Alkek Center for Molecular Discovery Research

  • The Alkek Center for Molecular Discovery has an active research program funded by the Alkek Foundation.
  • Research in the ACMD is highly interactive and interdisciplinary in nature, involving metabolomics, proteomics and informatics.
  • The center is focused on identifying the molecular basis of a variety of metabolic and neoplastic diseases.

By the Numbers

  • The center comprises 93 members of faculty and 24 full time professional staff occupying nearly 11,000 sq ft of research space, and funded by a total of 25 grants, including collaborative, institutional and seed awards.
  • The center runs three educational programs, including a didactic course in the BCM Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, a seminar series in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and a joint symposium with MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Center Cores completed a total of 67 projects for Baylor faculty, resulting in nine new publications and contributing to 15 new awards totaling nearly $6 million in direct funding.



The Alkek Center for Molecular Discovery is associated with four Baylor College of Medicine cores. Visit the core pages for additional information:


Research Projects


Research projects in the ACMD include studies of:

Cryo-electronic microscopy proteomics (Wah Chiu & Bert O'Malley) for analyzing functional transcription factor-coregulator complexes on DNA.

CaMKK2 signaling in liver cancer (Anthony Means), which addresses a targetable pathway in liver cancer with potential effective therapy.

Reverse-phase protein array analysis of urine samples (Cliff Dacso)investigating community-based application of metabolomic screening.

Metabolic signatures in breast cancer (Arun Sreekumar) and mTOR in breast cancer (Geoffrey Rosen), which use advanced metabolomics and proteomics to decode the evolution of breast  tumors. 

Progesterone receptor in ductal breast cancer progression (Dean Edwards) and therapeutic targets in breast cancer (Kent Osborne), investigating druggable steps during breast cancer progression.

Metabolic regulation by SHP (Moore) and circadian rhythm and metabolism (Brian York), studying basic metabolic regulation to define steps in development of cancer.

SRC-1/NCOA1 in metabolism (David Lonard) and SRC-2/NCOA2 in cancer metabolomics (Dasgupta), investigating regulation of gene expression by coregulators in the context of metabolism-based cancer therapeutics.


Pilot Project Program


The ACMD Pilot Project Program provides small-scale funding to center members to carry out projects that enhance the scope and compass of the center, and that have high potential of attracting additional funding. The inaugural pilot project in this program is a $50,000 award to Sean Hartig to investigate a novel cell signaling axis regulating fat metabolism. Preliminary data from this project were used in a successful Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas award to Dean Edwards.


Recent Publications


Dasgupta, S., Putluri, N., Long, W., Zhang, B., Wang, J., Kaushik, A. K., Arnold, J. M., Bhowmik, S. K., Stashi, E., Brennan, C. A., et al. (2015). Coactivator SRC-2-dependent metabolic reprogramming mediates prostate cancer survival and metastasis. J Clin InvestPubMed

Kang, Y. K., Jung, S. Y., Qin, J., Li, C., Tsai, S. Y., Tsai, M. J. and O'Malley, B. W. (2014). E2/Estrogen receptor/sjogren syndrome-associated autoantigen relieves coactivator activator-induced G1/S arrest to promote breast tumorigenicity. Mol Cell Biol 34, 1670-1681. PubMed

Karlin, K. L., Mondal, G., Hartman, J. K., Tyagi, S., Kurley, S. J., Bland, C. S., Hsu, T. Y., Renwick, A., Fang, J. E., Migliaccio, I., et al. (2014). The oncogenic STP axis promotes triple-negative breast cancer via degradation of the REST tumor suppressor. Cell Rep 9, 1318-1332. PubMed

Lisewski, A. M., Quiros, J. P., Ng, C. L., Adikesavan, A. K., Miura, K., Putluri, N., Eastman, R. T., Scanfeld, D., Regenbogen, S. J., Altenhofen, L., et al. (2014). Supergenomic network compression and the discovery of EXP1 as a glutathione transferase inhibited by artesunate. Cell 158, 916-928. PubMed

Putluri, N., Maity, S., Kommagani, R., Putluri, V., Chen, F., Nanda, S., Bhowmik, S. K., Terunuma, A., Dorsey, T., et al. (2014). Pathway-centric integrative analysis identifies RRM2 as a prognostic marker in breast cancer associated with poor survival and tamoxifen resistance. Neoplasia 16, 390-402. PubMed

Stashi, E., Mao, J., Michailidis, G., Zhu, B., Kettner, N. M., Putluri, N., Reineke, E. L., Reineke, L. C., Dasgupta, S., et al. (2014). SRC-2 is an essential coactivator for orchestrating metabolism and circadian rhythm. Cell Rep 6, 633-645. PubMed

Terunuma, A., Putluri, N., Mishra, P., Mathe, E. A., Dorsey, T. H., Yi, M., Wallace, T. A., Issaq, H. J., Zhou, M., Killian, J. K., et al. (2014). MYC-driven accumulation of 2-hydroxyglutarate is associated with breast cancer prognosis. J Clin Invest 124, 398-412. PubMed