Independent Research Scholar

Research Areas (IRP Lab Groups)

The Cutaneous Malignancies Unit investigates the mechanisms and processes underlying skin cancers such as Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM), and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Our group studies the development and progression of MCC, ALM, and SCC in human tissue, human cell cultures, and mouse models. We integrate advanced microscopy, oncogenic and pharmacological techniques to gain insight into these diseases to find effective treatments that will increase the life and health of patients who have skin cancer. Our work focuses on identifying new compounds and repurposing approved drugs to treat cutaneous malignancies. Additionally, we are investigating how cytoskeletal elements modify extrinsic apoptotic signaling in skin cancer models.


Independent Research Scholar
Postbaccalaureate Fellow

Image & Media Gallery

Scientific Publications

Selected Recent Publications

Identification of natural product modulators of Merkel cell carcinoma cell growth and survival.

Smith EA, Hill NT, Gelb T, Garman KA, Goncharova EI, Bokesch HR, Kim CK, Wendt KL, Cichewicz RH, Gustafson KR, Brownell I, Henrich CJ
Sci Rep.
2021 Jun 30;
doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-93097-9
PMID: 34193920

Host-Pathogen Interactions in Human Polyomavirus 7‒Associated Pruritic Skin Eruption.

Rosenstein RK, Pastrana DV, Starrett GJ, Sapio MR, Hill NT, Jo JH, Lee CR, Iadarola MJ, Buck CB, Kong HH, Brownell I, Cowen EW
J Invest Dermatol.
2021 May;
doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2020.09.014
PMID: 33075349

Distinct Signatures of Genomic Copy Number Variants Define Subgroups of Merkel Cell Carcinoma Tumors.

Hill NT, Kim D, Busam KJ, Chu EY, Green C, Brownell I
Cancers (Basel).
2021 Mar 6;
doi: 10.3390/cancers13051134
PMID: 33800889

ΔNp63α suppresses cells invasion by downregulating PKCγ/Rac1 signaling through miR-320a.

Aljagthmi AA, Hill NT, Cooke M, Kazanietz MG, Abba MC, Long W, Kadakia MP
Cell Death Dis.
2019 Sep 12;
doi: 10.1038/s41419-019-1921-6
PMID: 31515469

Identification of novel ΔNp63α-regulated miRNAs using an optimized small RNA-Seq analysis pipeline.

Sakaram S, Craig MP, Hill NT, Aljagthmi A, Garrido C, Paliy O, Bottomley M, Raymer M, Kadakia MP
Sci Rep.
2018 Jul 3;
doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-28168-5
PMID: 29968742

Melanoma in patients with GATA2 deficiency.

Nguyen J, Alexander T, Jiang H, Hill N, Abdullaev Z, Pack SD, Hsu AP, Holland SM, Hickstein DD, Engels EA, Brownell I
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res.
2018 Mar;
doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12671
PMID: 29156497

Modulation of miRNA-155 alters manganese nanoparticle-induced inflammatory response.

Grogg MW, Braydich-Stolle LK, Maurer-Gardner EI, Hill NT, Sakaram S, Kadakia MP, Hussain SM
Toxicol Res (Camb).
2016 Nov 1;
doi: 10.1039/c6tx00208k
PMID: 30090472

1α, 25-Dihydroxyvitamin D₃ and the vitamin D receptor regulates ΔNp63α levels and keratinocyte proliferation.

Hill NT, Zhang J, Leonard MK, Lee M, Shamma HN, Kadakia M
Cell Death Dis.
2015 Jun 11;
doi: 10.1038/cddis.2015.148
PMID: 26068789

Role of vitamin D3 in modulation of ΔNp63α expression during UVB induced tumor formation in SKH-1 mice.

Hill NT, Gracia-Maldonado GH, Leonard MK, Harper AR, Tober KL, Oberyszyn TM, Kadakia MP
PLoS One.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107052
PMID: 25191969

ΔNp63α represses nuclear translocation of PTEN by inhibition of NEDD4-1 in keratinocytes.

Leonard MK, Hill NT, Grant ED, Kadakia MP
Arch Dermatol Res.
2013 Oct;
doi: 10.1007/s00403-013-1352-7
PMID: 23589096

The PTEN-Akt pathway impacts the integrity and composition of mitotic centrosomes.

Leonard MK, Hill NT, Bubulya PA, Kadakia MP
Cell Cycle.
2013 May 1;
doi: 10.4161/cc.24516
PMID: 23574721