Dr. Asoke Mal Asoke Mal, PhD

Asoke Mal


Specializing In:

Skeletal muscle differentiation Pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma Molecular and Cellular Biology Epigenetics and Biochemistry

About Asoke Mal


Asoke K. Mal, PhD, joined the faculty of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Cellular Stress Biology.  In addition to his research activities, Dr. Mal also serves as a Co-Chair of the Pediatric Translational Research Group (TRG) at Roswell Park.

Dr. Mal came to Roswell Park from the Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, where he was a faculty member in the Department of Molecular Genetics. He earned his doctoral degree in 1993 in Biochemistry from University of Calcutta, India. Dr. Mal has authored or co-authored several journal publications, and he is a member of the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology
  • Department of Cell Stress Biology


Education and Training:

  • 1993 - PhD - Biochemistry. University of Calcutta, India
  • 1985 - BS - University of Calcutta, India


Research Overview:

Dr. Mal’s laboratory focuses on pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a family of highly aggressive myogenic cancers usually occurring in children and adolescents. Despite intensive traditional multimodal therapy, outcomes for high-risk patients with RMS have not significantly improved, and survival of metastatic or relapsed disease remains extremely poor. Specific goals of his research program include the identification of signaling and epigenetic vulnerabilities in RMS and understanding associated molecular mechanisms to derive novel therapeutic targets for treatments for these patients. His laboratory uses multidisciplinary approaches involving cell cultures and animal models to study the biological consequence of these events in RMS tumor growth and progression. His efforts also involve a drug-discovery approach, where he leverages current understanding of RMS to screen for and identify novel compounds which could be exploited as potential agents in therapeutic intervention for this cancer.

  • Charles Keller, MD, Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute, USA
  • Mathivan Jothi, PhD, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS), India
  • Mukund Seshadri, PhD, DDS, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA
  • Eugene Yu, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA
  • Dhyan Chandra, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA


Full Publications list on PubMed
  1. Wolff DW, Lee MH, Jothi M, Mal M, Li F, Mal AK. Camptothecin Exhibits Topoisomerase1-independent KMT1A suppression and myogenic differentiation in rhabdomyosarcoma cells. Oncotarget, 2018; 9 (40): 25796-25807, PMCID: PMC5995248
  2. Chatterjee B, Wolff DW, Jothi M, Mal M, Mal AK. P38a-MAPK disables KMT1A-mediated repression of myogenic differentiation program, Skeletal Muscle, 2016; Aug 22, 6: 28. PMCID: PMC4993004
  3. Jothi M, Mal M, Keller C, Mal AK. Small molecule inhibition of PAX3-FOXO1 through AKT activation suppresses malignant phenotypes of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Mol. Cancer Ther., (2013); 12(12), 2663-2674. PMCID: PMC3858449
  4. Jothi M, Nishijo K, Keller C, Mal AK. AKT and PAX3-FKHR cooperation enforces myogenic differentiation blockade in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cell. Cell Cycle, 2012:11(5): 895-908. PCMID: PMC3323795
  5. Lee MH, Jothi M, Gudkov AV, Mal AK. Histone methyltransferase KMT1A restrains entry of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma cells into myogenic differentiated state, Cancer Res., 2011; 71 (11): 3921-3931. PMCID: PMC3107367

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