Anjana Saxena

Saxena, Anjana

Full Professor, Biology, Brooklyn College (CUNY)

Academic Appointments:

2021-present: Full Professor and Chairperson, Biology, Brooklyn College (CUNY)
2015-2021: Associate Professor, Biology, Brooklyn College (CUNY)
2008-2015: Assistant Professor, Biology, Brooklyn College (CUNY)


BS Microbiology-Biochemistry Mumbai University, India
MS  Biochemistry MS University, Baroda, India
PhD Applied Biology Mumbai University, India 

Research Focus:

Our major research focus is to understand how nucleolar stress factors (NSFs) that are RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) regulate gene expression and control cellular fate (survival, cell death or senescence). We are dissecting novel mechanistic role of stress responsive RBPs, in regulating gene expression during the DNA damage response (DDR), infection and tumorigenesis. In recent years we have expanded our research goals encompassing different diseases (e.g., different types of cancer including pancreatic, triple-negative breast cancer, colorectal and prostate cancers, diabetes & liver diseases). We focus on few major emerging research areas to understand: (i) Interplay between RBPs and their target RNA species that promotes cancer progression, (ii) epigenetic mechanisms that influence gestational diabetes, (iii) how the resident liver microbiome, the gut-microbiome and their metabolites, affect cellular immunity in carcinogenesis with host’s immune response that triggers inflammaging (low grade inflammation that characterizing aging).

Selected Publications (up to 5):

*Corresponding author, aPhD, bMA in Saxena’s lab denoted.

  1. San A, Palmieri D, Saxena A, Singh S. In silico study predicts a key role of RNA-binding domains 3 and 4 in nucleolin-miRNA interactions. Proteins, May 5, 2022.
  2. Leinwand JC, Paul B, Chen R, Xu F., Sierra MA, Paluru MM, Nanduri S, Hirsch CGA, Shadaloey SAA, et al. Saxena A, Li X, Theise ND, Saxena D, Miller G. Intrahepatic microbes govern liver immunity by programming NKT cells J Clin Invest. 2022 Feb 17; e151725.
  3. Korsmo HW, Dave B, Trasino S, Saxena A, Liu J, Caviglia JM, Edwards K, Dembitzer M, Sheeraz S, Khaldi S, Jiang X. Maternal Choline Supplementation and High-Fat Feeding Interact to Influence DNA Methylation in Offspring in a Time-Specific Manner. Front Nutr. 2022; 9:841787. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.841787. eCollection 2022. PMID: 35165655; PMCID: PMC8837519.
  4. Elaksandrany M, hsPatel R, Patel M, Miller G, Saxena D and *Saxena A. Fungi, Host Immune Response and Tumorigenesis, Mini-Review, American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 2021 Aug 1;321(2): G213-G222. PMID: 34231392; PMCID: PMC8410104,
  5. Sunayana Dagar, Pushpa Kumari, Sarbani Samaddar, Anjana Saxena, Sourav Banerjee and Sivaram V S Mylavarapu. Nucleolin regulates 14-3-3z mRNA and promotes cofilin phosphorylation to induce tunneling nanotube formation FASEB J, 2020,
  6. Aykut B, Chen R, Kim JI, Wu D, Shadaloey S.A, Abengozar R, Preiss P, Saxena A, Pushalkar S, Leinwand J, Diskin B, Wang W., Werba G, Berman M, Lee SKB, Khodadadi-Jamayran A, Saxena D, Coetzee WA, and Miller G. Targeting Piezo1 Unleashes Innate Immunity Against Cancer and Infectious Disease. Science Immunology. 2020, 5(50), PMID: 32826342.
  7. Aykut B, Pushalkar S, ugChen R, Li Q, Abengozar R, Kim JI, Shadaloey SA, Wu D1, Preiss P, Verma N, Guo Y, Saxena A, et al., Miller G., The Fungal Mycobiome Promotes Pancreatic Oncogenesis via MBL Activation. Nature, 574, 264-267, 2019. PMID:31578522,
  8. Zhang X, gXiao S, g#Rameau RD, Devany E, gNadeem Z, gCaglar E, gNg K, Kleiman FE, Saxena A. Nucleolin phosphorylation regulates PARN deadenylase activity during cellular stress response. RNA Biol. Feb 1;15(2):251-260, 2018. 10.1080/15476286.2017.1408764.
  9. Pushalkar S, Hundeyin M, Daley D, Zambirinis CP, Kurz E, Mishra A, Mohan N, Aykut B, Usyk M, Torres LE, Werba G, Zhang K, Guo Y, Li Q, Akkad N, Lall S, Wadowski B, Gutierrez J, Kochen Rossi JA, Herzog JW, Diskin B, Torres-Hernandez A, Leinwand J, Wang W, Taunk PS, Savadkar S, Janal M, Saxena A, Li X, Cohen D, Sartor RB, Saxena D, Miller G. The Pancreatic Cancer Microbiome Promotes Oncogenesis by Induction of Innate and Adaptive Immune Suppression. Cancer Discov. 2018 Apr;8(4):403-416. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-17-1134


Patent US20040248190“Compositions and kits for differential diagnosis of hydatidiform moles and methods of using the same”. Tycko B., Thaker H. and Saxena, A, 2004.

Grants over the last 5 years:

NIH/NIA R01 AG068857 08/15/2020-04/30/2025
Succinate triggers gut dysbiosis and activates SUCNR1 to enhance inflammaging”
Multi-PI: Li (Contact PI), Saxena (Co-Investigator)

NSF, RCN-UBE-Incubator Saxena (PI) 10/1/2022-9/30/22
“The STEM Career Exploration Laboratory Network”
PI: Saxena

The CUNY Enhanced Mechanism (ENHC-51-122), 07/2020-06/2021
“Fungal dysbiosis activate pattern recognition receptors pathways and cause immune suppression to promote pancreatic ductal carcinoma (PDA)”
PI: Saxena

The CUNY Interdisciplinary Research Grant (CIRG) Program 06/2018-06/2020 (no cost extension)
“The role of choline in reducing perinatal stress and improving birth outcomes of gestational diabetes in the high-risk urban population”
Multi-PI: Xinyin Jiang (Brooklyn College) and Anjana Saxena (Brooklyn College)

Sackler Institute for Nutrition Research Grant (NYAS) 6/1/17-2/28/19
“Prenatal betaine supplementation as a treatment for macrosomia in a mouse model of gestational diabetes mellitus.”
Multi-PI: Xinyin Jiang (Brooklyn College) and Anjana Saxena (Brooklyn College)

CUNY Student Technology Fee (STF): to purchase Odyssey Fc DNA and protein imager (2018)