Alexander Nikitin, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Pathology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Leader of the Cornell Stem Cell Program at the Cornell University. He is also Director of the Cornell Stem Cell Pathology Unit and is Co-Director of the Cornell Stem Cell Modeling and Phenotyping Core. Dr. Nikitin earned his M.D. (with Distinction) from the Pavlov First Medical Institute and Ph.D. in Pathology from the Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, both in St. Petersburg, Russia. After work as a diagnostic pathologist in the Petrov Research Institute of Oncology, St. Petersburg Russia, he performed postdoctoral and junior faculty research at the University of Essen Medical School in Germany and at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in Texas. Dr. Nikitin joined the Cornell University faculty in 2000.
Dr. Nikitin’s research aims to understand how aberrations in molecular and cellular mechanisms governing the tissue homeostasis may lead to cancer initiation and progression. He has over 25 years of experience in cancer research, with ovarian cancer studies being one of the most significant parts of his activities during past 14 years. In that area, his laboratory established the first autochthonous mouse model of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, identified transcriptional regulation of genes encoding miR-34 family by p53, reported common downregulation of mir-34 genes in ovarian cancer, showed the importance of feed-forward p53/miR-34/MET loop for the control of cell motility and invasion, and identified a novel cancer-prone niche in the ovarian surface epithelium. Dr. Nikitin’s research is complemented by cross-disciplinary collaborations in technology-oriented areas, such as nonlinear microscopy, intravital imaging and nanotechnology.