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Erdem Tabdanov, PhD, MSc

Erdem Tabdanov, PhD, MSc

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Scientific Program:Next-Generation Therapies

Research Interests

Dr. Erdem Tabdanov's lab is focused on the principles of cell collective behavior and 3D motility, governed by cytoskeletal machinery and cell organelles mechanics, unified into an active, heterogeneous, composite "smart" decision-making gel.

The lab is particularly focused on mechanically and structurally composite (i.e. heterogeneous) nature of cytoskeleton that features a hierarchical multi-tier organization and extreme mechanostructural adaptiveness, which integrate external and internal mechanical, structural and biochemical signals into a single spatiotemporal pattern of cell behaviors and responsiveness modes, currently studied as isolated phenomena (e.g., mechanosensing). Thus, the lab's mission is to build a more integrated biophysical model of cell behavior of the higher biological and medical relevance, than currently existing paradigms.

The lab is particularly interested in the principles of 3D motility of immune and cancer cells for optimization of cancer immunological treatment strategies. Since immune cell 3D motility remains largely undeciphered, the lab currently develops and tests the biophysical models of T-cell motility as a balance and/or a superposition of various modes of cell motility, such as mesenchymal and amoeboid, which also cross-integrate multiple components of the T-cell cytoskeleton, an overall T-cell architecture and T-cell organelles’ mechanical and structural contribution.

As the solid tumors represent a mechanosteric challenge for immune cell infiltration, thus remaining largely unavailable for immune system, the lab currently develops the strategy to increase CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell motility in the mechanostructurally aggressive biomimetic and/or native tumor microenvironments to achieve a better intratumoral T-cell infiltration parameters. This strategy is based on the pharmacological control, as well as genetic modifications of cytoskeletal signaling that shift and adjust various modes of T-cell cytoskeletal dynamics to customize and improve T-cell infiltration capabilities in various microenvironments.

  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Microtubules
  • Proteins
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Neoplasms
  • Cell Movement
  • T-Cell Antigen Receptor
  • Cadherins
  • Actomyosin
  • Mechanics
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • HeLa Cells

Recent Publications


Zhovmer, AS, Manning, A, Smith, C, Nguyen, A, Prince, O, Sáez, PJ, Ma, X, Tsygankov, D, Cartagena-Rivera, AX, Singh, NA, Singh, RK & Tabdanov, ED 2024, 'Septins provide microenvironment sensing and cortical actomyosin partitioning in motile amoeboid T lymphocytes', Science Advances, vol. 10, no. 1, eadi1788.


Chen, J, Vishweshwaraiah, YL, Mailman, RB, Tabdanov, ED & Dokholyan, NV 2023, 'A noncommutative combinatorial protein logic circuit controls cell orientation in nanoenvironments', Science Advances, vol. 9, no. 21, eadg1062.
Paschall, L, Carrozzi, S, Tabdanov, E, Dhawan, A & Szczesny, SE 2024, 'Cyclic loading induces anabolic gene expression in ACLs in a load-dependent and sex-specific manner', Journal of Orthopaedic Research, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 267-276.
Tagay, Y, Kheirabadi, S, Ataie, Z, Singh, RK, Prince, O, Nguyen, A, Zhovmer, AS, Ma, X, Sheikhi, A, Tsygankov, D & Tabdanov, ED 2023, 'Dynein-Powered Cell Locomotion Guides Metastasis of Breast Cancer', Advanced Science, vol. 10, no. 31, 2302229.
Khazan, N, Quarato, ER, Singh, NA, Snyder, CWA, Moore, T, Miller, JP, Yasui, M, Teramoto, Y, Goto, T, Reshi, S, Hong, J, Zhang, N, Pandey, D, Srivastava, P, Morell, A, Kawano, H, Kawano, Y, Conley, T, Sahasrabudhe, DM, Yano, N, Miyamoto, H, Aljitawi, O, Liesveld, J, Becker, MW, Calvi, LM, Zhovmer, AS, Tabdanov, ED, Dokholyan, NV, Linehan, DC, Hansen, JN, Gerber, SA, Sharon, A, Khera, MK, Jurutka, PW, Rochel, N, Kim, KK, Rowswell-Turner, RB, Singh, RK & Moore, RG 2023, 'Vitamin D Receptor Antagonist MeTC7 Inhibits PD-L1', Cancers, vol. 15, no. 13, 3432.


Tabdanov, ED, Rodríguez-Merced, NJ, Cartagena-Rivera, AX, Puram, VV, Callaway, MK, Ensminger, EA, Pomeroy, EJ, Yamamoto, K, Lahr, WS, Webber, BR, Moriarity, BS, Zhovmer, AS & Provenzano, PP 2021, 'Engineering T cells to enhance 3D migration through structurally and mechanically complex tumor microenvironments', Nature communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 2815.
Khazan, N, Kim, KK, Hansen, JN, Singh, NA, Moore, T, Snyder, CWA, Pandita, R, Strawderman, M, Fujihara, M, Takamura, Y, Jian, Y, Battaglia, N, Yano, N, Teramoto, Y, Arnold, LA, Hopson, R, Kishor, K, Nayak, S, Ojha, D, Sharon, A, Ashton, JM, Wang, J, Milano, MT, Miyamoto, H, Linehan, DC, Gerber, SA, Kawar, N, Singh, AP, Tabdanov, ED, Dokholyan, NV, Kakuta, H, Jurutka, PW, Schor, NF, Rowswell-Turner, RB, Singh, RK & Moore, RG 2022, 'Identification of a Vitamin-D Receptor Antagonist, MeTC7, which Inhibits the Growth of Xenograft and Transgenic Tumors in Vivo', Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 65, no. 8, pp. 6039-6055.
Zhovmer, AS, Manning, A, Smith, C, Hayes, JB, Burnette, DT, Wang, J, Cartagena-Rivera, AX, Dokholyan, NV, Singh, RK & Tabdanov, ED 2021, 'Mechanical Counterbalance of Kinesin and Dynein Motors in a Microtubular Network Regulates Cell Mechanics, 3D Architecture, and Mechanosensing', ACS nano, vol. 15, no. 11, pp. 17528-17548.
Zhovmer, AS, Chandler, M, Manning, A, Afonin, KA & Tabdanov, ED 2021, 'Programmable DNA-augmented hydrogels for controlled activation of human lymphocytes', Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, vol. 37, 102442.
Vishweshwaraiah, YL, Chen, J, Chirasani, VR, Tabdanov, ED & Dokholyan, NV 2021, 'Two-input protein logic gate for computation in living cells', Nature communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 6615.


Tabdanov, ED, Zhovmer, AS, Puram, V & Provenzano, PP 2020, 'Engineering Elastic Nano- and Micro-Patterns and Textures for Directed Cell Motility', STAR Protocols, vol. 1, no. 1, 100013.