• Robert Bruno earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2009 for his work on a novel prostate cancer therapeutic (galeterone) which is now in Phase III clinical trials. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in the Mammary Stem Cell Section of the Basic Research Laboratory at the Center for Cancer Research. He came to Old Dominion University in 2013 as an Assistant Professor in the School of Medical Diagnostic & Translational Sciences within the College of Health Sciences. His current work applies biomedical engineering principles including 3D bioprinting to study mechanisms of cellular fate determination in development, cancer, and neurodegeneration.
  • Selected Publications

    Articles In Academic Journals

    Year Title
    2018 3D bioprinter applied picosecond pulsed electric fields for targeted manipulation of proliferation and lineage specific gene expression in neural stem cells.Journal of neural engineering.
    2018 ALDH1A1 positive cells are a unique component of the tonsillar crypt niche and are lost along with NGFR positive stem cells during tumourigenesis.Pathology.
    2018 Consistent and reproducible cultures of large-scale 3d mammary epithelial structures using an accessible bioprinting platformBreast Cancer Research. 122.
    2018 Epigenetic alterations mediate iPSC normalization of DNA-repair expression and TNR stability in Huntington's disease.Journal of cell science.
    2017 Mammary extracellular matrix directs differentiation of testicular and embryonic stem cells to form functional mammary glands in vivo.Scientific Reports. 40196.
    2017 Tissue specific microenvironments: a key tool for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.Journal of biological engineering. 34.
    2016 Accessible bioprinting: adaptation of a low-cost 3D-printer for precise cell placement and stem cell differentiation.Biofabrication. 025017.
    2016 DNA Methylation Leads to DNA Repair Gene Down-Regulation and Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion in Patient-Derived Huntington Disease Cells.The American journal of pathology. 1967-76.
    2016 Galeterone and VNPT55 disrupts Mnk-eIF4E to inhibit prostate cancer cell migration and invasion.The FEBS journal.
    2014 A potential mechanism for extracellular matrix induction of breast cancer cell normality.Breast cancer research : BCR. 302.
    2014 Paracrine-rescued lobulogenesis in chimeric outgrowths comprising progesterone-receptor-null mammary epithelium and redirected wild-type testicular cells.Journal of cell science. 27-32.
    2014 VN/14-1 induces ER stress and autophagy in HP-LTLC human breast cancer cells and has excellent oral pharmacokinetic profile in female Sprague Dawley rats.European journal of pharmacology. 98-104.
    2013 Late developing mammary tumors and hyperplasia induced by a low-oncogenic variant of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) express genes identical to those induced by canonical MMTV.Molecular cancer. 79.
    2012 Notch-induced mammary tumorigenesis does not involve the lobule-limited epithelial progenitor.Oncogene. 60-7.
    2012 Reprogramming non-mammary and cancer cells in the developing mouse mammary gland.Seminars in cell & developmental biology. 591-8.
    2012 The mouse mammary microenvironment redirects mesoderm-derived bone marrow cells to a mammary epithelial progenitor cell fate.Stem cells and development. 948-54.
    2011 CYP17 inhibitors for prostate cancer therapy.The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology. 23-31.
    2011 Functional characterization of stem cell activity in the mouse mammary gland.Stem cell reviews. 238-47.
    2011 Role of epithelial stem/progenitor cells in mammary cancer.Gene expression. 133-40.
    2011 Synthesis and biological evaluations of putative metabolically stable analogs of VN/124-1 (TOK-001): head to head anti-tumor efficacy evaluation of VN/124-1 (TOK-001) and abiraterone in LAPC-4 human prostate cancer xenograft model.Steroids. 1268-79.
    2010 Reprogramming human cancer cells in the mouse mammary gland.Cancer research. 6336-43.
    2008 17alpha-Hydroxylase/17,20 lyase inhibitor VN/124-1 inhibits growth of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells via induction of the endoplasmic reticulum stress response.Molecular cancer therapeutics. 2828-36.
    2008 Potent anti-prostate cancer agents derived from a novel androgen receptor down-regulating agent.Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 3519-29.
    2007 First pharmacophore-based identification of androgen receptor down-regulating agents: discovery of potent anti-prostate cancer agents.Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 3413-21.
    2007 Targeting cytochrome P450 enzymes: a new approach in anti-cancer drug development.Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 5047-60.

    Research Overview

  • My research focuses on understanding how the local microenvironment controls cellular differentiation and function. We study this in the context of cancer, development, and neurological disorders. Notably, we have shown that we can redirect breast cancer cells to adopt a normal mammary epithelial cell fate by restoring a normal microenvironment around them. This has huge implications for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We use a combination of techniques including 3D bioprinting, induced pluripotent stem cells, in vivo models, and novel 3D culture techniques to understand the process.
  • Expertise Keywords

  • 3D Printing : Bioprinting
  • Biology : cell biology; molecular biology; mammary gland biology; mammary gland biology; molecular biology; cell biology; developmental biology; cell fate determination
  • Biotechnology : stem cells; 3D bioprinting; mammary gland biology; molecular biology; cell biology; developmental biology; cell fate determination
  • Cancer : Breast Cancer; Prostate Cancer; Tumorigenesis; Cancer reprogramming; three-dimensional models; microenvironment
  • Education And Training

  • Ph.D. in Life Sciences, University of Maryland Baltimore 2009
  • Full Name

  • Robert Bruno