New Investigator: Moorthy Ponnusamy, Ph.D.

January 23, 2018

Image with caption: Moorthy Palanimuthu Ponnusamy, Ph.D.

Moorthy Palanimuthu Ponnusamy, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2017 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Moorthy Palanimuthu Ponnusamy, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant professor, UNMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Joined UNMC: 2006
  • Hometown: Poolambadi, Perambalur (Dt), Tamil Nadu, India

The New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

Research focus:
Cancer stem cells

The goal of my research is: To characterize the cancer stem cell populations in pancreatic and ovarian cancers. Over the past several years, it has been evident that a small population (less than 5 percent) of cancer cells, referred to as cancer stem cells, are responsible for the disease aggressiveness, resistance to therapy and metastasis. We recently identified a novel marker, pancreatic differentiation 2 (PD2), also called polymerase associated factor-1 (Paf1), for the maintenance of cancer stem cells. Our current research is focused on investigating the impact of PD2/Paf1 in the self-renewal, drug-resistance and lineage differentiation of cancer stem cells.

My research will make a difference because: We have identified the novel maintenance marker for the cancer stem cells that would provide critical information for the long-term goal of developing novel targeted therapy for pancreatic and ovarian cancer. Our research also is involved in understanding the mechanism of cancer stem cell-mediated pancreatic cancer progression.

The best advice I've ever been given is:
"Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have perseverance to realize the great life."

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I enjoy playing Indian music on the keyboard.
  • I enjoy reading biographies of great, successful leaders.
  • I enjoy watching cricket.


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Kalaivaani Kumar Ayyaa.
January 25, 2018 at 1:57 PM

Great.. Saami..! God bless yet and yet more..! (My best wishes and prayers..!)

January 24, 2018 at 8:10 AM

Congrats Moorthy !

Vasanth V. Amohan
January 24, 2018 at 8:03 AM

Great to hear. 😊 Proud of you...👏 Congratulations, Moorthy! 👍

Chakravarthy nallathambi
January 24, 2018 at 2:53 AM

Congratulations Sir.

January 23, 2018 at 11:33 PM


M Arumugam
January 23, 2018 at 9:08 PM

Congrats Dr. Moorthy. My wishes.

Saswati Karmakar
January 23, 2018 at 9:08 PM

Congratulations Dr. Moorthy !

Shailender Singh
January 23, 2018 at 3:52 PM


Priyanka Vaz
January 23, 2018 at 11:51 AM

Congratulations Moorthy!

January 23, 2018 at 11:24 AM

Congrats Moorthy

Srikanth Barkeer
January 23, 2018 at 11:09 AM

Congratulations Dr. Moorthy...

January 23, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Many Congratulation Moorthy....A well-deserving recognition.

January 23, 2018 at 10:13 AM

Congratulations moorthy

January 23, 2018 at 10:10 AM

congratulation Dr.MOORTHY

Elanchezhian Rajan
January 23, 2018 at 9:51 AM

My Best wishes and congrats 💐

January 23, 2018 at 9:27 AM

Congratulations Moorthy

Wasim Nasser
January 23, 2018 at 9:22 AM

Congratulations Moorthy

January 23, 2018 at 9:05 AM

Congratulations Moorthy

jawed siddiqui
January 23, 2018 at 8:40 AM

Congratulations Dr. Moorthy.

Sowmya Yelamanchili
January 23, 2018 at 7:50 AM

Congrats Moorthy !

sathish kumar natarajan
January 23, 2018 at 6:40 AM

Congratulations Moorthy!

January 23, 2018 at 6:34 AM

Vaalgaa valamuden