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Namita Kundu, PhD

Academic Title:

Assistant Professor

Primary Appointment:

Pathology

Location:

Bressler Research Building, 10-038

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-3322

Education and Training

  • Calcutta University, India, B.Sc.(Honors), Chemistry, 1975
  • Calcutta University, India, M. Sc.  Biochemistry, 1977
  • Calcutta University, India, Ph.D. Biochemistry, 1984
  • Research Associate, Dept. of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, 1983-1984 
  • Research Associate, Dept. of Zoological and Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University, Athens, OH, 1987-1989
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, 1992-1997

Biosketch

Following postdoctoral work at the University of Utah and Ohio University Dr. Kundu joined the University of Maryland Baltimore in 1992, where she has been a member of a research team led by Dr. Amy Fulton working in the area of breast cancer research. Dr. Kundu’s current research interests include study of mechanisms by which breast cancers progress and metastasize and identifying novel targets for therapy. The studies conducted by the group members show that overexpression of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an indicator of more aggressive disease and that cyclooxygenase inhibitors can control tumor growth and metastasis in the murine model of breast cancer. A further area of active work is to study prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) receptors to identify more specific targets. Their work is the first to report that EP4 antagonists inhibit metastasis in vivo. This finding was highlighted on the cover of Cancer Research. Another current investigation is exploring the role of COX-2 and EP receptors in breast cancer stem cell-mediated tumor growth and metastasis. They have shown that EP4 is up regulated in breast cancer stem/tumor initiating cells and these cells are more sensitive than non-stem cell population to growth inhibition by EP4 antagonists. They are also investigating the role of cytokines and chemokines and their receptors in controlling breast cancer. In addition, they are working to identify the causes of breast cancer disparities with the goal of eventually reducing them. Their work revealed that the expression of EP1 receptor which suppresses metastasis is low in African-American women, may contribute to breast cancer disparities.

In a separate project Dr. Kundu and other team members have demonstrated for the first time that a water soluble natural extract of Taro corm (TE) has potent anti-metastatic activity in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. Currently they are working on making and characterizing the active recombinant taro proteins. Dr. Kundu and Dr. Fulton hold a US patent on this work.

Dr. Kundu has coauthored 30 publications in peer reviewed journals in the field of cancer research.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Breast cancer, Metastasis, Tumor, Cyclooxygenase, PGE2 receptors, Cytokines, Chemokines, Stem cells, Natural killer cells, Natural plant, Taro.

Highlighted Publications

  1. Kundu, N. and Fulton, A.M. Selective COX-1 or COX-2 inhibitors control metastatic disease in a murine model of breast cancer. Cancer Research, 62:2343-2346, 2002. PMID: 11956094.
  2. Ma, X., Kundu, N., Ioffe, O.B., Goloubeva, O., Konge,r R., Baquet, C., Gimotty, P., Reader, J., Fulton, A.M. Prostaglandin E receptor EP1 suppresses breast cancer metastasis and is linked to survival differences and cancer disparities. Mol. Cancer Res. 8(10):1310-1318, 2010.   PMID: 20858737;  PMCID: PMC2974016.   
  3. Ma, X., Kundu, N., Rifat, S., Walser, T. and Fulton, A.M. Prostaglandin E receptor EP4 antagonism inhibits breast cancer metastasis. Cancer Research, 66:2923-2927, 2006 (selected for cover and highlights). PMID: 16540639.
  4. Kundu, N., Ma, X., Kochel, T., Goloubeva, O., Staats, P., Thompson, K., Martin, S., Reader, J., Take, Y., Collin, P., Fulton, A.M. Prostaglandin E receptor EP4 is a therapeutic target in breast cancer cells with stem-like properties. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 143(1):19-31, 2014. PMID: 24281828; PMCID: PMC3889836.
  5. Kundu, N., Campbell, P.,Hampton, B., Lin, C-Y., Ma, X., Ambulos, N., Zhao, X.F., Goloubeva, O., Holt, D., Fulton, A.M. Antimetastatic activity isolated from Colocasia esculenta (taro). Anticancer Drugs. 23(2):200-11, 2012.  PMID: 21934603;  PMCID: PMC3769987.

Additional Publication Citations

1.   Pal (Kundu), N. and Pal, B., Zinc feeding and conception in the rats. Internat. J. Vit. Nutr. Res.  57:437-440, 1987.

2.   Huzoor-Akbar, Kundu, N. and Kornhauser, R. Normal thrombin binding leads to greater fibrinogen binding and increased platelet aggregation in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Life Sci. 53:1967-1974, 1993.

3.   Kundu, N., Zhang, S.-Z. and Fulton, A.M. Sublethal oxidative stress inhibits tumor cell adhesion  and enhances metastasis of mammary carcinoma. Clinical Experimental Metastasis, 13:16-22, 1995.

4.   Kundu, N., Beaty, T.L., Jackson, M. and Fulton, A.M.  Antimetastatic and antitumor activities of interleukin-10 in a murine model of breast cancer. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 88:536-541, 1996.

5.   Kundu, N. and Fulton, A.M. Interleukin-10 inhibits tumor metastasis, downregulates MHC class I and enhances NK lysis. Cellular Immunology, 180:55-61, 1997.

6. Kundu, N.,  Dorsey, R., Jackson, M.J., Gutierrez, P., Wilson, K.T., Fu, S., Ramanujam, K., Thomas, E. and Fulton, A.M. Interleukin-10 gene transfer inhibits murine mammary tumors and elevates nitric oxide. Int. J. Cancer, 76:713-719, 1998.

7. Book, A., Fielding, K., Wilson, M.A., Fulton, A.M., Kundu, N. and Laterra, J. IL-10 transfer to intracranial 9L glioma: tumor inhibition and cooperation with IL-2. J. Neuroimm. 92:50-59, 1998.

8. Sun, H., Jackson, M.J., Kundu, N., and Fulton, A.M. Interleukin-10 gene transfer activates interferon-g and the interferon-g -inducible genes Gbp-1/Mag-1 and Mig-1 in mammary tumors. Int. J. Cancer, 80:624-629, 1999.

9. Sun, H., Gutierrez, P., Jackson, M.J., Kundu, N. and Fulton, A.M. Essential role of nitric oxide  and interferon-g for tumor immunotherapy with interleukin-10. J. Immunotherapy, 23:208-214, 2000.

10. Sun, H., Kundu, N., Dorsey, R., Jackson, M.J. and Fulton, A. M. Expression of the chemokines IP-10 and Mig in IL-10 transduced tumors.  J. Immunotherapy, 24: 138-143, 2001.

11.  Kundu, N., Yang, Q., Dorsey, R. and Fulton, A.M. Increased cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) expression and activity in a murine model of metastatic breast cancer. Int. J. Cancer, 93, 681-686, 2001.

12. Dorsey, R., Kundu, N., Yang, Q., Tannenbaum, C., Sun, H. and Fulton, A.M. Immunotherapy with IL-10 depends on the CXC chemokines inducible protein-10 and monokine induced by IFN-g.  Cancer Research, 62:2606-2610, 2002.

13. Kundu, N., Smyth, M.J., Samsel, L. and Fulton, A.M. Cyclooxygenase inhibitors block cell growth, increase ceramide and inhibit cell cycle.  Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 76:57-64, 2002.

14. Ma, X., Yang, Q., Wilson, K.T., Kundu, N., Meltzer, S.J. and Fulton, A.M. Promoter methylation regulates cyclooxygenase (COX-2) expression in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research, 6:R316-321, 2004.

15. Kundu, N, Walser, T.C., Ma, X. and Fulton, A.M. Cyclooxygenase inhibitors modulate NK activities that control metastatic disease. Cancer Immunol. Immunother. 54:981-987, 2005.

16. Walser, T.C., Rifat, S., Ma, X., Kundu, N., Ward, C., Goloubeva, O., Johnson, M.G., Medina, J.C., Collins, T.L. and Fulton, A.M. Antagonism of CXCR3 inhibits lung metastasis in a murine model of metastatic breast cancer. Cancer Research,  66:(15),7701-7707, 2006 (Selected for highlights section).

17. Fulton, A.M., Ma, X., Kundu, N. Targeting prostaglandin E EP receptors to inhibit metastasis. Invited review. Cancer Research, 66(20), 9794-9797,  2006.

18. Walser, T.C., Ma, X., Kundu, N., Dorsey, R., Goloubeva, O. and Fulton, A.M. Immune-mediated Modulation of breast cancer growth and metastasis by the chemokine Mig (CXCL9) in a murine model. J. Immunotherapy, 30, 490-498, 2007.

19. Kundu, N., Ma, X., Holt, D., Goloubeva, O., Ostrand-Rosenberg, S. and Fulton, A.M. Antagonism of the prostaglandin E receptor EP4 inhibits metastasis and enhances NK function. Breast Cancer Res. Treatment. 117(2):235-42, 2009.

20. Ma, X., Norsworthy, K., Kundu, N., Rodgers, W.H., Gimotty, P., Goloubeva, O., Lipsky, M., Li, Y., Holt, D. and Fulton, A.M. CXCR3 expression is associated with poor survival in breast cancer and promotes metastasis in a murine model. Mol. Cancer Ther. 8:490-498, 2009.

21. Holt, D., Ma, X., Kundu, N., Fulton, A.M. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) suppresses natural killer cell function primarily through the PGE2 receptor EP4. Cancer Immunol. Immonother. June 17, 2011. PMID: 21681369.

22. Ma, X., Kundu, N., Collin, P.D, Goloubeva, O., Fulton, A.M. Frondoside A inhibits breast cancer metastasis and antagonizes prostaglandin E receptors EP4 and EP2. Breast Cancer Res. Treatment. 132(3):1001-8, 2012.

23. Holt, D., Ma, X., Kundu, N., Collin, P.D., Fulton, A.M. Modulation of host natural killer cell functions in breast cancer via prostaglandin E2 receptors EP2 and EP4. J Immunother. 35(2):179-188, 2012.

24. Ma, X., Holt, D., Kundu, N., Reader, J., Goloubeva, O., Take, Y., Fulton, A.M. A prostaglandin E (PGE) receptor EP4 antagonist protects natural killer cells from PGE2-mediated immunosuppression and inhibits breast cancer metastasis. Oncoimmunology, 2(1):e22647, 2013.

25. LI, Y., Reader, J.C., Ma, X., Kundu, N., Fulton, A.M. Divergent roles of CXCR3 isoforms in promoting cancer stem-like cell survival and metastasis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 149(2):403-15, 2015.

Awards and Affiliations

Patent  

 

Title:  “Natural Plant Products for Control of Cancer Metastasis”

 

           US patent # 8,865,642         

 

Grants and Contracts

D.        Research Support

Active Support

 

VA Merit Review,  Fulton (PI); Kundu (Co-investigator), 4/1/15-3/31/19

Targeting the COX-2 pathway to reduce Breast Cancer Mortality

VA Merit Review (Fulton); Kundu (Co-investigator), 1/1/15-12/31/18

Examines the biology of the EP4 receptor as a metastasis promoter and cancer stem cell survival factor.

 

 

 Past Research Support

 

VA Merit Review,  Fulton (PI); Kundu (Co-investigator), 7/1/10-12/31/14

Targeting the COX-2 Pathway to Reduce Breast Cancer Mortality

Examines the biology of the EP1 receptor as a metastasis suppressor

 

RO1 CA120278-01A1  Fulton (PI) 02/01/07-1/31/12 ; Kundu (co-investigator)

NIH/NCI

Cyclooxygenase Modulators of Immune Function in Breast Cancer

This project is to examine the role of EP4 in modulating the anti-tumor immune response to breast cancer in the general population.

 

UMSHN  Kundu (Principal Investigator) 06/24/08-06/23/09

Reducing Breast Cancer Disparities by Controlling PGE2 Production/Action

Examining the function of a protective EP receptor that contributes to more aggressive disease in AA women with breast cancer.

 

RO1 CA78394 Fulton (PI) 7/1/02-6/30/07; Kundu (co-investigator)

NIH/NCI

Interleukin 10 and Breast Cancer Therapy

This project examines mechanisms by which IL-10 modulates tumor growth and metastasis.

 

Professional Activity

1997-2007         Instructor, Dept. of Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore,  MD

2007-present     Assistant Professor, Dept. of Pathology, University of Maryland Schol of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

 2010-present    Assistant Professor, Program in Oncology, University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baltimore, MD