Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Deborah L. Galson, PhD


Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology

Associate Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Member, UPCI

Member, Molecular and Cellular Cancer Biology Program

Director, Pittsburgh Center for Bone & Mineral Research

Member, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Office: Hillman Cancer Center Research Pavilion, Rm 1.19b
5117 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-623-1112
Fax: 412-623-1415

Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1984
B.S., Cornell University, 1976

Postdoctoral, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1990
Instructor, Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women's Hospital, 1995

Area of Specialization/Research Interest  
Regulation of Osteoclast Differentiation
Regulation of Osteoblast Differentiation
Multiple Myeloma Bone Disease
Paget's Disease of Bone
Signal Transduction & Transcription Regulation
Measles virus nucleoprotein (MVNP) and p62 (SQSTM1) mutations in Paget's
Gfi1 Repression of Osteoblast Differentiation in Multiple Myeloma
TBK1, IKKe, & Optineurin signaling
Epigenetic chromatin modification

The main theme of my research has been to investigate the regulation of differentiation starting from identifying the key transcriptional regulators outwards to reveal the important signal transduction pathways. We use this approach to investigate pathological changes in the bone microenvironment, particularly osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Our current studies focus on: 1) the mechanism by which Measles virus nucleocapsid protein (MVNP), which contributes to Paget’s disease of bone, activates cellular genes and alters osteoclast differentiation; 2) the mechanism of cooperation between MVNP and p62 (SQSTM1) with pagetic mutations (eg. p62P392L) to generate Paget's lesions; 3) the mechanism by which multiple myeloma suppresses osteoblast differentiation by inducing epigenetic repression of Runx2; 4) the role of Gfi1 in regulating osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation and identification of cofactors; 5) the roles of TBK1, IKKe, and optineurin in inflammatory bone diseases. Our studies have resulted in the identification of novel potential therapeutic targets in the pathological bone microenvironment in multiple myeloma-induced bone disease.The usefulness of inhibiting these targets is under investigation in preclinical studies.

Lab Personnel and Web page
Juraj Adamik, PhD Quanhong Sun, PhD Peng Zhang, MD, PhD
Recent Grants
Title: Viral and Genetic Regulation of Abnormal OCL Activity in Paget's Disease
Role: PI
Amount: $2,359,454
Funding Agency: NIH/NIAMS
Start Year: 2015
End Year: 2020
Title: Mechanisms of Myeloma Cell Regulation of Gfi1 Function in BMSC
Role: PI
Amount: 425,926
Funding Agency: Commonwealth of PA
Start Year: 2013
End Year: 2015
Title: GFI-1 and Osteoblast Suppression in Multiple Myeloma
Role: PI
Amount: $1,451,543
Funding Agency: NIH/NIAMS
Start Year: 2010
End Year: 2015
Title: Viral and Genetic Regulation of Abnormal OCL Activity in PD (Paget's Disease)
Role: PI
Amount: $1,636,300
Funding Agency: NIH/NIAMS
Start Year: 2008
End Year: 2014

Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications
Title: TBK1 mediates critical effects of measles virus nucleocapsid protein (MVNP) on pagetic osteoclast formation.
Author(s): Sun Q, Sammut B, Wang FM, Kurihara N, Windle JJ, Roodman GD, Galson DL
Year: 2014
Journal: J Bone Miner Res.
Volume: 29 (1)
Page(s): 90-102
Title: Increased IL-6 expression in osteoclasts is necessary but not sufficient for the development of Paget's disease of bone.
Author(s): Teramachi J, Zhou H, Subler MA, Kitagawa Y, Galson DL, Dempster DW, Windle JJ, Kurihara N, Roodman G
Year: 2014
Journal: J Bone Miner Res.
Volume: 29 (6)
Page(s): 1456-65
Title: Distinct mechanisms for induction and tolerance regulate the immediate early genes encoding interleukin 1ß and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha
Author(s): Adamik J, Wang KZ, Unlu S, Su A-J, Tannahill GM, Galson DL, O’Neill LA, Auron PE
Year: 2013
Journal: PLoS One
Volume: in press June 19
Title: Measles virus nucleocapsid protein, a key contributor to Paget's disease, increases IL-6 expression via down-regulation of FoxO3/Sirt1 signaling
Author(s): Wang F-M, Sarmasik A, Hiruma Y, Sun Q, Sammut B, Windle JJ, Roodman GD, Galson DL
Year: 2013
Journal: Bone
Volume: 53
Page(s): 269-76
Title: ATF4 promotes bone angiogenesis by increasing VEGF expression and release in the bone environment
Author(s): Zhu K, Jiao H, Li S, Cao H, Galson DL, Zhao Z, Zhao X, Lai Y, Fan J, Im H-J, Chen D, Xiao G
Year: 2013
Journal: J Bone Miner Res:
Volume: in press Apr 2
Page(s): Epub2013May3
Title: Role of ATF7-TAF12 interactions in the vitamin D response hypersensitivity of osteoclast precursors in Paget’s disease
Author(s): Teramachi J, Hiruma Y, Ishizuka S, Ishizuka H, Brown JP, Michou L, Cao H, Galson DL, Subler MA, Zhou H, Dempster DW, Windle JJ, Roodman GD, Kurihara N
Year: 2013
Journal: J Bone Miner Res
Volume: 28
Page(s): 1489-500
Title: Resveratrol triggers the pro-apoptotic endoplasmic reticulum stress response and represses the pro-survival XBP1 signaling in human multiple myeloma cells
Author(s): Wang F-M, Galson DL, Roodman GD, Ouyang H
Year: 2011
Journal: Exp Hematology
Volume: 39
Page(s): 999-1006
Title: IMiD® immunomodulatory compounds block C/EBPß translation through eIF4E downregulation resulting in inhibition of multiple myeloma
Author(s): Li S, Pal R, Monaghan SA, Schafer P, Ouyang H, Mapara M, Galson DL, Lentzsch S
Year: 2011
Journal: Blood
Volume: 117
Page(s): 5157-65
Title: Gfi1 expressed in bone marrow stromal cells is a novel osteoblast suppressor in patients with multiple myeloma bone disease
Author(s): D’Souza S, Del Prete D, Jin S, Sun Q, Huston, AJ, Kostov FE, Sammut B, Hong, C-S, Anderson JL, Patrene KD, Yu S, Velu CS, Xiao G, Grimes HL, Roodman GD, Galson DL
Year: 2011
Journal: Blood
Volume: 118
Page(s): 6871-80
Title: Contributions of the Measles virus nucleocapsid gene and the SQSTM1/p62P392L mutation to Paget’s disease
Author(s): Kurihara N, Hiruma Y, Yamana K, Michou L, Rousseau C, Morissette J, Galson DL, Zhou H, Dempster DW, Windle JJ, Brown JP, Roodman GD
Year: 2011
Journal: Cell Metabolism
Volume: 13
Page(s): 23-34.
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