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Paul Campbell

Paul Campbell, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department: Pharmacology & Physiology


  • BSc and MSc - University of Toronto
  • PhD in Pharmacology & Therapeutics - McGill University
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Memberships / Professional Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • AACR – Minorities in Cancer Research
  • AACR – Tumor Microenvironment Workgroup

Dr. Campbell is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at Drexel University College of Medicine. He teaches in Medical Pharmacology, as well as in the graduate programs in Pharmacology and Physiology, Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics, and Cancer Biology. He is currently the course director for Methods in Biomedical Research.

Research Overview

Research Interests

Cancer cell biology, signaling, tumor microenvironment, tumor invasion and metastasis.


The greatest clinical problems in cancer arise when tumors spread and migrate to other parts of the body. As such, the research focus of our lab is to understand the signaling mechanisms of cancer invasion and metastasis. The lab has a concentration on the role of the K-Ras family of small GTPase signaling molecules in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), however discoveries in PDAC metastasis may be applied to other tumors, and new information gained from the lab PDAC studies might point to novel targets for other cancers as well.

PDAC is the most fatal gastrointestinal cancer, with KRAS mutated in >90% of tumors. An important but underappreciated area of malignancy is the influence of K-Ras signaling among the epithelial, stromal and vascular components of the tumor microenvironment. Tumors need a blood supply in order to both expand and spread, and our recent research indicates that the K-Ras signaling cascades link different cellular populations of the tumor microenvironment in the initiation of angiogenesis. Our work investigates the particulars of intra- and intercellular signaling to promote tumor growth and metastasis and prevent cell death and senescence. The lab uses a variety of cancer cell lines, genetically-engineered cells, pharmacology, molecular biology, animal modeling and translational science to understand cancer metastasis and to discover and validate targets for drug development.

Research Support

PhRMA Foundation – Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Award - Targeting Paracrine Mediators in the Primary and Metastatic Tumor Microenvironments

American Cancer Society – CXC-CXCR2 Paracrine Signaling in In Vivo Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Metastasis

Drexel University Clinical & Translational Research Institute Award – Pancreatic Cancer Progression Depends on Interactive Tumor Microenvironment Signaling


Selected References

“CRISPR knockout of the HuR gene in pancreatic and colorectal cancer cells causes a xenograft lethal phenotype”
S. Lal*, E. Cheung*, M. Zarei*, R. Preet, S.N. Chand, N.C. Mambelli-Lisboa, C. Romeo, M.C. Stout, E. Londin, A. Goetz, C. Yabar, A. Nevler, C.J. Yeo, P.M. Campbell, J.M. Winter, D.A. Dixon, J.R. Brody
Molecular Cancer Research, PMID: 28242812, January 2017
*These authors contributed equally to this work.

"Analyzing Ras-associated Cell Proliferation Signaling"
M.C. Stout, E. Asiimwe, J.R. Birkenstamm, S.Y. Kim, P.M. Campbell
Methods Mol Biol, 1170:393-409 (2014)

"Oncogenic Ras pushes (and pulls) cell cycle progression through ERK activation"
P.M. Campbell
Methods Mol Biol, 1170:155-163 (2014)

“Epicatechin-rich cocoa polyphenol inhibits Kras-activated pancreatic ductal carcinoma cell growth in vitro and in a mouse model”
H.R. Siddique, D.J. Liao, S.K. Mishra, T. Schuster, L. Wang, B. Matter, P.M. Campbell, P. Villalta, S. Nanda, Y. Deng, M. Saleem
International Journal of Cancer, 131:1720 (2012)

"Targeting Ras for anti-cancer drug discovery"
J.J. Yeh, J.P. Madigan, P.M. Campbell, P.J. Roberts, L.M. DeGraffrenreid and C.J. Der
In Intercellular Signaling in Development and Disease, E.A. Dennis and R.A. Bradshaw, eds. Elsevier Press, pp. 335-355 (2011)

"TLN-4601 suppresses growth and induces apoptosis of pancreatic carcinoma cells through inhibition of Ras-MAPK signaling"
P.M. Campbell*, N. Boufaied*, J.J. Fiordalisi, A.D. Cox, P. Falardeau, C.J. Der and H. Gourdeau * These authors contributed equally to this work.
Journal of Molecular Signaling, 5:18 (2010)

"K-Ras promotes angiogenesis mediated by immortalized human pancreatic epithelial cells through MAP kinase signaling pathways"
Y. Matsuo*, P.M. Campbell*, R.A. Brekken, B. Sung, M.M. Ouellette, J.B. Fleming, B.B. Aggarwal, C.J. Der and S. Guha * These authors contributed equally to this work.
Molecular Cancer Research, 7:799-808 (2009)

"Targeting Ras for anti-cancer drug discovery"
J.J. Yeh, J.P. Madigan, P.M. Campbell, P.J. Roberts, L.M. DeGraffrenreid, C.J. Der
In Handbook of Cell Signaling, 2nd Edition, R.A. Bradshaw and E.A. Dennis, eds. Oxford: Academic Press, pp. 2837-2857 (2009)

"Ras-driven transformation of human nestin-positive pancreatic epithelial cells"
P.M. Campbell, K.M. Lee, M.M. Ouellette, H.J. Kim, A.L. Groehler, V. Khazak, C.J. Der
Methods Enzymol 439:451-65 (2008)

"K-Ras promotes growth transformation and invasion of immortalized human pancreatic cells by Raf and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling"
P.M. Campbell, A.L. Groehler, K.M. Lee, M.M. Ouellette, V. Khazak and C.J. Der
Cancer Research, 67:2098-2106 (2007)

"Divergent roles for RalA and RalB in malignant growth of human pancreatic carcinoma cells"
K.H. Lim, K. O'Hayer, S.J. Adam, S.D. Kendall, P.M. Campbell, C.J. Der and C.M. Counter
Current Biology, 16:2385-2394 (2006)

"Genetic and pharmacologic dissection of Ras effector utilization"
P.M. Campbell, A. Singh, F.J. Williams, K. Frantz, A.S. Ülkü, G.G. Kelley and C.J. Der
Methods in Enzymology, 407:195-217 (2006)

"Methylated DNA binding protein 2 antisense inhibitors suppress tumorigenesis of human cancer lines in vitro and in vivo"
P.M. Campbell, V. Bovenzi, M. Szyf
Carcinogenesis 25:499-507 (2004)

"Oncogenic Ras and its role in invasion and metastasis"
P.M. Campbell and C.J. Der
Seminars in Cancer Biology, 14(2):105-14 (2004)

"The role of active demethylation in cancer and its therapeutic potential"
M. Szyf , P.M. Campbell, N. Detich, J-N. Ou, S. Hamm, V. Bovenzi
In DNA Methylation and Cancer Therapy, Landes Bioscience Publishing (2004)


Recent Presentations

Grand Rounds, Department of Surgery
Drexel University College of Medicine, November 2015

Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling Program
Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, February 2014

Advancing the Health Care of Children Symposium
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, January 2014

Greater Philadelphia Prostate Cancer Working Group
Kimmel Cancer Center, January 2013

Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling Program
Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, August 2012

Department of Surgery
Thomas Jefferson University, May 2012

Translational Medicine & Applied Biotechnology Workshop
Drexel University, May 2012

Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Program
Drexel University, February 2012

Contact Information

Research Office

Department of Pharmacology & Physiology
245 N. 15th Street
Mail Stop 488
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.762.8544
Fax: 215.762.2299