Meet Distinguished Scientist Pankaj Singh, Ph.D.

January 23, 2015

Image with caption: Pankaj Singh, Ph.D.

Pankaj Singh, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored Feb. 2 at a ceremony for UNMC's 2014 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Pankaj Kumar Singh, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate Professor, Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases
  • Joined UNMC: July 2010
  • Hometown: Saharanpur, India

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
We are working toward deciphering the metabolic alterations in cancer cells that contribute to tumor aggressiveness, metastasis and resistance to therapies. Every cell, if it divides or if it sustains survival under a harsh microenvironment, must undergo major metabolic changes. We are attempting to understand such metabolic changes and the mechanisms that induce such changes.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Our research is mostly focused on pancreatic cancer, which is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. The extremely high mortality of the disease is in part due to late diagnosis, early metastasis and resistance to current therapies. Our studies are aimed at identifying metabolic targets that can be utilized for early stage biomarkers and therapies in patients with metastasis and resistance to therapies. Based on the preclinical studies, we are in the process of initiating clinical trials with new combinations to improve responsiveness to the current therapies in pancreatic cancer patients.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
One of the best pieces of advice I received was from my father, who told me to never expect or seek anything for free from anyone but never hesitate to help anyone should I be capable of doing so.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I can make very nice portraits.
  • I have been a class/school/college/university representative through elections at every level of my education.
  • Every adult in my family except for my mother is actively involved in scientific research.


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Kusum K. Kharbanda
January 23, 2015 at 2:18 PM


Sherry Martin
January 23, 2015 at 7:56 AM

Dear Dr. (Pankaj) Singh, Congratulations on your award! You certainly deserved it. I have seen you become very passionate about your research and you take every available opportunity to apply for grants for more funding to continue your important work. I wish you all the best in every aspect of your future.

Paras Mishra
January 23, 2015 at 6:31 AM

Great work of an excellent scientist, a well-deserved award.