Dr. Thomas Brown



Thomas L. Brown, Ph.D.

Professor and Vice Chair for Research, Neuroscience, Cell Biology & Biophysics
Director, Laboratory of Cell Death, Differentiation, and Development
Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Address: 011F Medical Sciences Building
Phone: (937) 775-3809
E-mail: thomas.l.brown@wright.edu
University Entrepreneur; President and CEO, Apoptrol, LLC

» Endowment for Research on Pregnancy Associated Disorders

Research Interests

Pregnancy Associated Disorders
Oxygen regulation and placental differentiation

Dr. Brown discussed his research on WDTN-TV in August 2011.

Many pregnancy-associated disorders (such as preeclampsia) stem from abnormal placental development. Babies born from these pregnancies are at increased risk of hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke later in life. Placental stem cells grow in very low levels of oxygen and differentiate as oxygen levels rise during development. We are using state of the art gene targeting approaches to investigate the role of oxygen in placental stem cell differentiation.

Our understanding of the cellular and molecular events that control apoptosis and differentiation may contribute to future treatments for numerous diseases and pregnancy associated disorders.

Cancer - Overcoming tumor resistance

In the early stages of cancer, tumorigenic cells routinely undergo physiologic cell death as a normal means to control its spread; however, over time cancer cells can often become resistant to the normal induction of apoptosis. Examining how to sensitize chemotherapeutic resistance may lead to new insights in the fight against cancer.

Cell death (apoptosis)

Apoptosis is an evolutionarily-conserved, normal physiologic process that occurs to maintain homeostasis. The majority of human diseases have an altered cell death program that can result in too much (autoimmune, neurological disorders) or to little cell death (cancer). We are looking at therapeutics designed to specifically control the apoptosis process.

Brown Lab Members in 2012

(L-R) Dr. B, Chanel, Melissa, Rebecca, Renee, Erica, Savannah, Elisabeth, Samantha, Sophia, Cody, Mary


Van Wert High School, 1981
The Ohio State University, B.S., Biochemistry, 1986
University of Cincinnati, Developmental Biology, Ph.D., 1993

Postgraduate Research

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Lerner Research Institute, DepArtment of Cell Biology
Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation, Division of Development Biology
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Department of Environmental Health

Good Luck to Former Brown Lab Members

  • WSU Rock painted with Brown Lab RocksLarissa Tangeman, M.S.; Ph.D. Candidate at The Ohio State University
  • Christina Wicker, M.S.; Ph.D. Candidate at University of Kentucky
  • Ben Southerland, M.S.; Ph.D. Candidate at Miami University (Oxford)
  • April Davoli, M.S.; Lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Kashmira Kulkarni, Ph.D.; Postdoc at Harvard Medical School, Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology
  • Kaisa Selesniemi, Ph.D.; Postdoc at Harvard Medical School, Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology
  • Amy Gultice, Ph.D.; Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at University of Cincinnati
  • Meredith Reedy, M.S.; Instructor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wright State University
  • Chanel Mays, Research Assistant at Wright State University
  • April Smith, M.S.; Senior Research Assistant at Cincinnati Children’s Hosptial Medical Center
  • Shanedah Williams, M.S.; Pharm.D. student at University of Michigan
  • Quincy Carter, M.S.; Biologist at Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals
  • Deanne Jacobs, Medical Student at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
  • Hiloni Bhasvar, M.D.
  • Amanda Vince, M.D.
  • Diane Doran, M.S., R.N.
  • Xoliswa Makola, R.N.
  • Eric Harris, R.N.

Selected Publications
(Out of 51)

Lauf PK, Heiny J, Meller J, Lepera MA, Koikov L, Alter GM, Brown TL and Adragna NC. Canonical Bcl-2 Motifs of the Na+/K+ Pump Revealed by the BH3 Mimetic Chelerythrine: Early Signal Transducers of Apoptosis. (2013) Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry. 31:257-76

Tangeman L, Wyatt CN*, and Brown TL*. Knockdown of AMP-activated protein kinase alpha 1 and alpha 2 catalytic subunits (2012) J RNAi and Gene Silencing. 8:470-478

Doran DM, Kulkarni-Datar K, Cool DR, and Brown TL. Hypoxia Activates Constitutive Luciferase Reporter Constructs. (2011) Biochimie. 93:361-368

Sahu R, Batra S, Prabodh K, Srivastava S*, Brown TL*,. The role of K-Ras gene mutation in TRAIL-induced apoptosis in pancreatic and lung cancer cell lines. (2011) Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology. 67:481-487 *Co-Senior authors

Davoli A, Hocevar B, and Brown TL. Progression and Treatment of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer. (2010) 65:611-23 Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.

Southerland B, Kulkarni-Datar K, Keoni C, Bricker R, Grunwald WC, Ketcha DM, Hern E, Cool DR and Brown TL. Q-VE-OPh, a negative control for O-phenoxy-conjugated caspase inhibitors (2010) 3:33-40 Journal of Cell Death

Gultice AD, Kulkarni-Datar K, Brown TL. HIF1alpha Mediates Distinct Steps of Rat Trophoblast Differentiation in Gradient Oxygen. (2009) Biology of Reproduction. 80:184-193

Wicker CA, Sahu RP, Kulkarni-Datar K, Srivistava SK*, and Brown TL*. BITC sensitizes pancreatic adenocarcinomas to TRAIL-induced apoptosis. (2009) Cancer Growth & Metastasis 2:45-55 (*Co-senior authors)

Hemberger M, Yang, W, Natale D, Brown TL, Dunk C, Gargett CE, and Tanaka S. Subtype-Specific Trophoblast Cell Lines. Stem Cells from Fetal Membranes, Placenta (2008), 29 Supp: Trophoblast Research 17-19

Kulkarni K, Selesniemi K, Brown TL. Interferon-gamma Sensitizes the Human Salivary Gland Cell Line, HSG, to Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Induced Activation of Dual Apoptotic Pathways. Apoptosis (2006) 11:2205-2215.

Gultice AD, Selesniemi KL, and Brown TL. Hypoxia inhibits differentiation of lineage-specific Rcho-1 trophoblast giant cells. (2006) Biology of Reproduction 74:1041-1050.

Lauf PK, Warwar, R, Brown TL, and Adragna NC. Regulation of Potassium Transport in Human Lens Epithelial Cells. Experimental Eye Research (2006) 82:55-64.

Selesniemi KL, Reedy MA, Gultice AD, Guilbert LJ, Brown TL. TGF-ß induces differentiation of the labyrinthine trophoblast stem cell line, SM10. (2005) Stem Cells and Development 14:697-711

Caserta TM, Smith AN, Gultice AD, Reedy MA, and Brown TL. Q-VD-OPh, a broad spectrum caspase inhibitor with potent antiapoptotic properties. Apoptosis (2003) 8:345-352.

Williams S, Smith AN, Cianci C, Morrow JS, and Brown TL. Identification of the Primary Caspase 3 Cleavage Site in alpha II-Spectrin during Apoptosis. Apoptosis (2003) 8:353-361.

Zhao Y, Brown TL, Kohler H, Müller S. Transmembrane-Antibody Induced Inhibition of Cell Suicide. Apoptosis(2003) 8:631-637.

Kadakia M, Brown TL, McGorry M and Berberich S. MdmX mediates Smad transactivation. Oncogene (2002) 21:8776-8785.

LePoole IC, Sarangarajan R, Zhao Y, Stennett LS, Brown TL, Sheth P, Miki T, Boissy RE. "VITI", a novel gene associated with vitiligo. Pigment Cell Research (2001) 14:475-484.

Patil S, Wildey GM, Brown TL, Choy L, Derynck R, Howe PH. Smad 7 is induced by CD40 and protects WEHI 231 B-lymphocytes from TGFbeta-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis. J. Biol.Chem. (2000) 275:38363-38370.

Brown TL, Patil S., Cianci C., Morrow JS, and Howe PH. TGF beta Induces Caspase 3 Independent Cleavage of alpha II-Spectrin/alpha-Fodrin) Coincident With Apoptosis. J. Biol. Chem (1999) 274:23256-23263.

Hocevar, BA., Brown, TL., and Howe, PH. TGFbeta induces fibronectin synthesis through a c-Jun N-terminal kinase -dependent, Smad 4 independent pathway. EMBO J. (1999) 18:1345-1356.

Brown, TL, Patil, S, Basnett, R, and Howe, P. Caspase Inhibitor, BD-fmk, Distinguish TGFb-Induced Apoptosis From Growth Inhibition. Cell Growth and Diff. (1998) 9:869-875.

Moulton BC, Akcali KC, Ogle TF, Brown TL, Motz J, Khan SA., Control of Apoptosis in the Uterus During Decidualization. Serono Symposia (ed. JL Tilly, JF Strauss III, M. Tenniswood) Cell Death in Reproductive Physiology. Springer-Verlag, New York (1997) p48-66.

Zhou A., Paranjapoe J., Brown TL, Nie H., Naik S, Dong B., Chang A, Trapp B, Fairchild R., Colmenares C., Silverman RH. Interferon Action and Apoptosis are Defective in Mice Devoid of 2',5'-Oligoadenylate Dependent RNAse L. EMBO J. (1997) 16:6355-6363.

Brown TL., Moulton BC., Swertfeger DK., Witte DP., Harmony, J.A.K. Apolipoprotein J/Clusterin Expression Defines Distinct Stages of Blastocyst Implantation in the Mouse Uterus. Biol. Reprod. (1996) 55:740-747.