Richard M. Niles, Ph.D.

Richard Niles, Ph.D.Professor, Chair of Biochemistry and Microbiology, and
Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Sciences
Department: Biochemistry and Microbiology
Research Cluster: Cancer Biology
Office: BBSC 301-B | Laboratory: BBSC 306
Phone: (304) 696-7323 | Fax: (304) 696-7253
E-mail: niles@marshall.edu
Personal website: http://musom.marshall.edu/biochemistry/research-niles.asp

Research Interests

Our laboratory is investigating the mechanism by which dietary constituents such as vitamin A, resveratrol (red wine), quercetin (apples), etc arrest growth of melanoma cells and prevent melanocytes from being converted to melanoma cells.  Melanoma is rapidly increasing in incidence, especially in the under 40 year old population.  In its early stage, it is curable by surgery, but once its spreads, it is notoriously resistant to treatment.

 Melanocytes

 Melanoma

A recent area of investigation is production of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1alpha) by melanoma cells under conditions of normal oxygen tension. HIF-1alpha is normally produced under hypoxic conditions and allows tumor cells to recruit a blood supply (angiogenesis) and shift their metabolism to produce energy under hypoxic conditions (glycolysis). The role of HIF-1alpha expression by melanoma cells in normal oxygen conditions may contribute to their malignant properties.

Selected Publications

Nutrition and Cancer: From Epidemiology to Biology  Pier Paolo Claudio and R. Niles editors  Bentham Science Publishers, In Press Niles, R.M. and Rankin. G.O.  Resveratrol, A Phytoalexin with a Multitude of Anti-Cancer Activities.  Chapter 1. pp 3-14.

Miles, S.L., Niles, R.M., Pittcock, S., Gilles, E., Vile, R., Dvies, J., Winters, J.L., Abuyaghi, N., Grothey, G., Siddiqui, M., Kaur, J., Hartmann, L., Kalli, K., Pease, L., Kravitz, Markovic, and Pulikdo, J.  Paraneoplastic Bilateral Diffuse Uveal Melanocytic Proliferation is Caused by a Factor Found in the IgG Fraction of Serum.  Retina.  In Press.

Fan, J., Eastham, L., Varney. M.E., Hall, A., Adkins, N.L., Sollars, V.E., Georgel, G., and Niles, R.M. Silencing and Re-expression of Retinoic Acid Receptor Beta2 in Human Melanoma.  Pig Cell & Melanoma Res., 23: 419-429, 2010.

Fan, J., Eastham, L., Varney. M.E., Hall, A., Adkins, N.L., Sollars, V.E., Georgel, G., and Niles, R.M. Silencing and Re-expression of Retinoic Acid Receptor Beta2 in Human Melanoma.  Pig Cell & Melanoma Res., 23: 419-429, 2010.

Recent Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellows

Sandeep Joshi, Ph.D. 2010, currently postdoctoral fellow at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD

Linda Eastham, Ph.D. 2012 (part-time student), currently Postdoctoral Scientist, Progenesis Technologies, LLC, Huntington, WV

Current Laboratory Personnel

Sarah Miles, Research Associate, 2010-present

Current Grant Support

Expansion of STEM Doctoral Education at Marshall University  RCF 13779, DSR-HEPC, R. Niles, P.I., $799,908, 01/01/2009 – 12/31/2013 This grant funds stipends for Ph.D. students, as well as recruiting expenses and some travel.

Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CTSA)  1UL1RR033173 – Marshall University subcontract $701,251, 6/1/2011 – 2/29/2016.  R. Niles, 15% effort as School of Medicine coordinator and member of the CATalyst key function area.

WV Cancer Genomics Network  HEPCdsr 12.28, R. Niles, P.I.  $1,350,000, 7/1/12 – 6/30/17 The grant is for the continued development of the West Virginia Cancer Genomics Network.  Partners include WVU Cancer Center and CAMC Cancer Center.  Selected tumors and one hematologic malignancy at high prevalence in the WV population will be subjected to genomic analysis.  The goal is to find genetic changes that can be prognostic and also serve as targets for new directed therapeutics.