Principal Investigator

Danny N. Dhanasekaran, PhD

Danny N. Dhanasekaran, PhD

Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
Professor, Department of Cell Biology
Director, MTCRO-COBRE & Center for Basic Cancer Research
Associate Director for Basic Cancer Research, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center

Contact Information

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences
Biomedical Research Center, Suite 1417
975 N.E. 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
P: 405-271-6850
F: 405-271-2141

About Dr. Dhanasekaran

Danny N. Dhanasekaran, Ph.D., is a Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences, holding the esteemed Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. He is also the Director of the Center for Basic Cancer Research and the Associate Director for Basic Research at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center.

After earning his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science, Dr. Dhanasekaran completed postdoctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Jewish Center for Cancer Research and Respiratory Medicine. His academic career progressed to a tenured professorship at the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, where he received the Acres of Diamond Award and the Million Dollar Research Award. Later, his journey led him to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences, where he assumed a key leadership role in the Stephenson Cancer Center, in addition to directing the MTCRO-COBRE and the Center for Basic Cancer Research.

Internationally recognized for his academic and research pursuits, Dr. Dhanasekaran has held esteemed positions globally, including WCU professorship at Seoul National University and visiting professorships in at the University of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan, and the Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy. His scientific prowess is recognized on numerous national and international scientific panels and editorial boards, including his role as a Charter Member of the NIH/CSR Study Section on Tumor Cell Biology. He actively contributes to several grant review panels, such as those for the NIH, DOD, AHA, and other international funding organizations. An active editor and member of several international journal editorial boards, Dr. Dhanasekaran is the founding editor and editor-in-chief of the Journal on Molecular Signaling.

Dr. Dhanasekaran's commitment to mentorship has shaped the careers of numerous students and professionals, many of whom have advanced to significant roles in academia and the pharmaceutical industry. To date, he has mentored twenty-three postdoctoral fellows, five fellows, nine graduate students, twenty-one junior faculty members, and over twenty-five undergraduate summer interns. Notably, his mentorship has enabled three graduate students to become independent investigators, with many of his mentees securing influential positions in academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

In research, Dr. Dhanasekaran has made significant strides in understanding cancer biology, especially in ovarian cancer. His work on transcriptomic and metabolomic variations aims to develop targeted treatment strategies. His groundbreaking research on oncogenic signaling pathways and the role of gep oncogenes in cell proliferation and metastasis has been pivotal in the field. Additionally, his investigations into non-coding RNAs as potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets in cancer underscore his innovative approach to personalized medicine. This work is integral to the broader aim of developing personalized treatment strategies that promise better outcomes for cancer patients.

Dr. Dhanasekaran's career, marked by a balance of high-level administrative roles, active research, and mentorship, has established him as a key figure in cancer research. His ongoing efforts continue to push the boundaries of our understanding and treatment of cancer, with a commitment to improving patient outcomes in the future.