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Mary Ann Comunale

Mary Ann Comunale, EdD, MS

Assistant Professor; Director, Center for Scientific Communications and Outreach


Department: Microbiology & Immunology

Education

  • EdD - Drexel University
  • MS - East Stroudsburg University

Mary Ann Comunale, EdD, MS, is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine, and director of the Center for Scientific Communications and Outreach. As an educator Dr. Comunale is interested in the use of novel learning technologies in higher educational settings. She is currently designing serious games that teach topics in infectious disease, and conducting research on the effectiveness of serious games in higher education. Dr. Comunale also works to provide opportunities for Drexel students to develop the skills required to become change leaders within their discipline while strengthening ties with the Philadelphia community through education and service.

Research Interests

Scientific: Proteomic and glycoproteomic analysis to identify early markers of disease, analytical and clinical assay development.
Educational: Innovative learning technologies including gamification and game based learning.

Research

Over the past decade, Dr. Comunale has worked collaboratively to develop biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatocellular carcinoma can be caused by chronic infection with a virus (hepatitis B and C), excessive alcohol consumption or fatty liver disease. HCC is the third leading cause of liver cancer in the world today. Early detection can increase survival rates from less than 10% to over 80%. Dr. Comunale was part of a team that examined aberrant glycosylation in diseased states that resulted in protein biomarkers that have been patented in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan and China, and licensed to Glycotest LLC. Dr. Comunale has recently focused her research efforts on glycomic, glycoproteomic and proteomic techniques to investigate Lyme disease.

Patent Approvals

Diagnosis of liver pathology through assessment of protein glycosylation
Mary Ann Comunale, Anand Mehta, and Timothy Block
Patent number 7776550

Diagnosis of liver pathology through assessment of anti-gal IgG glycosylation
Mary Ann Comunale, Anand Mehta, and Timothy Block
Patent number 9110078

In the Media

How One University Is Gamifying Biomedical Education
EdSurge (April 17, 2018)

The Karabots Junior Fellows Test a Game About How HIV Spreads
Mütter Center for Education of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia (December 21, 2017)

Biomedical Researchers Try Out New Mobile Game About HIV at Camp Dreamcatcher
Chester County Press (August 29, 2017)

Publications

Selected Research Publications

ER α-glucosidase inhibitor IHVR-19029 against hemorrhagic fever viruses
Ma J., Zhang X, Soloveve V, Warren T, Guo F, Wu S, Su Q, Shen H, Solon E, Comunale MA, Mehta A, Guo J, Savari S, Du Y, Block T, Chang J
Antiviral Research
, 150, 112-122. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.12.008, 2018

Inside front cover: Development and application of a novel recombinant aleuria aurantia lectin with enhanced core fucose binding for identification of glycoprotein biomarkers of hepatocellular carcinoma
Norton P, Comunale MA, Herrera H, Wang M, Houser J, Wimmerova M, Romano P, Mehta A
Proteomics, 16(24), 3126-3136. doi:10.1002/pmic.201600064, 2016

Host erythrocyte environment influences the localization of exported protein 2, an essential component of the Plasmodium translocon
Meibalan E, Comunale MA, Lopez AM, Bergman LW, Mehta A, Vaidya AB and Burns JM Jr.
Eukaryot Cell, 14(4), 371-384. doi:10.1128/EC.00228-14, 2015

Total serum glycan analysis is superior to lectin-FLISA for the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma
Comunale MA, Wang M, Anbarasan N, Betesh L, Karabudak A, Moritz E, Devarajan K, Marrero J, Block T, Mehta A
Proteomics Clin Appl, 7(9-10), 690-700. doi:10.1002/prca.201200125, 2013

"Linkage Specific Fucosylation of Alpha-1-Antitrypsin in Liver Cirrhosis and Cancer Patients: Implications for a Biomarker of Hepatocellular Carcinoma"
Comunale MA, Rodemich-Betesh L, Hafner J, Wang M, Norton P, et al.
PLoS ONE, 5(8): e12419, 2010

"Identification and development of fucosylated glycoproteins as biomarkers of primary hepatocellular carcinoma"
Comunale MA, Wang M, Hafner J, Krakover J, Rodemich L, Kopenhaver B, Long RE, Junaidi O, Bisceglie AM, Block TM, and AS Mehta
Journal of Proteome Research, 8(2): 595-602, 2009.

"Novel fucosylated biomarkers for the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma"
Wang M, Long RE, Comunale MA, Junaidi O, Marrero J, Di Bisceglie, AM, Block, TM, and AS Mehta
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 18(6): 1914-1921, 2009.

"Glycomic characterization of prostate-specific antigen and prostatic acid phosphatase in prostate cancer and benign disease seminal plasma fluids"
White KY, Rodemich L, Nyalwidhe JO, Comunale MA, Clements MA, Lance RS, Schellhammer PF, Mehta AS, Semmes OJ, and RR Drake
Journal of Proteome Research, 8(2): 620-630, 2009.

"N-linked glycosylation of the liver cancer biomarker GP73"
Norton PA, Comunale MA, Krakover J, Rodemich L, Pirog N, D'Amelio A, Philip R, Mehta AS, and TM Block
Journal of Cell Biochemistry, 104(1): 136-149, 2008.

"Increased levels of galactose-deficient anti-Gal immunoglobulin G in the sera of hepatitis C virus-infected individuals with fibrosis and cirrhosis"
Mehta AS, Long RE, Comunale MA, Wang M, Rodemich L, Krakover J, Philip R, Marrero JA, Dwek RA, and TM Block
Journal of Virology, 82(3): 1259-1270, 2008.

"Proteomic analysis of serum associated fucosylated glycoproteins in the development of primary hepatocellular carcinoma"
Comunale MA, Krakover J, Lowman M, Long RE, Philip R, Seeholzer S, Evans AA, Hann HWL, Block TM, and AS Mehta
Journal of Proteome Research, 6(5): 308-315, 2006.

"Use of targeted glycoproteomics to identify serum glycoproteins that correlate with liver cancer in woodchucks and humans"
Block TM, Comunale MA, Romano PM, Lowman M, Fimmel C, Tennant BT, Evans A, London WT, Blumberg B, Dwek RA, Mattu TS, and A Mehta
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 102 (3): 779--84, 2005.

"GP73, a resident Golgi glycoprotein, is a novel serum marker for hepatocellular carcinoma"
Marrero JA, Romano PR, Nikolaeva O, Steel L, Mehta A, Fimmel CJ, Comunale MA, D'Amelio A, Lok AS, and TM Block.
Journal of Hepatology, 43(6): 1007-1012, 2005.

"Comparative proteomic analysis of de-N-glycosylated serum from hepatitis B carriers reveals polypeptides that correlate with disease status"
Comunale MA, Mattu TS, Lowman M, Evans A, London WT, Dwek RA, Block TM, and A Mehta
Proteomics: 4(3): 826-838, 2004.

Book Chapters

Glycosylation and Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Comunale MA and Mehta A
In M. Dunn, L. Jorde, P. Little and S. Subramaniam (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics (Vol. 3): Wiley, 2006

Glycoproteomic Analysis by Two Dimensional Electrophoresis
Comunale MA and Mehta A
In M.A. Tainsky (Ed.), Tumor Marker Discovery (Vol. 520, pp. 59-74): Humana Press, 2009


Contact Information


Research Office

Department of Microbiology & Immunology
245 N. 15th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 215.762.1878
Fax: 215.762.1003