Cynthia Marie Rosenthal


Associate Professor on the Medical Educator Track
Director, M.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program


Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology
General profile



+1 202-687-1088




My research background was initially focused on investigating an important nuclear enzyme, poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and its interaction with DNA polymerase a during DNA replication. With a solid background in mammalian DNA replication and repair, and enzymology, I spearheaded the research, design, and implementation of a number of seminal studies on the diverse roles of PARP in differentiation, DNA replication, and apoptosis, and was a key player in several exciting studies in which we determined a pivotal role for PARP in the DNA replication complex, in the early stages of apoptosis, in the maintenance of genomic integrity, as well as in the regulation of gene expression.
My current research interests revolve around the roles of specific genes in molecular mechanisms of apoptosis, a form of cellular suicide important in both normal development and a number of human diseases, as well as the practical aspects of modulating this process in the development of therapeutic approaches to cancer, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease. Abnormalities in apoptotic regulation have been shown to play a critical role in pathogenesis of these diseases.
Recent research efforts have been focused on the roles of Inhibitor-of-DNA binding (Id) family proteins (Id1-Id4) in apoptosis, proliferation, skin tumorigenesis and melanomagenesis. A new direction that we have started to explore is the isolation, growth, characterization and targeting of cancer stem cells or tumor initiating cells from patient-derived melanomas.


  • Ph.D (1993) Nagoya University School of Medicine, Cancer Cell Biology
  • M.S. (1984) University of the Philippines, Genetics
  • B.S. (1978) University of the Philippines, Cell Biology