VCU Massey Cancer Center


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Gordon D. Ginder, M.D.

Massey Cancer Center research program membership

Cancer Biology

Department affiliations

Professor and Eminent Scholar, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics, School of Medicine
Professor and Eminent Scholar, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine
Professor and Eminent Scholar, Division of Hematology-Oncology and Palliative Care, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine

Endowed and distinguished chair or professorship

Jeanette and Eric Lipman Chair in Oncology


MD, Johns Hopkins University (1975)

Awards and honors

Virginia's Outstanding Scientist of the Year, 2003, The Governor of Virginia
W. Robert Irby Award for Philanthropic Leadership, 2002, The MCV Foundation

Research description

My lab research is focused on epigenetic regulation of hematopoietic gene regulation during differentiation in normal erythropoiesis and in hematologic and other malignancies. Currently we are studying the role of the epigenetic chromatin remodeling complex, NuRD. We have shown the NuRD complex promotes cancer cell growth. Our current focus is on acute leukemia, and we have found that depletion of NuRD complex components induces apoptosis in acute leukemia, markedly reduces clonogenic growth and sensitizes leukemia cells to genotoxic agents used in standard chemotherapy regimens, while having minimal effect on normal hematopoietic progenitor cells. Our collaborative research on the structure of NuRD have identified key protein-protein interactions within the complex and that disruption of these abrogates the pro-oncogenic activity of NuRD. Our previous studies have shown pro-oncogenic activity of NuRD in triple negative breast cancer cells. Interestingly, we have found that a specific NuRD complex,MBD2-NuRD is essential for the silencing of fetal hemoglobin expression in adult erythroid cells. Depletion or disruption of MBD2 NuRD results in very high levels of fetal hemoglobin in human adult erythroid cells that would be sufficient to prevent sickling in sickle cell anemia patients. Thus, many of our approaches to understanding the NuRD complexes and targeting them therapeutically have potential application in resistant acute leukemia and sickle cell anemia. I also have served as site PI on clinical trials in hematologic malignancies and collaborated with members of the Cancer Prevention and Control on studies of cancer disparities in treatment and clinical trial participation.

Disease focus of research

Breast, Hematologic Malignancies

Research keywords

Animal models,Apoptosis,Cancer cell biology,Cancer education,Cancer therapy resistance,Clinical trials,DNA damage,Epigenetics,Genomics,Molecular medicine,Proteomics,Translational science,Tumor suppressors

Published research (during tenure as a Massey Cancer Center member)

Search In PubMed

Contact information