrations in Major Psychiatric Diseases Related to Diet and Gut Microbiome Alterations. Genes (Basel). 2023 Jul 24; 14(7). PMID: 37510410; PMCID: PMC10379841; DOI: 10.3390/genes14071506;
  6. Abdolmaleky HM, Martin M, Zhou JR, Thiagalingam S. Epigenetic Alterations of Brain Non-Neuronal Cells in Major Mental Diseases. Genes (Basel). 2023 Apr 12; 14(4). PMID: 37107654; PMCID: PMC10137903; DOI: 10.3390/genes14040896;
  7. Laroche FJF, Li S, Shen N, Hwang SK, Nguyen G, Yu W, Wong CK, Quinton RJ, Berman JN, Liu CT, Singh A, Ganem NJ, Thiagalingam S, Feng H. S1P1 Threonine 236 Phosphorylation Mediates the Invasiveness of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and Sensitivity to FTY720. Cells. 2023 Mar 23; 12(7).View Related Profiles. PMID: 37048053; PMCID: PMC10093541; DOI: 10.3390/cells12070980;
  8. Chung J, Das A, Sun X, Sobreira DR, Leung YY, Igartua C, Mozaffari S, Chou YF, Thiagalingam S, Mez J, Zhang X, Jun GR, Stein TD, Kunkle BW, Martin ER, Pericak-Vance MA, Mayeux R, Haines JL, Schellenberg GD, Nobrega MA, Lunetta KL, Pinto JM, Wang LS, Ober C, Farrer LA. Genome-wide association and multi-omics studies identify MGMT as a novel risk gene for Alzheimer's disease among women. Alzheimers Dement. 2022 Jun 30.View Related Profiles. PMID: 35770850; PMCID: PMC9800643; DOI: 10.1002/alz.12719;
  9. Abdolmaleky HM, Zhou JR, Thiagalingam S. Cataloging recent advances in epigenetic alterations in major mental disorders and autism. Epigenomics. 2021 08; 13(15):1231-1245. PMID: 34318684; PMCID: PMC8738978; DOI: 10.2217/epi-2021-0074;
  10. Thiagalingam S. Epigenetic memory in development and disease: Unraveling the mechanism. Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2020 04; 1873(2):188349. PMID: 31982403; PMCID: PMC7225062; DOI: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2020.188349;
Showing 10 of 61 results. Show More

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

Bar chart showing 61 publications over 31 distinct years, with a maximum of 5 publications in 2011 and 2023


2019-2020 BU-BMC Cancer Center: Carter Award for Diversity and Cancer Equity
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)

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
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72 E. Concord St Evans Building
Boston MA 02118
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