Natalia Ignatenko, PhD

Associate Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine Res - (Research Scholar Track)
Associate Professor, Cancer Biology - GIDP
Email Address: 
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-8044

UACC Information

UACC Organizational Unit(s): 
Professional Bio: 

Dr. Ignatenko has been a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center faculty for over 16 years. She has been involved in colorectal cancer (CRC) research with the focus on the molecular mechanisms of detection and development of novel strategies for prevention and treatment of GI cancers.  

Dr. Ignatenko has a broad background in cancer biology with specific training and expertise in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology of polyamines and mouse models of gastrointestinal cancer. Her research is focused on evaluating the effects of genetic and dietary risk factors in colon carcinogenesis using cell culture and animal models.

Dr. Ignatenko's research is focused on molecular mechanisms of detection and prevention of gastrointestinal malignancies. Currently, her laboratory investigates the regulation and pathophysiological functions of kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) in colorectal cancer with the focus on cancer cells invasion and metastasis. KLK6 is a secreted serine protease with the specific function to cleave components of the extracellular matrix and activate latent growth factors involved in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) pathways. Their recent findings indicate that KLK6 expression in colon cancer cells is determined by the tumor subtype and the genetic mutations developed during the colon cancer progression. KLK6 protein will be useful for imaging purposes and an appropriate target for evaluation as a colon biomarker.

Dr. Ignatenko also has expertise in developing Genetically Engineered Mouse (GEM) models of gastrointestinal cancer and lead Mouse Experimentation Unit of the University of Arizona Cancer Center Experimental Mouse Shared Resource.

Research Information

Research Program: 
Therapeutic Development
Selected Publications: 

Professional Information

Positions and Honors: 

2008-present, Assocoate Professor (Research Track), Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine ,  University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
2007-present , Director , Mouse Experimentation Unit,  University of Arizona Cancer Center. Co-Director, Experimental Mouse Shared Resource (EMSR)
2003-2008, Assistant Professor (Research Track), Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy,  University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
1999-2003, Assistant Professor (Research Track), Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, Arizona
1992-1999, Postdoc, University of Arizona Cancer Center, Tucson, Arizona
1989-1992, Postdoc, Cancer Biology, RE Kavetsky IEPOR, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine
1989, Ph.D. Oncology,  RE Kavetsky Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology (IEPOR), National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine (formerly RE Kavetsky Institute of Oncology Problems, Academy of  Science of  the USSR).
1984, MS, Biophysics, Shevchenko Kiev State University, Kiev, Ukraine, USSR

Academic Information

Doctorate: 
Oncology, RE Kavetsky Institute of Oncology Problems Academy of Science of the USSR, Kiev, Ukraine