Esta  Sterneck, Ph.D.

Esta Sterneck, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


My basic research program seeks to identify molecular mechanisms that contribute to breast cancer and metastasis including those affecting tumor immune cell interactions. We dissect the regulation and intersection of signaling pathways through interrogation of genetic mouse models, human cell lines, patient-derived xenografts, as well as patient samples for clinically relevant context. The long-term goal of the program is to molecularly define how cancer cells respond and adapt to various microenvironments for survival and how they also exploit these mechanisms for continued sustenance. Current investigations include analyses of the immune system response to tumors, especially by the myleoid lineage, and the role of prostaglandins in promoting cell cell adhesion as mechanism of circulating cancer cell survival. In-depth understanding of these processes may lead to better treatment strategies of metastatic disease in the clinic.

Areas of Expertise


Selected Publications

Stabilization of E-cadherin adhesions by COX-2/GSK3beta signaling is a targetable pathway in metastatic breast cancer

Balamurugan K., D.K. Poria S.W. Sehareen, S. Krishnamurthy, W. Tang, L. McKennett, V. Padmanaban, K.Czarra, A.J. Ewald, N. Ueno, S. Ambs, S. Sharan, and E. Sterneck.
JCI Insight. in press: 2023.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

PERK signaling through C/EBPδ contributes to ER stress-induced expression of immunomodulatory and tumor promoting chemokines by cancer cells

Sheshadri N, Poria DK, Sharan S, Hu Y, Yan C, Koparde VN, Balamurugan K, Sterneck E.
Cell Death Dis.. Nov 1;12(11): 1038, 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

The STAT3 inhibitor Stattic acts independently of STAT3 to decrease histone acetylation and modulate gene expression

Poria DK, Sheshadri N, Balamurugan K, Sharan S, Sterneck E.
J Biol Chem.. Jan-Jun 296: 100220, 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Slug and E-Cadherin: Stealth Accomplices?

Sterneck E, Poria DK, Balamurugan K.
Front Mol Biosci. . Jul 14;7: 138, 2020.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

FBXW7α attenuates inflammatory signalling by downregulating C/EBPδ and its target gene Tlr4

Balamurugan K, Sharan S, Klarmann KD, Zhang Y, Coppola V, Summers GH, Roger T, Morrison DK, Keller JR, Sterneck E.
Nat Commun. 4: 1662, 2013.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

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Visiting Fellow
Shiba Dash, Ph.D.
Research Biologist
Shikha Sharan, M.S.
Animal Technician (Contr.)
Lois McKennett, B.Sc.


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