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Pathology & Immunology

Houston, Texas

Pathology and Immunology
Pathology & Immunology
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Dario Marchetti, Ph.D.Professor,
Director, CTC Core Facility


  • Diploma di Maturita' Scientifica, "G. Marinelli" Scientific Liceum, Udine, Italy
  • Doctor of Biology, Summa Cum Laude thesis in molecular biology, The University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy


  • The Biology of Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis
  • The Biology, Clinical Intervention, and Diagnostics of CTC
  • Brain-metastatic melanoma
  • Heparanase
  • Heparan sulfate processing
  • Cancer Cell Metastasis
  • Mechanisms of Brain Metastasis

Areas of Interest

  • Cancer invasion and metastasis
  • Brain metastasis
  • Angiogenic mechanisms in cancer and other pathologies

Current Position

  • Professor, Departments of Pathology and Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Director, CTC Core Facility, contact: 713-798-2335

Professional Positions Held

  • Professor and Director, Tumor Biology Laboratories, Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA, 2005-2007
  • Associate Professor and Director, Tumor Biology Laboratories, Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, LA, 2001-2005
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Texas - Houston, Houston, TX, 1999-2001
  • Instructor, Department of Tumor Biology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1996-1999
  • Research Associate, Department of Tumor Biology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, 1991-1996

Other Positions

  • Director of CTC Core Facility, Baylor College of Medicine, 2008
  • Director, Scientific Development, Apocell Inc., Houston, TX, 2007
  • Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 1989-1991
  • Research Scientist, The University of Texas (M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Health Science Center), Houston, TX, 1986-1989
  • Teacher Inorganic Chemistry and General Biology, "G. Verga" Scientific Liceum, Pavia, Italy, 1979-1980
  • Predoctoral Fellow, The University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, 1975-1979

Honors and Awards

  • Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, LSU-SVM, 2004
  • Phi Kappa Phi Award for Research Excellence, The Honor Society, LSU-Baton Rouge, 2005
  • Distinguished Scholar Research Award, LSU-SVM, 2006
  • Senior Scholar Consultancy Awardee, American-Italian Cancer Foundation, 2006
  • Honorary Editorial Board, "Tumor Viruses", 2008
  • Honorary Editorial Board, "Phenotype and Gene Expression", 2008
  • Editorial Board, "Cancer Microenvironment", 2009
  • Associate Editor, "Journ. Cell. Biochemistry", 2009
  • Editorial Board, "Vascular Cell", 2010
  • Editorial Board,"Molecular Cancer", 2010
  • Editorial Board,"Experimental & Therapeutic Medicine", 2010
  • Editorial Board,"The International Journal of Oncology", 2010
  • Editorial Board,"Cancer Letters", 2011
  • Editorial Board,"Cancer Biology & Therapy, 2011
  • Editorial Advisory Panel,"Treatment Strategy-US Oncology", 2011
  • Editorial Advisory Panel,"Journ. of Clin. & Exp. Pathology", 2011
  • Editorial Board Member,"Cancers", 2011
  • Editorial Board Member,"Cancer Letters", 2011
  • Editorial Board Member,"Neural Regeneration Research", 2011
  • Editorial Board Member,"Clinical & Experimental Pathology", 2012
  • Editorial Board Member,"Cancer and Metastasis Reviews", 2012
  • Guest Editor "Brain Metastasis", International Journal of Molecular Sciences - IJMS, 2012
  • Federal Study Section Participation:
  • N.I.H. Ad Hoc Grant Reviewer, "Cancer Drug Development and Therapeutics" Study Section, 2005
  • Grant Reviewer,"Cancer Diagnostic and Therapeutics" NIH Study Section, 2009
  • Study sections, DoD - CDMRP panels, 2009-11
  • Ad Hoc Reviewer, NIH TPM study section, 2011
  • Member, N.I.H."Cancer Biology and Signaling", Special Emphasis Panel (SEP) Study Section, 2011
  • Member, N.I.H."Tumor Progression and Metastasis" TPM Study Section, nominated, 2011
  • Member, N.I.H."Cancer Therapeutics", ZRG1 BMCT-C(09) SEP Study Section, 2012
  • Standing member, N.I.H. "Tumor Progression and Metastasis" (TPM) Study Section, 2012 - 2016
  • Standing Member, Directorate for Health and Technologies Research, Ministry of Health (Italian equivalent of N.I.H.), Rome, Italy, 2011 - present
  • Grant Reviewer, National Priority Research Program (NPRP) of Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Doha, Qatar, 2011 - present
  • Member, N.I.H. “Cancer Therapeutics”, ZRG1 BMCT-C(09) SEP Study Section, 2012
  • Member, DoD/CDMRP Breast Cancer training2 postdoctoral (TRN2 PBY) Study Section, 2013

Professional Organization Memberships

  • Year to Present:
  • Galveston Chapter of the Society of Neuroscience, 1984
  • American Society for Neurochemistry, 1984
  • International Society for Myochemistry, 1985
  • International Society for Neurochemistry, 1985
  • Society for Neuroscience, 1986
  • International Society for Neuro-Immunomodulation, 1989
  • International Brain Research Organization, 1990
  • American Association for Cancer Research, 1993
  • International Society of Developmental Neuroscience, 1993
  • Society for Neuro-Oncology, 1999

Representative Publications

  • Zhang L, Ridgway L, Wetzel M., Ngo J., Yin W., Kumar D., Goodman J.C., Groves M., and Marchetti, D. The identification and isolation of breast cancer CTCs with brain metastatic competence. Science Translational Medicine, Vol. 5: 179-182, 84- 93, 2013.
  • Capuana S., Hoyos V., Chakraborty R., Savoldo B., Marchetti D., and Dotti G.P. Restoring deficient expression of heparanase in tumor-specific T lymphocytes enhance their anti-tumor effects. The Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2013.
  • Ridgway L. D., Wetzel M., Epstein A., and Marchetti, D. Heparanase - induced GEF-H1 signaling regulates the cytoskeletal dynamics of brain metastatic breast cancer cells. Molecular Cancer Research, 10(6): 689-702, 2012.
  • Guo L., Fan D., Zhang F., Lee J.-S., Price, J., Fidler I., Marchetti, D., and Langley R. Selection of brain metastasis - initiating breast cancer cells according to growth on hard agar. American Journal of Pathology: Vol. 178(5): 2357-2366, 2011.
  • Zhang L., Sullivan P.S., Gunaratne P., Goodman J.C., and Marchetti, D. MicroRNA-1258 suppresses breast cancer brain metastasis by targeting heparanase. Cancer Research - Priority Report - selected as one of six Breaking Advances - Highlights from Recent Cancer Literature. Cancer Research, Vol.71(6):2025, 2011.
  • Ridgway L. D., Wetzel M., and Marchetti, D. Heparanase modulates Hh and Wnt3a signaling in human medulloblastoma cells. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 2: 229-237, 2011.
  • Ridgway L. D., Wetzel M., and Marchetti, D. Heparanase effects on proteoglycan -induced signaling in brain metastatic melanoma. Journ. Cell. Biochemistry, 111(5):1299-1309, 2010 (selected as feature article).
  • Zhang L., Sullivan P., Suyama , J., and Marchetti, D. EGF - induced heparanase nucleolar localization augments DNA Topoisomerase I activity in brain metastatic breast cancer. Molecular Cancer Research, 8(2): 278-290, 2010.
  • Roy M. and Marchetti, D. Cell surface heparan sulfate released by heparanase promotes melanoma cell migration and angiogenesis. Journ. Cell Biochem., 106(2): 200-209, 2009.
  • S'Souza D., Yang W., Marchetti, D. , Muir C., Julian J., Farach-Carson M., and Carson D.D. HIP/RLP29 antagonizes VEGF and FGF2 responses. Journ. of Cell. Biochem., 106(2): 200-209, 2009.
  • Brown, A.J., Alicknavitch, M., D'Souza, S.S., Daikoku, T., Kirn-Safran, C., Marchetti, D., Carson, D.D., and Farach-Carson, M.C. Heparanase expression and activity influences chondrogenic and osteogenic processes during endochondral bone formation. Bone, 43(4): 689-699, 2008.
  • Reiland, J., Kempf, D., Roy , M., Denkins, Y., and Marchetti, D. FGF2 binding, signaling, and angiogenesis are modulated by heparanase in metastatic melanoma cells. Neoplasia, 8(7): 596-606, 2006.
  • Moretti, M.*, Sinnappah-Kang, N*, Toller, M., Curcio, F, and Marchetti, D. Heparanase functionality in olfactory neural cells. Journ. Neurosci. Res., 83: 694-701, 2006. *These Authors contributed equally well.
  • Sinnappah-Kang, N., Mrak, R.E., Paulsen, D.D., and Marchetti, D. Prognostic implications of heparanase and TrkC/p75 NTR expression in human medulloblastoma. Clin. & Exp. Metastasis, 23: 55 -63, 2006.
  • Murry, B.P., Blust, B., Singh, A., Foster, T., and Marchetti, D. Heparanase mechanisms of melanoma metastasis to the brain: development and use of a brain slice model. Journ. Cell. Biochem., 97(2): 217-225, 2006.
  • Murry, B.P., Greiter-Wilke, A., Paulsen, D.B., Hiatt, K.M., Beltrami, C.A., and Marchetti, D. Selective heparanase localization in malignant melanoma cancers. Int. Journ. Oncology, 26: 345-352, 2005.
  • Roy, M., Reiland, J., Chouljenko, V., Kousoulas, K.G., and Marchetti, D. Antisense mediated suppression of heparanase gene inhibits melanoma cell invasion. Neoplasia, 7(3): 253-262, 2005.
  • Aucoin, R., Reiland, J., Roy , M., and Marchetti, D. Dominant-negative CREB inhibits heparanase functionality and melanoma cell invasion. Journ. Cell. Biochem., 93(2): 215-223, 2004.
  • Reiland, J., Sanderson, R. D., Waguespack, M., Barker, S., Long, R., Carson, D. D. , and Marchetti, D. Heparanase degrades syndecan-1 and perlecan heparan sulfate: functional implications for tumor cell invasion. Journ. of Biol. Chemistry, 279(9): 8047-8055, 2004.
  • Marchetti, D., Reiland, J., Erwin, B., and Roy , M. Inhibition of heparanase activity and heparanase-induced angiogenesis by suramin analogues. Int. Journ. Cancer, 104(2): 167-174, 2003.
  • Marchetti, D., and Nicolson, G.L. Human heparanase: a molecular determinant of invasion and angiogenesis. Adv. Enzyme Reg., 41: 343-360, 2001.
  • Marchetti, D., Li, J., and Shen, R-J. Astrocytes contribute to the brain-metastatic specificity of melanoma cells by producing heparanase. Cancer Research, 60: 4767-4770, 2000.
  • Walch, E.T., and Marchetti, D. Role of neurotrophins and neurotrophin receptors in the in vitro invasion and heparanase production of human prostatic cancer cells. Clin. & Exp. Metastasis, 17(4): 307-314, 1999.
  • Walch, E.T., Albino, A.P., and Marchetti, D. Over-expression of the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor correlates with augmented invasion and heparanase production in human malignant melanoma cells. Int. Journ. Cancer, 82: 112-120, 1999.
  • Marchetti, D., Parikh, N., Sudol, M., and Gallick, G. E. Stimulation of the protein tyrosine kinase c-Yes but not c-Src by neurotrophins in human brain-metastatic melanoma cells. Oncogene, 16 (25): 3253-3260, 1998.
  • Marchetti, D., and Nicolson, G. L. Heparanase in tumor metastasis: degradation of specific heparan sulfate subpopulations due to heparanase action. Adv. Enzyme Reg. 37: 111-134, 1997.
  • Marchetti, D. , Shouchun, L., Spohn, W. C., and Carson, D. D. Inhibition of heparanase activity by heparan sulfate interacting peptide (HIP) and reciprocal HIP binding blocking to cell-surface heparan sulfate subpopulations due to heparanase action. The Journ. of Biol. Chemistry, 272(25): 15891-15897, 1997.
  • Marchetti, D., McQuillan, D., Spohn W. C., Carson, D. D. , and Nicolson, G. L. Neurotrophin stimulation of human melanoma cell invasion: selected NT enhancement of heparanase activity and heparanase degradation of specific heparan sulfate subpopulations. Cancer Research, 56(2): 2856-2863, 1996.
  • Marchetti, D., McCutcheon, I. , Ross, M. I., and Nicolson, G. L. Inverse expression of neurotrophin receptors and neurotrophins at the invasion front of brain-metastatic human melanoma tissues. Int. Journ. Oncology, 7: 87-94, 1995.
  • Cohen, I. R., Murdoch, A. D., Naso, M. F., Marchetti D. , Bernd, D., and Iozzo, R. Abnormal expression of perlecan proteoglycan in metastatic melanoma. Cancer Research, 54: 5771-5774, 1994.
  • Herrmann, J. L., Menter, D. G., Marchetti, D. , Hamada, J.-I., Nakajima M., and Nicolson, G. L. Mediation of NGF-stimulated extracellular matrix invasion by the human melanoma low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor: melanoma p75 functions independently of trkA . Mol. Biol. Cell, 4(11): 1205-1216, 1993.
  • Marchetti, D., Menter, D. G., Jin, L., Nakajima, M., and Nicolson, G. L. Nerve growth factor effects on human melanoma cell invasion. Int. Journ. Cancer, 55: 692-699, 1993.
  • Marchetti, D., Haverkamp, L. J., Clark, R. C., and McManaman, J. L. Ontogeny of high- and low-affinity nerve growth factor receptors in the lumbar spinal cord of the developing chick embryo. Developmental Biology, 148: 306-313, 1991.
  • Marchetti, D. , and McManaman, J. L. Characterization of nerve growth factor binding to embryonic rat spinal cord neurons. Journ. Neurosci. Res., 27: 211-218, 1990.
  • McManaman, J. L., Oppenheim, R. W., Prevette, D., and Marchetti, D. Rescue of motoneurons from naturally occurring cell death by a purified skeletal muscle polypeptide: In vivo and in vitro effects of the choline acetyltransferase development factor (CDF). Neuron, 4: 891-898, 1990.
  • Kussie, P. H., Marchetti, D., Sherman , M., and Linthicum, D. S. Molecular analysis of monoclonal idiotypes and anti-idiotypes. Methods Enzymology, 178: 91-107, 1989.
  • Marchetti, D., Van, N. T., Gametchu, B., Thompson, E. B., Kobayashi, Y., Watanabe, F., and Barlogie, B. Flow cytometric analysis of glucocorticoid receptor using monoclonal antibody and fluoresceinated ligand probe. Cancer Research, 49: 863-969, 1989.
  • Linthicum, D. S., Bolger, M. B., Kussie, P. H., Albright, A., Linton, A., Combs, S., and Marchetti, D. Analysis of idiotypic and anti-idiotypic antibodies as models of receptor and ligand. Clin. Chem., 33: 1676-1680, 1988.
  • Marchetti, D., Stach, R. W., Saneto, R. P., de Vellis, J., and Perez-Polo, J. R. Binding constants of soluble nerve growth factor receptors in rat oligodendrocytes and astrocytes in culture. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm., 147: 422-427, 1987.
  • Marchetti, D., and Perez-Polo, J. R. Nerve growth factor receptors in human neuroblastoma cells. Journ. Neurochem., 49: 475-486, 1987.

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