University of Nebraska Medical Center

Sakthivel Muniyan, PhD

Assistant Professor


Sakthivel Muniyan

My research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of prostate tumor growth and recurrence. Technological advancements in the past two decades led to a greater understanding and development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic agents for prostate cancer. Currently, we have more treatment agents, such as second-generation androgen receptor (AR) signaling targeting agents, next-generation chemotherapeutic agents, bone-seeking agents, immunotherapies, PARP inhibitors, and PSMA targeting agents. Still, castration-resistant prostate cancer patients have poor outcomes, with most patients dying within two years of diagnosis. In this space, our primary research focused on delineating the molecular underpinnings responsible for the development of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Particularly in understanding the role of macrophage inhibitory cytokine 1 (MIC-1, also known as GDF15) in immune evasion and tumor relapse in castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Our recent work focused on unraveling the complex resistant phenotype and using that information to identify a novel therapeutic agent to manage lethal prostate cancer. In brief, our studies focused on identifying and corroborating mechanism-based anti-cancer agents for therapy-resistant prostate cancer using a combinatorial approach of basic biochemistry, molecular biology and in silico and high throughput sequencing strategies using established cell lines, novel therapy-resistant models, tumor specimens, patient-derived xenografts and GEMMs.

Another significant aspect of our research focuses on identifying the biological contributors of aggressive prostate cancer in African American Men. We have identified a set of novel lipid homoeostatic transporters that are differentially expressed in aggressive tumors using race-specific tumor cohort and transcriptome analysis. Our current research is focused on dissecting these transporters' potential roles and mechanisms in lipid homeostasis and cell surface receptor trafficking that function differently in a subset of aggressive tumors. Our final focus is on how we can leverage the information obtained from our projects to increase the quality of life among men with prostate cancer.


  • Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India; BS in Biochemistry
  • Periyar University, Salem, India; MS in Biochemistry
  • Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India; PhD in Biochemistry