Venkatesh Govindarajan, PhD

Venkatesh Govindarajan, PhD

Venkatesh Govindarajan, PhD

Professor
School of Medicine, Omaha Campus

Academic Appointments

Department

  • Medical Education

Position

  • Professor

Secondary Appointment

  • Biomedical Sciences

Teaching Activity

  • 2006-present Molecular and Cellular Biology Journal Club (BMS 792B)
  • 2007 Spring Advanced Topics in Cell Biology (BMS 703)
  • 2008, 2014 Spring Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology (BMS 704)
  • 2009- present Molecular Cellular Biology Small Groups (IDC 101)
  • 2010 Spring Advanced Topics in Cell Biology (BMS 703)
  • 2010 Spring Developmental Biology (BIO 467)
  • 2012 Spring Muscular/Skeletal/Integument (IDC 211)
  • 2013 Fall Current Topics in Medical Microbiology and Immunology (MIC 790)
  • 2014-present Clinical Embryology (CAN626) course director
  • 2015-present Gross Anatomy (IDC 103)
  • 2016-present Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology (BMS 706)
  • 2016-present Endocrine/Reproductive System (IDC 216)
  • 2016-present Gastrointestinal System (IDC 209)
  • 2016-present Renal-Urinary System (IDC 205)
  • 2017-present Neuroscience (IDC111)
  • 2017-present Neuroscience PBP506
  • 2018-present Cardiovascular System (IDC201)

Publications and Presentations

Articles

  • , 12(6), p. e0179510.
  • , 3:(3)
  • , 5 (4), 711-719
  • , 23(5), 1496-1500.
  • , 20, 6, 7
  • , 11, 876-886
  • , 48, 879-888

Publications

  • , 78(13 Suppl)
  • , 138

Presentations

Research and Scholarship

Research and Scholarship Interests

  • Mucinous colorectal cancers, Pseudomyxoma peritonei, targeted therapy

Current Research Projects

  • Sporadic colorectal cancers comprise a heterogeneous group of tumors and a significant proportion (10-15%) are of the mucinous subtype (defined as >50% of the tumor).  Our research is focused on mucinous colon adenocarcinoma (MCA) and pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP), two cancers arising from mucinous neoplasms of the colon and appendix that show a propensity to disseminate throughout the abdominal cavity.  MCAs are most frequently found in the proximal colon.  The etiology of MCA is poorly understood.  MCAs show a different spectrum of molecular and genetic alterations than nonmucinous CRCs (excessive mucin production, higher microsatellite instability (MSI-H), higher CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (CIMP-H), higher LINE-1 methylation and higher mutation rates for KRAS, BRAF and PIK3CA).  Clinically, MCAs present at a more advanced stage, are more prone to peritoneal dissemination and lymph node metastasis and generally have a poor prognosis.  Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) is a related mucinous neoplasm that arises in the appendix and is prone to peritoneal dissemination.  PMP presents as bulky, multifocal tumor implants within the peritoneal cavity and a characteristic feature of this malignancy is the overproduction of mucinous ascites in patients with advanced disease.  Therapeutic options are limited for PMP patients. Aggressive cytoreductive surgery (reduction of all macroscopic lesions) in conjunction with warmed intraperitoneal chemotherapy (circulation of warmed chemotherapeutic agents within the peritoneal cavity) has been the only treatment intervention shown to improve patient outcomes and facilitate long-term survival in selected patients.  Nevertheless, not all patients respond to treatment and additional therapies that are more effective and less toxic than current approaches are badly needed.  In the laboratory, we employ in vitro (cell and tissue culture), in vivo (cell line-derived and patient-derived xenograft mouse models) and in silico (bioinformatics) approaches to define critical genes and signaling pathways that drive neoplastic growth of these mucinous cancers which in turn, is expected to allow the identification of novel targets for therapy. 

    We have access to the MCA and PMP patient population through the peritoneal neoplastic disease program (directed by Dr. Brian Loggie, surgical oncologist) at Creighton.  In addition to the surgical oncologist, our translational working group includes a pathologist, a pharmacist and a biochemist.  

Awards and Honors

  • Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, Creighton University School of Medicine, SOM M1 students, 2018