Dr. Pablo E. Vivas-Mejía

Associate Professor
Dr. Pablo E. Vivas-Mejía

Contact Info

  • Department of Biochemistry & Cancer Center
    University of Puerto Rico
    Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico

    Department of Surgical Oncology
    MD Anderson Cancer Center
    Houston, Texas


  • Ph.D. Chemistry, 2022
    UPR – Río Piedras
  • M.S. Chemistry, 1997
    |UPR – Río Piedras
  • \icenciado en Quimica, 1991
    Universidad Nacional Bogota-Colombia
  • MD Anderson
    Postdoctoral fellow

Dr. Pablo E. Vivas-Mejia is an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Cancer Center at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. Dr. Vivas-Mejia’s major interest areas are to understand the mechanisms by which cancer cells become resistant to chemotherapy and to design and test small interference RNA (siRNA) and microRNA (miRNA)-based therapies for advanced cancers that are resistant to current standard chemotherapy regimens. Dr. Vivas-Mejia’s possesses a broad background in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, and cancer medicine. Dr. Vivas-Mejia expertise includes the use of siRNA and miRNA-nanoliposomal formulations and their delivery to both cultured cells and mouse models.

Research Projects

Mechanisms of drug resistance in ovarian cancer: c-MYC, ILK and miRNAs

MicroRNA as diagnostic and therapeutic targets in glioblastoma multiforme

Nanoparticles for drug delivery: gold nanoparticles and nanoliposomes for siRNA and miRNA delivery.

Selected Publications:

Book Chapters

Illeabett Echevarria and Pablo E. Vivas-Mejía, Assessment of mRNA Splice Variants by qRT-PCR. Book Chapter: Humana Press series “Methods in Molecular Biology”, 2013ISBN 978-1-62703-546-0

Jeyshka Reyes, Frances Pietri, Pablo E. Vivas-Mejia. Nano Based Drug Delivery. Chapter 12. A general overview of the nano-sized carriers for cancer treatment, Edited by Jitendra Naik, 2015. ISBN: 978-953-56942-2-9.

Paper Published

Jeyshka M. Reyes-González, Guillermo N. Armaiz-Peña, Lingegowda S. Mangala, Fatma Valiyeva, Cristina Ivan, Sunila Pradeep, Ileabett Echevarria-Vargas, Adrian Rivera, Anil K. Sood, and Pablo E. Vivas-Mejia. Targeting c-MYC in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, October, 2015.

Mónica Rivera-Diaz,  Daniel Soto, Mario Quintero-Aguilo, Humberto Ortiz-Zuazaga, María J. Marcos-Martinez, and Pablo E. Vivas-Mejía. MicroRNA-27a Distinguishes Glioblastoma Multiforme from Diffuse and Anaplastic Astrocytomas and Has Prognostic Value. American Journal of Cancer Research, November 2014.

Ileabett M. Echevarría Vargas, Fatma Valiyeva1 and Pablo E. Vivas-Mejía. Upregulation of miR-21 in cisplatin resistant ovarian cancer via JNK-1/c-Jun pathway. PLosOne. 2014; 9: e97094. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097094.

Diaz, MR, Vivas-Mejia, PE*. Nanoparticles as drug Delivery Systems in Cancer Medicine: Emphasis on RNAi-containing Nanoliposomes. Review article. Pharmaceuticals 2013, 6, 1362-1380.

Armaiz-Pena GN, Allen JK, Cruz A, Stone RL, Nick AM, Lin YG, Han LY, Mangala LS, Villares GJ, Vivas-Mejia P, Rodriguez-Aguayo C, Nagaraja AS, Gharpure KM, Wu Z, English RD, Soman KV, Shazhad MM, Zigler M, Deavers MT, Zien A, Soldatos TG, Jackson DB, Wiktorowicz JE, Torres-Lugo M, Young T, De Geest K, Gallick GE, Bar-Eli M, Lopez-Berestein G, Cole SW, Lopez GE, Lutgendorf SK, Sood AK.  Src activation by β-adrenoreceptors is a key switch for tumour metastasis.  Nat Commun. 2013 Jan 29;4:1403. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2413. PMID:23360994

Myrthala Moreno-Smith, J.B. Halder, Paul Meltzer, Tamas Gonda, Lingegowda Mangala, Pablo Vivas-Mejia, Behrouz Zand, Rosemarie Schmandt, Hua Wang, Robert Langley, Nicholas B. Jennings, Cristina Ivan, Jeremy Coffin, Guillermo N Armaiz-Pena, Justin Bottsford-Miller, Chad Pecot, Sang-Bae Kim, Margaret Halleck, Mary J. C. Hendrix, William Bornmann, Menashe Bar-Eli, Ju-Seog Lee, Zahid Siddik, Gabriel lopez-berestein and Anil Sood. Unexpected roles of ATP11B in platinum resistance. JCI. 2013. DOI:10.1172/JCI65425.

Pablo E. Vivas-Mejia*, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Hee-Dong Han, Mian M.K. Shahzad, Fatma Valiyeva, Mineko Shibayama, Arturo Chavez-Reyes, Anil K. Sood, and Gabriel Lopez-Berestein*. Silencing Survivin Splice Variant 2B Leads to Antitumor Activity in Taxane-Resistant Ovarian Cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 June 1; 17(11): 3716–3726. Published online 2011 April 21. doi:  10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-0233 *Corresponding authors.

Nick AM, Stone RL, Armaiz-Pena G, Ozpolat B, Tekederli I, Graybill WS, Landen CN, Villares G, Vivas-Mejia P, Bottsford-Miller J, Kim HS, Lee JS, Kim SM, Baggerly KA, Ram PT, Deavers MT, Coleman RL, Lopez-Berestein G, Sood AK.  Silencing of p130cas in Ovarian Carcinoma: A Novel Mechanism for Tumor Cell Death.  J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djr372. Epub 2011 Sep 28.

Chakravarty D, Roy SS, Ram Babu C, Dandamudi R, Curiel TJ, Vivas-Mejia P, Lopez-Berestein G,  Sood AK and Ratna K. Vadlamudi. Therapeutic targeting of PELP1 prevents ovarian cancer growth and metastasis. Clinical Cancer Research, March 2011. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-2718. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

Gaur P, Sceusi EL, Samuel S, Xia L, Fan F, Zhou Y, Lu J, Tozzi F, Lopez-Berestein G, Vivas-Mejia P, Rashid A, Fleming JB, Abdalla EK, Curley SA, Vauthey JN, Sood AK, Yao JC, Ellis LM. Identification of Cancer Stem Cells in Human Gastrointestinal Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumors. Gastroenterology. 2011 Nov;141(5):1728-37. Epub 2011 Jul 30.

Stany MP, Vathipadiekal V, Ozbun L, Stone RL, Mok SC, Xue H, Kagami T, Wang Y, McAlpine JN, Bowtell D, Gout PW, Miller DM, Gilks CB, Huntsman DG, Ellard SL, Wang YZ, Vivas-Mejia P, Lopez-Berestein G, Sood AK, Birrer MJ. Identification of novel therapeutic targets in microdissected clear cell ovarian cancers. PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e21121. Epub 2011 Jul 6.PMID: 21754983.