Partha Roy , PhD

Dr. Partha Roy is an Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh and is a Member of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the Women’s Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Roy received his Bachelor of Engineering from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India, in Mechanical Engineering. He received his Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India (thesis title: Finite element analyses of scoliosis (mentor: Dr .S. Radhakrishnan)). He then attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, where he received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering (dissertation title: An in vitro force measurement system to study corneal cell-matrix interaction (mentor: Dr. Matthew Petroll)). Dr. Roy continued his training with a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. His field of study was Cell Biology (specialization: Cell migration; mentor: Late Dr. Elizabeth Hay). He completed a second post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His field of study there was Cell Biology (specialization: Cell migration, photomanipulation of proteins; mentor: Dr. Ken Jacobson).

Dr. Roy is a member of the American Society for Cell Biology and the American Association of Cancer Research. He is an Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Bioengineering and Biomedical Science and a reviewer for many biomedical science journals, including but not limited to, Oncogene, Journal of Cell Science, Biophysical Journal, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Cytoskeleton, Gastric Cancer, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, and the Journal of Cell Physiology.

The overall research focus of Dr. Roy’s laboratory is studying the role of actin-binding proteins in cell migration and other actin-dependent processes in physiology and pathology at the molecular levels. Specifically, he and his team are aiming to:

  • understand the role of cytoskeletal proteins in the regulation of tumor growth, invasion and dissemination, metastatic colonization, and chemotherapy response of cancer cells
  • identify novel drugs that have potential to block specific steps of tumor metastasis using high-throughput/high-content screening strategies
  • identify novel anti-angiogenic compounds
  • understand molecular regulation of key controllers of cell migration
  • elucidate BRCA1’s role in ovarian cancer metastasis

Most of his lab’s current efforts are centered on profilin-1, a ubiquitously expressed actin-binding protein that is essential for embryonic development and a key molecular regulator for actin dynamics in cells.

Some of Dr. Roy’s selected publications include:

  • Roy P., Rajfur Z., Jones D., Marriott G., Loew L., Jacobson K. (2001): Local photorelease of caged-T?4 in locomoting keratocytes causes cell turning. Journal of Cell Biology 153 (5): 1035-1048.
  • Rajfur Z., Roy P., Otey C., Romer L., Jacobson K. (2002): Dissecting the link between stress fibers and focal adhesions by CALI of EGFP-fusion proteins. Nature Cell Biology 4(4): 286-293.
  • Roy P., Rajfur Z., Pomorski P., Jacobson K. (2002): Microscope-based techniques for studying cell adhesion and migration. Nature Cell Biology 4(4): E91-96.
  • Ding Z., Lambrechts A., Parepally M., Roy P. (2006): Silencing profilin-1 inhibits endothelial cell proliferation, migration and cord morphogenesis. Journal of Cell Science 119: 4127-4137. PMID: 16968742
  • Zou L., Jaramillo M., Whaley D., Wells A., Panchapakesa V., Das T., Roy P. (2007): Profilin-1 is a negative regulator of mammary carcinoma aggressiveness. British Journal of Cancer 97: 1361-1371. PMCID: PMC2360229.
  • Leloup L., Hanshuang S., Bae Y., Deasy B., Stolz D., Roy P., Wells A (2010) m-Calpain activation is regulated by its membrane localization and by its binding to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. J. Biol Chem 285(43):33549-66 PMCID: PMC2963356
  • Bae Y., Ding Z., Das T. Wells A., Gertler F., Roy P. (2010): Profilin1 regulates PI(3,4)P2 and lamellipodin accumulation at the leading edge thus influencing motility of MDA-MB-231 cells PNAS 107(50): 21547-21552 PMID: 21115820.
  • Ding Z., Joy M.., Bhargava R., Gunsaulus M., Lakshman N., Miron-Mendoza M., Petroll M., Condeelis J., Wells A., Roy P. (Epub May 2013) Profilin-1 downregulation has contrasting effects on early vs late steps of breast cancer metastasis Oncogene doi:10.1038/onc.2013.166. PMID: 23686314
  • Ding Z., Roy P. (2013) Profilin-1 vs -2: Two faces of the same coin? Breast Cancer Research 27; 15(3):311. PMID: 23827010.
  • Joy M., Vollmer L., Hulkower K., Peterson C., Dutch Boltz R., Stern A., Roy P., Vogt V. (2014) A high-content, multiplexed screen in human breast cancer cells identifies profilin-1 inducers with anti-migratory activities PLOS ONE Feb 10;9(2):e88350. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone. 0088350. PMID: 24520372.


Dr. Partha Roy
Phone: (412) 624-7867