Esther Jane, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor

Esther Jane, PhD, graduated from Madurai Kamaraj University in India. She did her post doctoral training in Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, on the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of homeotic gene expression during Drosophila development.

Before joining the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery, she worked in the Pittsburgh Development Center in studying the cell biology of human embryonic stem cells before and after differentiation towards neuronal lineage.

Dr. Jane is currently working on a project examining compounds that inhibit the function of individual kinases using diverse panel of malignant glioma cell lines.

Dr. Jane's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Mode of action of multi-target tyrosine kinase inhibitors in glioma cells.

Professional Organization Membership

American Association for Cancer Research

Education & Training

  • BSc, Zoology, Sarah Tucker College, 1983
  • MSc, Zoology, The American College, 1986
  • PhD, Biology, The Madurai Kamaraj University, 1992

Research Activities

Aurora kinases are key regulators of cell mitosis and have been implicated in the process of tumorigenesis. In recent years, the Aurora kinases have attracted much interest as promising targets for cancer treatment. High expression levels of Aurora A and Aurora B were significantly associated with advanced tumor stage and poor patient survival in brain tumor patients. Inhibition of Aurora kinase activity with the drug VX680 (also referred to as MK-0457) inhibited cell growth in vitro and led to cell accumulation in the G2/M phase. Dr. Jane’s findings suggest that VX680 inhibits the growth of glioma cells by targeting the proliferation of tumor cells. Aurora kinases and their downstream cell cycle proteins have an important role and may be potent prognostic markers and therapy targets for this disease.