Naira V Margaryan


Research Associate II, Hendrix Laboratory

CMRC, 2300 Children's Plaza, Box 222
CMRC, Room 321, 2430 N. Halsted Street Room C.473
Chicago, IL 60614-4314
Phone: (773) 880-4000 ext 56740
Fax: (773) 755-6594








Postdoctoral Fellow, 2nd

The University of Iowa, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology



Postdoctoral Fellow , 1st

The University of Iowa, Department of Neurology




Armenian National Academy of Sciences



postgraduate course

Armenian National Academy of Sciences



D. V. M.

Yerevan Veterinary Institute, Department of Veterinary Medicine

Work Experience






April 2004 - Present

Research Associate II of Dr.Mary J.C. Hendrix laboratory

Children's Memorial Research Center


October 2001 - March 2004

Postdoc of Laboratory of Dr.Mary J.C. Hendrix, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology   

The University of Iowa


March 2001 - September 2001

Postdoc at the Department of Neurology Laboratory of Neurobiology and Cardiovascular Control  

The University of Iowa, IA


November 1989 - 2001

Research Investigator, Department of Histochemistry and Neuromorphology of the Orbeli’ Institute of Physiology

Armenian National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia


September 1986 - December 1986

Senior Research Assistant

Institute of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Aphthous Fever)

Research Interests


One of the goals of our research group and my project is to understand key mechanisms which are responsible for tumor cell plasticity and aggressiveness leading to metastasis, invasion, and abnormal degradation and remodeling of extracellular matrices. Animal models of human cancer have undergone profound improvements in the fidelity of emulating human disease. Tumors require a blood supply for growth and metastases. The sprouting of new vessels from preexisting vasculature, to yield a more refined microcirculation, this is followed by angiogenesis. Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) describes the unique characteristic of aggressive melanoma cells to express endothelial-associated genes and form de novo ECM-rich vasculogenic-like networks in three-dimensional culture. My research interests include designing experiments to elucidating the plasticity of aggressive tumor cells, the molecular mechanisms of tumor cell vasculogenic mimicry in vivo and in vitro; drug testing of various anti-tumor agents; directed and conducted all aspects of animal research including tumor implantation studies and experimental surgeries; morphological studies including routine histology with immunohistochemical and pathological analyses. One of my recent studies have indeed confirmed the presence of a "fluid-conducting meshwork" in melanoma that corresponds to the tumor cell-lined PAS/laminin-positive patterned networks, using i.v. tracers that demonstrated the conduction of fluid. In addition, i.v.-injected microbeads has been shown to rapidly localize to tumor cell-lined channels in malignant melanoma, prostate and ovarian cancer imaging studies, reported in the in vivo perfusion of VM channels. Doppler imaging of the human melanoma xenografts, using microbubbles, demonstrated pulsative turbulent flow at the mouse-human tissue interface (with mouse endothelial-lined neovasculature) and the central region of the tumor contains VM melanoma cell-lined channel-like spaces.

Another study I have been involved in focuses on genes that are expressed by aggressive but not by poorly aggressive cancer cells. Some of these genes are normally involved in regulating coagulation, or blood-clotting, activity. This study suggests that the expression of these genes by aggressive tumor cells provides the cells with anticoagulant capabilities that are similar to those in blood vessel cells. Finally, during studies involving Notch signaling in melanoma, we used a γ-secretase tripeptide inhibitor (GSI), selected from a group of compounds originally used in Alzheimer’s diseases, to induce apoptosis in all the melanoma cell lines tested. We concluded that GSI is highly effective in killing melanoma cells while sparing normal melanocytes. Our in vivo data using a xenograft animal model lay the foundation for additional preclinical testing and future clinical trials in melanoma patients.

Lab Affiliations


M.J.C.Hendrix Research Laboratory

Recent Publications


Seftor E.A., Meltzer P.S., Kirschmann D.A., Margaryan N.V., Seftor R.E.B., and Hendrix M.J.C. (In Press). The epigenetic influence of the tumor microenvironment on melanoma plasticity in MeadowsGG, Integration/Interaction of Oncogenic Growth. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Qin J.Z., Stennett L., Bacon P., Bodner B., Hendrix M.J.C., Seftor R.E.B., Seftor E.A., Margaryan N.V., Pollock P.M., Curtis A., Trent J.M., Bennett F., Miele L., and Nickoloff B. J. (August, 2004). p53-independent NOXA induction overcomes apoptotic resistance of malignant melanomas.. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics: 895-902 .
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Ruf W., Seftor E.A., Petrovan R.J., Weiss R.M., Gruman L.M., Margaryan N.V., Seftor R.E.B., Miyagi Y., and Hendrix M.J.C. (September, 2003). Differential role of tissue factor pathway inhibitors 1 and 2 (TFPI-1 and 2) in melanoma vasculogenic mimicry. . Cancer Research: 5381-5389.
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2001 - Young Investigators Award to attend the 34th IUPS from the New Zealand Physiological Conf. Society

1998 - Travel Grant Award from the Open Society Institute (USA) to attend the 3rd ISP-98 in Finland

1986 - Honorary Reward for progress in studies and active participation from Lenin Communistic League

1985 - Honorary Award for the best participation in the Student Scientific Conf. of the Veterinary Inst.

1984 - Prize of Diploma of 3rd Degree for student research in social studies, history of the Communism

1984 - Honorary Award for the presentation at the Student Scientific Conference from Lithuanian Vet. Acad.

1983 - 2nd Prize at the Undercaucasian Student Competition for Society Sciences (Yerevan, Armenia)

1982-1986 - Study Scholarship for excellent performance in the Dept. of Veterinary Medicine of Yerevan Vet.Inst.

Curriculum Vitae


View Adobe Acrobat PDF file of Naira Margaryan's CV.

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