Steven S. Carey

Recent Graduate
Year Entered Program: 
Grad Year: 
Degrees Received: 
  • BS, University of Arizona, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics / Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2004
  • PhD, University of Arizona, Cancer Biology / Medical Pharmacology (minor), 2008
  • MD, Phd, University of Arizona, 2012
  • Residency, University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, Pediatrics
3rd Year Hem/Onc Fellow: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital | Memphis, TN.
Thesis Advisor: 
Laurence Hurley, PhD, DSc
Thesis Research: 

My doctoral research was performed in the Laurence Hurley laboratory and focused on identifying and developing novel compounds for the treatment of human cancers. Using a molecular targeted approach, we selected compounds that interact with two key cancer targets, the G-quadruplex of the c-Myc promoter and p-glycoprotein. c-Myc is an oncogene that is overexpressed in a variety of cancers and has a unique secondary structure, the G-quadruplex. Because the secondary structure of the c-Myc promoter has been involved in transcription regulation, we selected a compound that stabilizes the G-quadruplex, resulting in transcriptional repression of c-Myc. Our other project focused on targeting the p-glycoprotein, an ABC transporter that has been implicated in multidrug resistance and poor patient prognosis. In order to prevent multidrug resistance, we further developed a natural product Psorospermin. Although Psorospermin had previously been developed as an alkylating agent, we identified additional activity as a multidrug resistance modulator. We have shown that Psorospermin can directly interact with p-glycoprotein to inhibit p-glycoprotein-mediated efflux of chemotherapeutic agents from cancer cells. We believe that the compounds identified in these projects can be further optimized and eventually enter clinical trials.

Honors & Awards: 

Commitment to Underserved People (CUP) Leadership Award, 2010.

Leadership Award for Excellence, 2010.

Selected Publications: 


Publications Prior to Entering MD-PhD Program:

Presentations and Abstracts (outside the University of Arizona):

  • Carey SS.
    Regulation of Nuclear Localization of the p53 Tumor-Suppressor Protein.
    Presenter, Western Student Medical Research Forum, Carmel, CA. February 2005.
    Journal of Investigative Medicine, Vol. 53, (1) #418, 2005.  
  • Carey SS, Gleason-Guzman M, Shaw A, Gokhole V, Hurley LH.
    Identification of the Structural Basis of Drug Resistance-Reversal by Psorospermin.
    Presenter, American Association of Cancer Researchers Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. April 2007.
  • Carey SS.
    Drug Targeting of the G-quadruplex/nm23-H2 Complex in the c-Myc Promoter.
    Presenter, Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program Era of Hope 2008 Meeting, Baltimore, MD. June 2008.
  • Carey SS.
    Characterization of treatment and outcome of intracranial neoplasms in the first 120 days of life.
    Presenter, St. Jude Children Research Hospital, Memphis, TN. August 2009.