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Shantu Amin, PhD

Shantu Amin, PhD

Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Scientific Program:Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis

Research Interests

Dr. Shantu Amin is director of the Organic Synthesis Core of Penn State Cancer Institute. His laboratory is nationally recognized for developing synthetic strategies for novel small drug-like molecules for cancer prevention and therapy.

The major focus of Dr. Amin’s research is the synthesis of anti-cancer agents, elucidating their efficacy and investigating their drug metabolism. He has also been involved in structure-activity studies with mutagenic and carcinogenic compounds and using this knowledge to develop appropriate chemopreventive agents.

These studies have resulted in the development of several chemopreventive/ chemotherapeutic agents and an understanding of their mechanisms of action. 

  • Neoplasms
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • DNA
  • Lung
  • Carcinogens
  • DNA Adducts
  • Benzo(a)pyrene
  • Tobacco
  • Carcinogenesis
  • 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone
  • Liver
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Recent Publications


Rimal, B, Collins, SL, Tanes, CE, Rocha, ER, Granda, MA, Solanki, S, Hoque, NJ, Gentry, EC, Koo, I, Reilly, ER, Hao, F, Paudel, D, Singh, V, Yan, T, Kim, MS, Bittinger, K, Zackular, JP, Krausz, KW, Desai, D, Amin, S, Coleman, JP, Shah, YM, Bisanz, JE, Gonzalez, FJ, Vanden Heuvel, JP, Wu, GD, Zemel, BS, Dorrestein, PC, Weinert, EE & Patterson, AD 2024, 'Bile salt hydrolase catalyses formation of amine-conjugated bile acids', Nature, vol. 626, no. 8000, pp. 859-863.
Chen, YC, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Schell, TD, Sharma, AK & Robertson, GP 2024, 'Pharmacological agents targeting drug-tolerant persister cells in cancer', Pharmacological Research, vol. 203, 107163.


Zhu, X, Liu, Q, Patterson, AD, Sharma, AK, Amin, SG, Cohen, SM, Gonzalez, FJ & Peters, JM 2023, 'Accumulation of Linoleic Acid by Altered Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor-α Signaling Is Associated with Age-Dependent Hepatocarcinogenesis in Ppara Transgenic Mice', Metabolites, vol. 13, no. 8, 936.
Zhou, X, Chakraborty, D, Murray, IA, Coslo, D, Kehs, Z, Vijay, A, Ton, C, Desai, D, Amin, SG, Patterson, AD & Perdew, GH 2023, 'Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation Coordinates Mouse Small Intestinal Epithelial Cell Programming', Laboratory Investigation, vol. 103, no. 2, 100012.
Kale, VP, Hengst, JA, Sharma, AK, Golla, U, Dovat, S, Amin, SG, Yun, JK & Desai, DH 2023, 'Characterization of Anticancer Effects of the Analogs of DJ4, a Novel Selective Inhibitor of ROCK and MRCK Kinases', Pharmaceuticals, vol. 16, no. 8, 1060.
Dong, F, Murray, IA, Annalora, A, Coslo, DM, Desai, D, Gowda, K, Yang, J, Wang, D, Koo, I, Hao, F, Amin, SG, Patterson, AD, Marcus, C & Perdew, GH 2023, 'Complex chemical signals dictate Ah receptor activation through the gut-lung axis', FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, vol. 37, no. 7, pp. e23010.
Morgan, EW, Dong, F, Annalora, AJ, Murray, IA, Wolfe, T, Erickson, R, Gowda, K, Amin, SG, Petersen, KS, Kris-Etherton, PM, Marcus, CB, Walk, ST, Patterson, AD & Perdew, GH 2023, 'Contribution of Circulating Host and Microbial Tryptophan Metabolites Toward Ah Receptor Activation', International Journal of Tryptophan Research, vol. 16.
Chen, K-M, Sun, Y-W, Hu, J, Balogh, K, Gowda, K, Aliaga, C, Sun, D, Christensen, N, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2023, 'Gender Difference in DNA Damage Induced by the Environmental Carcinogen Dibenzo[def,p]chrysene Individually and in Combination with Mouse Papillomavirus Infection in the Mouse Oral Cavity', ACS Omega.
Patel, D, Murray, IA, Dong, F, Annalora, AJ, Gowda, K, Coslo, DM, Krzeminski, J, Koo, I, Hao, F, Amin, SG, Marcus, CB, Patterson, AD & Perdew, GH 2023, 'Induction of AHR Signaling in Response to the Indolimine Class of Microbial Stress Metabolites', Metabolites, vol. 13, no. 9, 985.
Rikken, G, Smith, KJ, van den Brink, NJM, Smits, JPH, Gowda, K, Alnemri, A, Kuzu, GE, Murray, IA, Lin, JM, Smits, JGA, van Vlijmen-Willems, IM, Amin, SG, Perdew, GH & van den Bogaard, EH 2023, 'Lead optimization of aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligands for treatment of inflammatory skin disorders', Biochemical Pharmacology, vol. 208, 115400.


Chen, KM, Sun, YW, Sun, D, Gowda, K, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2022, 'Black Raspberry Extract Enhances Glutathione Conjugation of the Fjord-Region Diol Epoxide Derived from the Tobacco Carcinogen Dibenzo[ def, p]chrysene in Human Oral Cells', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 35, no. 11, pp. 2152-2159.
Alden, NA, Arrizabalaga, JH, Liu, Y, Amin, S, Gowda, K, Yao, S, Archetti, M, Glick, AB & Hayes, DJ 2022, 'Delivery of Therapeutic miR-148b Mimic via Poly(β Amino Ester) Polyplexes for Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation and Apoptosis of A549 Cells', Langmuir, vol. 38, no. 32, pp. 9833-9843.
Chen, KM, Sun, YW, Krebs, NM, Sun, D, Krzeminski, J, Reinhart, L, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Mallery, S, Richie, JP & El-Bayoumy, K 2022, 'Detection of DNA adducts derived from the tobacco carcinogens, benzo[a]pyrene and dibenzo[def,p]chrysene in human oral buccal cells', Carcinogenesis, vol. 43, no. 8, pp. 746-753.
Elbezanti, WO, Al-Odat, OS, Chitren, R, Singh, JK, Srivastava, SK, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Robertson, GP, Nemmara, VV, Jonnalagadda, SC, Budak-Alpdogan, T & Pandey, MK 2022, 'Development of a novel Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor that exerts anti-cancer activities potentiates response of chemotherapeutic agents in multiple myeloma stem cell-like cells', Frontiers in Pharmacology, vol. 13, 894535.
Dhanyamraju, PK, Schell, TD, Amin, S & Robertson, GP 2022, 'Drug-Tolerant Persister Cells in Cancer Therapy Resistance', Cancer Research, vol. 82, no. 14, pp. 2503-2514.
Raup-Konsavage, WM, Sepulveda, DE, Morris, DP, Amin, S, Vrana, KE, Graziane, NM & Desai, D 2022, 'Efficient Synthesis for Altering Side Chain Length on Cannabinoid Molecules and Their Effects in Chemotherapy and Chemotherapeutic Induced Neuropathic Pain', Biomolecules, vol. 12, no. 12, 1869.
Jiang, J, Ma, Y, Liu, Y, Lu, D, Gao, X, Krausz, KW, Desai, D, Amin, SG, Patterson, AD, Gonzalez, FJ & Xie, C 2022, 'Glycine-β-muricholic acid antagonizes the intestinal farnesoid X receptor–ceramide axis and ameliorates NASH in mice', Hepatology Communications, vol. 6, no. 12, pp. 3363-3378.
Raza, A, Singh, A, Amin, S, Spallholz, JE & Sharma, AK 2022, 'Identification and biotin receptor-mediated activity of a novel seleno-biotin compound that inhibits viability of and induces apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells', Chemico-Biological Interactions, vol. 365, 110071.
DiPasquale, M, Deering, TG, Desai, D, Sharma, AK, Amin, S, Fox, TE, Kester, M, Katsaras, J, Marquardt, D & Heberle, FA 2022, 'Influence of ceramide on lipid domain stability studied with small-angle neutron scattering: The role of acyl chain length and unsaturation', Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, vol. 245, 105205.
Singh, A, Raza, A, Amin, S, Damodaran, C & Sharma, AK 2022, 'Recent Advances in the Chemistry and Therapeutic Evaluation of Naturally Occurring and Synthetic Withanolides', Molecules, vol. 27, no. 3, 886.
Kaur, R, Desai, D, Amin, S, Raza, K, Bhalla, A, Yadav, P & Kaushal, N 2023, 'Selenocoxib-3, a novel anti-inflammatory therapeutic effectively resolves colitis', Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, vol. 478, no. 3, pp. 621-636.
Dinavahi, SS, Chen, YC, Gowda, R, Dhanyamraju, PK, Punnath, K, Desai, D, Berg, A, Kimball, SR, Amin, S, Yang, JM & Robertson, GP 2022, 'Targeting Protein Translation in Melanoma by Inhibiting EEF-2 Kinase Regulates Cholesterol Metabolism though SREBP2 to Inhibit Tumour Development', International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 23, no. 7, 3481.


Chen, YC, Dinavahi, SS, Feng, Q, Gowda, R, Ramisetti, S, Xia, X, LaPenna, KB, Chirasani, VR, Cho, SH, Hafenstein, SL, Battu, MB, Berg, A, Sharma, AK, Kirchhausen, T, Dokholyan, NV, Amin, S, He, P & Robertson, GP 2021, 'Activating Sphingosine-1-phospahte signaling in endothelial cells increases myosin light chain phosphorylation to decrease endothelial permeability thereby inhibiting cancer metastasis', Cancer Letters, vol. 506, pp. 107-119.
Tellez, CS, Picchi, MA, Juri, D, Do, K, Desai, DH, Amin, SG, Hutt, JA, Filipczak, PT & Belinsky, SA 2021, 'Chromatin remodeling by the histone methyltransferase EZH2 drives lung pre-malignancy and is a target for cancer prevention', Clinical Epigenetics, vol. 13, no. 1, 44.
Foreman, JE, Koga, T, Kosyk, O, Kang, BH, Zhu, X, Cohen, SM, Billy, LJ, Sharma, AK, Amin, S, Gonzalez, FJ, Rusyn, I & Peters, JM 2021, 'Diminished Hepatocarcinogenesis by a Potent, High-Affinity Human PPARα Agonist in PPARA-Humanized Mice', Toxicological Sciences, vol. 183, no. 1, pp. 70-80.
Golla, U, Ehudin, MA, Annageldiyev, C, Zeng, Z, Bastihalli Tukaramrao, D, Tarren, A, Date, AA, Elcheva, I, Berg, A, Amin, S, Loughran, TP, Kester, M, Desai, D, Dovat, S, Claxton, D & Sharma, A 2021, 'Dj4 targets the rho-associated protein kinase pathway and attenuates disease progression in preclinical murine models of acute myeloid leukemia', Cancers, vol. 13, no. 19, 4889.
Chen, KM, Thompson, H, Vanden-Heuvel, JP, Sun, YW, Trushin, N, Aliaga, C, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Stanley, B, Manni, A & El-Bayoumy, K 2021, 'Lipoxygenase catalyzed metabolites derived from docosahexaenoic acid are promising antitumor agents against breast cancer', Scientific reports, vol. 11, no. 1, 410.
Karelia, DN, Kim, S, Pandey, MK, Plano, D, Amin, S, Lu, J & Sharma, AK 2021, 'Novel seleno-aspirinyl compound as-10 induces apoptosis, g1 arrest of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells, inhibits their nf-κb signaling, and synergizes with gemcitabine cytotoxicity', International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 22, no. 9, 4966.
Ghanghas, P, Sharma, M, Desai, D, Raza, K, Bhalla, A, Kumar, P, Narula, D, Amin, S, Sanyal, SN & Kaushal, N 2022, 'Selenium-Based Novel Epigenetic Regulators Offer Effective Chemotherapeutic Alternative with Wider Safety Margins in Experimental Colorectal Cancer', Biological Trace Element Research, vol. 200, no. 2, pp. 635-646.
Foreman, JE, Koga, T, Kosyk, O, Kang, BH, Zhu, X, Cohen, SM, Billy, LJ, Sharma, AK, Amin, S, Gonzalez, FJ, Rusyn, I & Peters, JM 2021, 'Species Differences between Mouse and Human PPARα in Modulating the Hepatocarcinogenic Effects of Perinatal Exposure to a High-Affinity Human PPARα Agonist in Mice', Toxicological Sciences, vol. 183, no. 1, pp. 81-92.


Chen, KM, Sun, YW, Kawasawa, YI, Salzberg, AC, Zhu, J, Gowda, K, Aliaga, C, Amin, S, Atkins, H & El-Bayoumy, K 2020, 'Black raspberry inhibits oral tumors in mice treated with the tobacco smoke constituent dibenzo(def,p)chrysene via genetic and epigenetic alterations', Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 357-365.
Pearson, JM, Tan, SF, Sharma, A, Annageldiyev, C, Fox, TE, Abad, JL, Fabrias, G, Desai, D, Amin, S, Wang, HG, Cabot, MC, Claxton, DF, Kester, M, Feith, DJ & Loughran, TP 2020, 'Ceramide analogue SACLAC modulates sphingolipid levels and MCL-1 splicing to induce apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia', Molecular Cancer Research, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 352-363.
Dinavahi, SS, Gowda, R, Bazewicz, CG, Battu, MB, Lin, JM, Chitren, RJ, Pandey, MK, Amin, S, Robertson, GP & Gowda, K 2020, 'Design, synthesis characterization and biological evaluation of novel multi-isoform ALDH inhibitors as potential anticancer agents', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 187, 111962.
Dinavahi, SS, Gowda, R, Gowda, K, Bazewicz, CG, Chirasani, VR, Battu, MB, Berg, A, Dokholyan, NV, Amin, S & Robertson, GP 2020, 'Development of a Novel Multi-Isoform ALDH Inhibitor Effective as an Antimelanoma Agent', Molecular cancer therapeutics, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 447-459.
Song, C, Ge, Z, Ding, Y, Tan, BH, Desai, D, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Gowda, R, Robertson, GP, Yue, F, Huang, S, Spiegelman, V, Payne, JL, Reeves, ME, Gurel, Z, Iyer, S, Dhanyamraju, PK, Xiang, M, Kawasawa, YI, Cury, NM, Yunes, JA, McGrath, M, Schramm, J, Su, R, Yang, Y, Zhao, Z, Lyu, X, Muschen, M, Payne, KJ, Gowda, C & Dovat, S 2020, 'IKAROS and CK2 regulate expression of BCL-XL and chemosensitivity in high-risk B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia', Blood, vol. 136, no. 13, pp. 1520-1534.
Dong, F, Hao, F, Murray, IA, Smith, PB, Koo, I, Tindall, AM, Kris-Etherton, PM, Gowda, K, Amin, SG, Patterson, AD & Perdew, GH 2020, 'Intestinal microbiota-derived tryptophan metabolites are predictive of Ah receptor activity', Gut microbes, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1-24.
Nettleford, SK, Zhao, L, Qian, F, Herold, M, Arner, B, Desai, D, Amin, S, Xiong, N, Singh, V, Carlson, BA & Prabhu, KS 2020, 'The Essential Role of Selenoproteins in the Resolution of Citrobacter rodentium-Induced Intestinal Inflammation', Frontiers in Nutrition, vol. 7, 96.
Annageldiyev, C, Tan, SF, Thakur, S, Dhanyamraju, PK, Ramisetti, SR, Bhadauria, P, Schick, J, Zeng, Z, Sharma, V, Dunton, W, Dovat, S, Desai, D, Zheng, H, Feith, DJ, Loughran, TP, Amin, S, Sharma, AK, Claxton, D & Sharma, A 2020, 'The PI3K/AKT Pathway Inhibitor ISC-4 Induces Apoptosis and Inhibits Growth of Leukemia in Preclinical Models of Acute Myeloid Leukemia', Frontiers in Oncology, vol. 10, 393.
Christensen, ND, Chen, KM, Hu, J, Stairs, DB, Sun, YW, Aliaga, C, Balogh, KK, Atkins, H, Shearer, D, Li, J, Brendle, SA, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Walter, V, Viscidi, R & El-Bayoumy, K 2021, 'The environmental pollutant and tobacco smoke constituent dibenzo[def,p]chrysene is a co-factor for malignant progression of mouse oral papillomavirus infections', Chemico-Biological Interactions, vol. 333, 109321.
Annageldiyev, C, Gowda, K, Patel, T, Bhattacharya, P, Tan, SF, Iyer, S, Desai, D, Dovat, S, Feith, DJ, Loughran, TP, Amin, S, Claxton, D & Sharma, A 2020, 'The novel Isatin analog KS99 targets stemness markers in acute myeloid leukemia', Haematologica, vol. 105, no. 3, pp. 687-696.