Maria Shoshan, PhD
Dr. Maria Shoshan has a background in chemistry and microbiology, including a Ph.D. in Medical Microbiology at the Karolinska Institute in 1993. Her thesis was on the effects of a bacterial toxin on cultured human cells, and was followed by postdoc work on the effects of chemotherapeutic drugs on cultured cancer cells at the Radiumhemmet Research Lab affiliated both to the Karolinska Institute and the Radiumhemmet clinic. The ensuing studies dealt with cell death molecular mechanisms induced by chemotherapy, but also signal transduction and gene expression induced by oncogenic Ras. In 2000, she was made Associate Professor in Experimental Oncology; in 2009 she attained professorial competence and in 2012 Senior Lecturer in Tumor and Cell Biology. Since 2010, Dr. Shoshan is also involved in teaching at the medical school of the Karolinska Institute, on the subjects of Scientific Communication and Medical Science Methodology.
The understanding that altered metabolism is a major feature of cancer cells surfaced in the early 2000’s and became a major interest in Dr. Shoshan´s lab, in particular as a potential target for therapy and for identifying biomarkers related to tumor progression. Recent work deals with cancer stem cell markers in ovarian cancer and an in vitro cancer stem cell model; moreover, the role of mitochondria in such cells and in cancer cell stress resistance. Collaborations with clinicians provide insights into human tumor biology and clinical challenges. In 2016, Dr. Shoshan received the Environmental Medicine prize of the Swedish Cancer&Allergy Foundation for work and projects on the role of mitochondria in cancer.