Dr. Surangani Dharmawardhane Flanagan

Dr. Surangani Dharmawardhane Flanagan


Experimental therapeutics for molecular targets in breast cancer
Ph.D. 1987 University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA.

Research Interests

Dr. Su’s research focus is experimental therapeutics for cancer metastasis, a deadly stage when the cancer cells move from the primary site to establish tumors at distant sites. Her laboratory uses cell and mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancer, and techniques of cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and in situ imaging to elucidate drug efficacy, cell signaling, the role of the tumor microenvironment (macrophages, neutrophils, T cells), and therapy resistance mechanisms during cancer metastasis. Her group is specifically involved with the characterization and development of new inhibitors of the small GTP binding proteins Rac and Cdc42 as targeted therapeutics for cancer metastasis.

Selected Publications:

  • Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Model of MBQ-167 to Predict Tumor Growth Inhibition in Mice.Reig-López J, Maldonado MDM, Merino-Sanjuan M, Cruz-Collazo AM, Ruiz-Calderón JF, Mangas-Sanjuán V, Dharmawardhane S, Duconge J. Pharmaceutics. 2020 Oct 15;12(10):975. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12100975.PMID: 33076517
  • Targeting Rac and Cdc42 GEFs in Metastatic Cancer.Maldonado MDM, Medina JI, Velazquez L, Dharmawardhane S. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2020 Apr 8;8:201. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2020.00201. PMID: 32322580
  • Pharmacokinetics of the Rac/Cdc42 Inhibitor MBQ-167 in Mice by Supercritical Fluid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry.Maldonado MDM, Rosado-González G, Bloom J, Duconge J, Ruiz-Calderón JF, Hernández-O’Farrill E, Vlaar C, Rodríguez-Orengo JF, Dharmawardhane S. ACS Omega. 2019 Oct 23;4(19):17981-17989. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.9b01641. PMID: 31720502
  • Grape polyphenols inhibit Akt/mTOR signaling and potentiate the effects of gefitinib in breast cancer. Castillo-Pichardo, L and Dharmawardhane, S. Nut. Cancer,2012 Oct 64 (7), in press.
  • Characterization of EHop-016, novel small molecule inhibitor of Rac GTPase.
    Montalvo-Ortiz BL, Castillo-Pichardo L, Hernández E, Humphries-Bickley T, De la Mota-Peynado A, Cubano LA, Vlaar CP, Dharmawardhane S.
    J Biol Chem. 2012 Apr 13;287(16):13228-38. PMID: 22383527
  • Novel inhibitors of Rac1 in metastatic breast cancer.
    Hernández E, De La Mota-Peynado A, Dharmawardhane S, Vlaar CP. P R Health Sci J. 2010 Dec;29(4):348-56. PMID: 21261173
  • Individual and combined soy isoflavones exert differential effects on metastatic cancer progression.
    Martínez-Montemayor MM, Otero-Franqui E, Martinez J, De La Mota-Peynado A, Cubano LA, Dharmawardhane S.
    Clin Exp Metastasis. 2010 Oct;27(7):465-80. PMID: 20517637
  • Inhibition of mammary tumor growth and metastases to bone and liver by dietary grape polyphenols.
    Castillo-Pichardo L, Martínez-Montemayor MM, Martínez JE, Wall KM, Cubano LA, Dharmawardhane S.
    Clin Exp Metastasis. 2009;26(6):505-16. PMID: 19294520

Contact Info

Department of Biochemistry
School of Medicine
University of Puerto Rico
Medical Sciences Campus
PO Box 365067
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936-5067
Tel: 787-758-2525 ext: office 1630 – lab: 1610
Fax: 787-274-8724