The UAB Department of Pathology is excited to welcome Mythreye Karthikeyan, Ph.D., as Associate Professor in the Division of Molecular & Cellular Pathology, effective October 1, 2019.

MK SC

Dr. Karthikeyan completed her undergraduate education at the prestigious Biochemistry Honors program at Delhi University in India, followed by a master's degree, a brief research internship, and subsequently a Ph.D. from the Department of Biology from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. This rigorous graduate training in the fundamentals of chromosome segregation mechanisms using cellular and genetic tools was the gateway to a postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University, where she started her career in cancer signaling.

Following her postodoctoral fellowship, she was promoted to Research Assistant Professor at Duke University Medical School. In 2013 she joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Drug Discovery Biomedical Sciences department at the University of South Carolina as a tenure track assistant professor. In June 2018 Karthikeyan earned a secondary appointment as associate professor of Biomedical Engineering, in the USC College of Engineering. In June 2019, she received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor.While at USC she won the "Breakthrough Rising Star Award" in 2019.

Karthikeyan's research focuses on defining how tumor cells send signals to surrounding cells and how tumors respond to cues from their surroundings to promote tumor growth and metastasis. Her lab’s overall goal is to identify key signaling pathways that are tumor specific and also to target the same. 

Her USC lab's most recent efforts focused on ovarian cancer - the deadliest of gynecological malignancies facing women, with a 5-year survival rate (for advanced stage patients with marked metastatic spread) still remaining at less than 25%. Her lab discovered tumor specific signaling pathways in gynecological cancers that are amenable to targeted therapeutics. She hopes to advance the ability to target such pathways to the clinic. Karthikeyan's lab will be in the Wallace Tumor Institute where she'll continue working on ovarian cancer metastasis with several of her former USC lab members joining her here at UAB.

Throughout her training and independent career, Karthikeyan has published in leading peer-reviewed periodicals/journals in the field of cancer biology (JCI, Cancer Research, Oncogene), and journals in cellular biochemistry and molecular biology (PNAS, JCB, JBC, Nat Communications, Molecular Cell, Molecular Biology of the Cell). 

She first received funding for her postdoctoral work from the Department of Defense’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program, a fellowship that connected her directly to the challenge of ovarian cancer. In 2013 she was named a Liz Tilberis Scholar by the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. She received additional support from the Rivkin Foundation, and since 2018 her work is supported by two active National Cancer Institute grants.