Positions

Selected Publications

Academic Article

Year Title Altmetric
Heparanase-enhanced shedding of syndecan-1 by myeloma cells promotes endothelial invasion and angiogenesisBlood.  115:2449-2457.
Syndecan-1 expression is decreased with increasing aggressiveness of basal cell carcinomaAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology.  22:119-122.

Chapter

Year Title Altmetric
2010 Proteoglycans and cancer.  191-215. 2010

Research Overview

  • The tumor microenvironment has emerged as a major regulator of tumor growth and progression. The long-term goal of the Sanderson lab is to determine how tumor-host cell interactions mediated by heparan sulfate and the enzyme heparanase regulate the tumor microenvironment and to use that knowledge to design new cancer therapies. We have shown that heparan sulfate proteoglycans and heparanase promote tumor growth and metastasis of multiple myeloma and breast tumors, two tumors that home to and grow within bone. Our hypothesis is that heparan sulfate drives tumor growth by concentrating heparin-binding growth factors (e.g., FGF-2, VEGF, HGF) within the tumor microenvironment and promoting interactions of these growth factors with their high affinity receptors. Thus, interfering with heparan sulfate function has the potential to attenuate numerous signaling pathways important in tumor growth and metastasis. Our current experimental focus is two-fold. First, we are examining how enzymes that modify heparan sulfate such as heparanase alter tumor behavior and promotes an aggressive tumor phenotype. We have recently discovered that this occurs, at least in part, via heparanase regulation of tumor secreted exosomes. These small vesicles contain proteins and nucleic acids that can be transferred horizontally to other cells within the tumor microenvironment and beyond and thus act as important mediators of intercellular communication. Second, we are developing novel heparanase inhibitors and testing them as potential anti-cancer drugs. This work will lead to a better understanding of the tumor microenvironment and how it can be disrupted to block tumor growth. Our work is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health.
  • Principal Investigator On

  • Heparan Sulfate and Cancer Growth Control  awarded by UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA HEALTH SERVICES FOUNDATION
  • Heparanase In Tumor Progression, Metastasis and Chemoresistance  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Heparanase Inhibitor as Anti-Metastatic Therapy for Myeloma.  awarded by Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
  • Heparanase Regulation of Myeloma Metastasis: Mechanism and Therapy  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Heparanase Regulation of Myeloma Metastasis: Mechanism and Therapy  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Heparanase Regulation of Tumor Host Interactions in Myeloma and Breast Cancer  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Heparanase Regulation of Tumor Progression Via Exosomes and Autophagosomes  awarded by United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation
  • Heparanase and Renal Damage in Myeloma  awarded by Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO
  • Nanosight NS300 for Nanoparticle Tracking  awarded by UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA HEALTH SERVICES FOUNDATION
  • Novel Heparanase Inhibitors for Cancer Therapy  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Novel Heparanase Inhibitors for Myeloma Treatment: Basic Aspects and Clinical Significance  awarded by United States - Israel Binational Science Foundation
  • Novel Role for Shed Syndecan 1 in Promoting an Aggressive Tumor Phenotype  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Optimizing Small Molecule Inhibitors of Heparanase for Myeloma Therapy  awarded by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • Private Grant  awarded by SIGMA-TAU RESEARCH, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by SIGMA-TAU RESEARCH, INC.
  • Private Grant  awarded by SIGMA-TAU RESEARCH, INC.
  • Synstatin Therapy for Multiple Myeloma  awarded by University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Investigator On

  • A Novel Exosomal Inflammatory Pathway  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Active - Major Program Leader - Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Support Grant  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Support Grant  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Support Grant  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Support Grant  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Support Grant - Cancer Cell Biology Program  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Comprehensive Cancer Center Core Support Grant - Cancer Cell Biology Program  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Endothelial Glycocalyx Disintegrity: Repairing the Damage Caused by Trauma-Hemorrhage  awarded by National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH/DHHS
  • Epigenetic contribution to the excess risk of MGUS in African Americans  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Gene-Engineered and Targeted Stem Cell Therapy for Myeloma  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • HL-A New Pathway for Neutrophil-Induced Airway Inflammation  awarded by National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Lumina III System for UAB Optical Imaging  awarded by NIH - OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR
  • Mechanisms Driving Endothelial Angiopoietin-2 Expression and Vascular Dysfunction during Pediatric Sepsis  awarded by National Institute of General Medical Sciences/NIH/DHHS
  • Molecular Characterization of Myeloma and Related Asymptomatic Precursor States  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Role of Fumarate Hydratase in Renal Hypoxia and Tumorigenesis  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • The Role of Exosome Heparanase and miRNAs as Biomarkers for Myeloma  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • The Thrombospondin1-TGF-Beta Axis in Multiple Myeloma  awarded by National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
  • Education And Training

  • Stanford University Pediatrics, Postdoctoral Research
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Cell / Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham 1986
  • Full Name

  • Ralph Sanderson