Daniel Bassi


MSci: Chemistry, Clinical Pathology

PhD: Chemistry

Courses Taught

Anatomy and Physiology I and II
Cell to Cell Interactions
Research Internship

Teaching Focus/Philosophy

One of the most rewarding activities I can think of is teaching. It entails transmitting our enthusiasm for knowledge, providing a valuable service to our students, and sharing our academic and personal experiences. Teaching also represents a challenge to keep up with novel discoveries, recent publications, and new trends in the scientific and industrial world. Finally, it constitutes an inestimable opportunity to interact with colleagues, students, and the University as a whole. I personally enjoy this sort of combination of intellectual and communication activities. This is the reason I have begun teaching years ago, and I continue this commitment with the same spirit.

Recent Presentations/Publications

Cukierman E, Bassi, DE. The mesenchymal tumor microenvironment: A drug-resistant niche. Cell Adh Migr. 2012 May 1;6(3):285-96. Epub 2012 May 1.
Bassi DE, Zhang J, Cenna J, Litwin S, Cukierman E, Klein-Szanto AJ. Proprotein Convertase Inhibition Results in Decreased Skin Cell Proliferation, Tumorigenesis, and Metastasis. Neoplasia. 2010 Jul;12(7):516-26.
Page RE, Klein-Szanto AJ, Litwin S, Nicolas E, Al-Jumaily R, Alexander P, Godwin AK, Ross EA, Schilder RJ, Bassi DE. Increased expression of the pro-protein convertase furin predicts decreased survival in ovarian cancer. Cell Oncol. 2007;29(4):289-99.
Bassi DE, Lopez de Cicco R, Cenna J, Cukierman E, Klein-Szanto AJ. PACE 4 Expression in Mouse Basal Keratinocytes Results in Basement Membrane Disruption and Acceleration of Tumor Progression. Cancer Res. 2005;65:7310-7319.
Bassi B, Lopez De Cicco R, Mahloogi H, Zucker S, Thomas G, Klein-Szanto AJ. Furin Inhibition Results in Absent or Decreased Invasiveness and Tumorigenicity of Human Cancer Cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci. (USA) 2001;98:10326-10331.

Awards and Honors

Funded Grants
Ovarian SPORE (NIH)- Pilot project: "Furin Modulation in Ovarian Tumor Progression". May 2004- May 2005. Co-Investigator: Dr Russell Schilder

American Cancer Society- Pilot Project: "Effects of furin on fibroblast proliferation and production of tumor promoting 3D matrices" January 2005- January 2006.

Title III Grant: "Class Assessment Techniques" January 2012

Grant Reviewer
Mar 4-6 2010: Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Toronto, Canada. Invited grant reviewer for masters and Doctoral Thesis.
Oct 18 2011: Pennsylvania Coalition for Breast Cancer
Dec 13 2012: Pennsylvania Coalition for Breast Cancer
Nov 20 2013 Pennsylvania Coalition for Breast Cancer

Manuscript Reviewer
Journals: Molecular Carcinogenesis
International Journal of Cancer
FEBS letter
Revista Clinica de Venezuela (in Spanish)


Additional Info

My research interests center in determining the role of a family of nine serine proteases, the proprotein-convertases (PCs) in ovarian tumor progression. Most PCs activate protein precursors after limited proteolysis at the consensus sequence RXR/KR. Many of these precursors are associated with tumor progression, such as growth factors and their receptors, metalloproteinases, and adhesion molecules, pointing to a PCs role in regulating tumor progression. For instance, increased expression of these PCs has been correlated with increase histopathological grade and advanced metastatic behavior.

We have determined that increased furin, the prototype of the family, predicts poor survival in ovarian cancer, regardless the specific type of tumor. Moreover, specific blockage of its activity by protein inhibitors and siRNA technology resulted in decreased proliferation and signaling through the insulin-like receptor pathway. Interestingly, a closely related PC, PACE4, also associated with tumor progression in skin and other malignancies, showed an opposite effect in ovarian cancer; more benign and less malignant tumors expressed higher levels of this extracellular protease. In this context, therapies aimed at decreasing ovarian tumor burden should address these differences to exploit this antagonistic effect exerted by these two proteases.

Daniel Bassi
Office: HFH 406
Phone: 267-341-3319