Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

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
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Tobacco
  • 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone
  • Liver
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Recent Publications


Chen, YC, Dinavahi, SS, Feng, Q, Gowda, R, Ramisetti, S, Xia, X, LaPenna, KB, Chirasani, VR, Cho, SH, Hafenstein, S, 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.
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 2021, 'Selenium-Based Novel Epigenetic Regulators Offer Effective Chemotherapeutic Alternative with Wider Safety Margins in Experimental Colorectal Cancer', Biological Trace Element Research.


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.


Narayan, S, Ramisetti, S, Jaiswal, AS, Law, BK, Singh-Pillay, A, Singh, P, Amin, S & Sharma, AK 2019, 'ASR352, A potent anticancer agent: Synthesis, preliminary SAR, and biological activities against colorectal cancer bulk, 5-fluorouracil/oxaliplatin resistant and stem cells', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 161, pp. 456-467.
Tan, SF, Dunton, W, Liu, X, Fox, TE, Morad, SAF, Desai, D, Doi, K, Conaway, MR, Amin, S, Claxton, DF, Wang, HG, Kester, M, Cabot, MC, Feith, DJ & Loughran, TP 2019, 'Acid ceramidase promotes drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia through NF-κB-dependent P-glycoprotein upregulation', Journal of Lipid Research, vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 1078-1086.
Nakada, EM, Bhakta, NR, Korwin-Mihavics, BR, Kumar, A, Chamberlain, N, Bruno, SR, Chapman, DG, Hoffman, SM, Daphtary, N, Aliyeva, M, Irvin, CG, Dixon, AE, Woodruff, PG, Amin, S, Poynter, ME, Desai, DH & Anathy, V 2019, 'Conjugated bile acids attenuate allergen-induced airway inflammation and hyperresposiveness by inhibiting UPR transducers', JCI Insight, vol. 4, no. 9, e98101.
Frieben, EE, Amin, S & Sharma, AK 2019, 'Development of Isoselenocyanate Compounds' Syntheses and Biological Applications', Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 62, no. 11, pp. 5261-5275.
Guttenplan, JB, Chen, KM, Sun, YW, Shalaby, NAE, Kosinska, W, Desai, D, Gowda, K, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2019, 'Effects of the Tobacco Carcinogens N′-Nitrosonornicotine and Dibenzo[ a, l]pyrene Individually and in Combination on DNA Damage in Human Oral Leukoplakia and on Mutagenicity and Mutation Profiles in lacI Mouse Tongue', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 32, no. 9, pp. 1893-1899.
Alcolea, V, Karelia, DN, Pandey, MK, Plano, D, Singh, P, Palop, JA, Amin, S, Sanmartín, C & Sharma, AK 2019, 'Identification of a novel quinoxaline-isoselenourea targeting the STAT3 pathway as a potential melanoma therapeutic', International journal of molecular sciences, vol. 20, no. 3, 521.
Desai, D, Lauver, M, Ostman, A, Cruz, L, Ferguson, K, Jin, G, Roper, B, Brosius, D, Lukacher, A, Amin, S & Buchkovich, N 2019, 'Inhibition of diverse opportunistic viruses by structurally optimized retrograde trafficking inhibitors', Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 27, no. 9, pp. 1795-1803.
Fernández-Rubio, C, Larrea, E, Guerrero, JP, Herrero, ES, Gamboa, I, Berrio, C, Plano, D, Amin, S, Sharma, AK & Nguewa, PA 2019, 'Leishmanicidal activity of isoselenocyanate derivatives', Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy, vol. 63, no. 2, e00904-18.
Hubbard, TD, Liu, Q, Murray, IA, Dong, F, Miller, C, Smith, PB, Gowda, K, Lin, JM, Amin, S, Patterson, AD & Perdew, GH 2019, 'Microbiota Metabolism Promotes Synthesis of the Human Ah Receptor Agonist 2,8-Dihydroxyquinoline', Journal of Proteome Research, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 1715-1724.
Shafirovich, V, Kolbanovskiy, M, Kropachev, K, Liu, Z, Cai, Y, Terzidis, MA, Masi, A, Chatgilialoglu, C, Amin, S, Dadali, A, Broyde, S & Geacintov, NE 2019, 'Nucleotide Excision Repair and Impact of Site-Specific 5′,8-Cyclopurine and Bulky DNA Lesions on the Physical Properties of Nucleosomes', Biochemistry, vol. 58, no. 6, pp. 561-574.
Muku, GE, Blazanin, N, Dong, F, Smith, PB, Thiboutot, D, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Murray, IA & Perdew, GH 2019, 'Selective Ah Receptor Ligands Mediate Enhanced SREBP1 Proteolysis to Restrict Lipogenesis in Sebocytes', Toxicological Sciences, vol. 171, no. 1, pp. 146-158.
Muku, GE, Kusnadi, A, Kuzu, G, Tanos, R, Murray, IA, Gowda, K, Amin, S & Perdew, GH 2020, 'Selective Ah receptor modulators attenuate NPC1L1-mediated cholesterol uptake through repression of SREBP-2 transcriptional activity', Laboratory Investigation, vol. 100, no. 2, pp. 250-264.


Chen, KM, Sun, YW, Cooper, TK, Benitez, G, Aliaga, C, Zhu, J, Gowda, K, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2018, 'Comparative Tumorigenicity and DNA Damage Induced by Dibenzo[ def,p]chrysene and Its Metabolites in the Mouse Ovary', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 31, no. 11, pp. 1111-1118.
Yang, Y, Lee, SM, Imamura, F, Gowda, K, Amin, S & Mailman, RB 2021, 'D1 dopamine receptors intrinsic activity and functional selectivity affect working memory in prefrontal cortex', Molecular Psychiatry, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 645-655.
Chen, KM, Guttenplan, JB, Sun, YW, Cooper, T, Shalaby, NAE, Kosinska, W, Benitez, G, Aliaga, C, Zhu, J, Liao, J, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Stoner, G & El-Bayoumy, K 2018, 'Effects of Black Raspberry on Dibenzo[a,l]Pyrene Diol Epoxide Induced DNAAdducts, Mutagenesis, and Tumorigenesis in the Mouse Oral Cavity', Cancer Prevention Research, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 157-164.
Dyba, M, Da Silva, B, Coia, H, Hou, Y, Noguchi, S, Pan, J, Berry, D, Creswell, K, Krzeminski, J, Desai, D, Amin, S, Yang, D & Chung, FL 2018, 'Monoclonal Antibodies for the Detection of a Specific Cyclic DNA Adduct Derived from ω-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 772-783.
Wu, W, Karelia, D, Pramanik, K, Amin, S, Sharma, A, Jiang, C & Lu, J 2018, 'Phenylbutyl isoselenocyanate induces reactive oxygen species to inhibit androgen receptor and to initiate p53-mediated apoptosis in LNCaP prostate cancer cells', Molecular Carcinogenesis, vol. 57, no. 8, pp. 1055-1066.


Pandey, MK, Gowda, K, Sung, SS, Abraham, T, Budak-Alpdogan, T, Talamo, G, Dovat, S & Amin, S 2017, 'A novel dual inhibitor of microtubule and Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibits survival of multiple myeloma and osteoclastogenesis', Experimental Hematology, vol. 53, pp. 31-42.
Weng, MW, Lee, HW, Choi, B, Wang, HT, Hu, Y, Mehta, M, Desai, D, Amin, S, Zheng, Y & Tang, MS 2017, 'AFB1 hepatocarcinogenesis is via lipid peroxidation that inhibits DNA repair, sensitizes mutation susceptibility and induces aldehyde-DNA adducts at p53 mutational hotspot codon 249', Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 11, pp. 18213-18226.
Smith, KJ, Boyer, JA, Muku, GE, Murray, IA, Gowda, K, Desai, D, Amin, SG, Glick, AB & Perdew, GH 2017, 'Ah receptor activation potentiates neutrophil chemoattractant (C-X-C Motif) ligand 5 expression in keratinocytes and skin', Toxicological Sciences, vol. 160, no. 1, pp. 83-94.
Ramisetti, SR, Oña-Ruales, JO, Wise, SA, Amin, S & Sharma, AK 2020, 'An Efficient Synthesis of Dibenzo[a,l]tetracene and Dibenzo[a,j]tetracene and Their Identification in a Coal Tar Extract', Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 88-98.
El-Bayoumy, K, Chen, KM, Zhang, SM, Sun, YW, Amin, S, Stoner, G & Guttenplan, JB 2017, 'Carcinogenesis of the oral cavity: Environmental causes and potential prevention by black raspberry', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 126-144.
Ramisetti, SR, Pandey, MK, Lee, S, Karelia, D, Narayan, S, Amin, S & Sharma, A 2018, 'Design and synthesis of novel thiobarbituric acid derivatives targeting both wild-type and BRAF-mutated melanoma cells', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 143, pp. 1919-1930.
Karelia, DN, Sk, UH, Singh, P, Gowda, ASP, Pandey, MK, Ramisetti, SR, Amin, S & Sharma, A 2017, 'Design, synthesis, and identification of a novel napthalamide-isoselenocyanate compound NISC-6 as a dual Topoisomerase-IIα and Akt pathway inhibitor, and evaluation of its anti-melanoma activity', European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 135, pp. 282-295.
Guttenplan, JB, Chen, KM, Sun, YW, Lajara, B, Shalaby, NAE, Kosinska, W, Benitez, G, Gowda, K, Amin, S, Stoner, G & El-Bayoumy, K 2017, 'Effects of Black Raspberry Extract and Berry Compounds on Repair of DNA Damage and Mutagenesis Induced by Chemical and Physical Agents in Human Oral Leukoplakia and Rat Oral Fibroblasts', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 30, no. 12, pp. 2159-2164.
Chen, KM, Schell, TD, Richie, JP, Sun, YW, Zhang, SM, Calcagnotto, A, Aliaga, C, Gowda, K, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2017, 'Effects of chronic alcohol consumption on DNA damage and immune regulation induced by the environmental pollutant dibenzo[a,l]pyrene in oral tissues of mice', Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part C Environmental Carcinogenesis and Ecotoxicology Reviews, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 213-222.
Sun, YW, Chen, KM, Kawasawa, YI, Salzberg, AC, Cooper, TK, Caruso, C, Aliaga, C, Zhu, J, Gowda, K, Amin, S & El-Bayoumy, K 2017, 'Hypomethylated Fgf3 is a potential biomarker for early detection of oral cancer in mice treated with the tobacco carcinogen dibenzo[def,p]chrysene', PloS one, vol. 12, no. 10, e0186873.
Gowda, R, Inamdar, GS, Kuzu, O, Dinavahi, SS, Krzeminski, J, Battu, MB, Voleti, SR, Amin, S & Robertson, GP 2017, 'Identifying the structure-activity relationship of leelamine necessary for inhibiting intracellular cholesterol transport', Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 17, pp. 28260-28277.
Maru, S, Jin, G, Desai, D, Amin, S, Shwetank, Lauver, MD & Lukacher, AE 2017, 'Inhibition of retrograde transport limits polyomavirus infection in vivo', mSphere, vol. 2, no. 6, e00494-17.
Muku, GE, Lahoti, TS, Murray, IA, Podolsky, MA, Smith, KJ, Hubbard, TD, Kuzu, G, Gowda, K, Amin, SG & Perdew, GH 2017, 'Ligand-mediated cytoplasmic retention of the Ah receptor inhibits macrophage-mediated acute inflammatory responses', Laboratory Investigation, vol. 97, no. 12, pp. 1471-1487.
Gowda, ASP, Krzeminski, J, Amin, S, Suo, Z & Spratt, TE 2017, 'Mutagenic Replication of N2-Deoxyguanosine Benzo[a]pyrene Adducts by Escherichia coli DNA Polymerase i and Sulfolobus solfataricus DNA Polymerase IV', Chemical research in toxicology, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 1168-1176.
Cruz, L, Streck, NT, Ferguson, K, Desai, T, Desai, DH, Amin, SG & Buchkovich, NJ 2017, 'Potent inhibition of human cytomegalovirus by modulation of cellular SNARE syntaxin 5', Journal of virology, vol. 91, no. 1, e01637-16.
Hengst, J, Dick, TE, Sharma, A, Doi, K, Hegde, S, Tan, SF, Geffert, L, Fox, TE, Sharma, AK, Desai, D, Amin, S, Kester, M, Loughran, TP, Paulson, R, Claxton, D, Wang, H-G & Yun, J 2017, 'SKI-178: A multitargeted inhibitor of sphingosine kinase and microtubule dynamics demonstrating therapeutic efficacy in acute myeloid leukemia models', Cancer Translational Medicine, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 109-121. <;year=2017;volume=3;issue=4;spage=109;epage=121;aulast=Hengst;type=0>

Clinical Trials Search

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Adults (age >= 18 years)