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Pulivarthi Rao


Texas Medical Center

Cancer and Hematology
Phone: 832-824-4820
Fax: 832-825-4038


1102 Bates Ave., Ste. 1030.16
Houston, TX 77030

Research Laboratory

Research Area

Pulivarthi H. Rao, PhD

Director, Cancer Cytogenetics Core Laboratory, Texas Children’s Cancer Center
Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine


School Education Degree Year
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Human Genetics Post-doctoral Fellow 1988
Nagarjuna University, India PhD Doctor of Philosophy 1988


Organization Name Role
American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) Member
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Member
American Society for Human Genetics (ASHG) Member
American Society of Hematology (ASH) Member
Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Associate Member

Research Statement

Dr. Pulivarthi Rao is Director of the Cancer Cytogenetics Core Laboratory and a principal investigator for the Cancer Genetics and Genomics Program at Texas Children's Cancer and Hematology Center. He is certified with a Clinical Laboratory Cytogenetics Director License by the New York State Department of Health.

The main goals of the Rao laboratory are to identify oncogenes from the amplified chromosomal regions and the role of genomic instability in osteosarcoma (OS). Osteosarcoma is the most frequent bone neoplasm in children and often present with a high number of chromosomal amplifications and deletions, suggesting that genomic instability is linked to tumor development.

Recently, we identified CDC5L, a cell cycle regulator gene as target for 6p12-p21 amplicon found in osteosarcoma. Our recent in vivo studies suggest that CDC5L was a potential oncogene.

The goal of the laboratory is to investigate the role of CDC5L in the development of genomic instability and progression of osteosarcoma by overexpressing CDC5L cDNA and down-regulating by SiRNA in normal osteoblasts. A wide range of functional, comparative and cytogenetic techniques will be utilized in these studies, including: conventional and molecular cytogenetics- FISH, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), multicolor spectral karyotyping (SKY), and array CGH.

Selected Publications

Overholtzer M, Rao PH, Favis R, Lu XY, Elowitz MB, Barany F, Ladanyi M, Gorlick R, Levine AJ. The presence of p53 mutations in human osteosarcomas correlates with high levels of genomic instability. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2003;100(20):11547-52.

Man TK, Lu XY, Jaeweon K, Perlaky L, Harris CP, Shah S, Ladanyi M, Gorlick R, Lau CC, Rao PH. Genome-wide array comparative genomic hybridization analysis reveals distinct amplifications in osteosarcoma. BMC Cancer, 2004, 4(1): 45.

Lau CC, Harris CP, Lu XY, PerlakyL, Gogineni S, Chintagumpala M, Hicks J, Johnson ME, Davino NA, HuvosAG, Meyers PA, Healy JH, Gorlick R, Rao PH. Frequent amplification and rearrangement of chromosomal bands 6p12-p21 and 17p11.2 in osteosarcoma. Genes Chromosomes Cancer 2004; 39:11–21.

Lu XY, Lu Y, Zhao YJ, Jaeweon K , Kang J, Li X, Ge G, Meyer R, PerlakyL, Hicks J, Chintagumpala M, Cai WW, Ladanyi M, Gorlick R, Lau CC, Pati D, Sheldon M, Rao PH. Cell Cycle Regulator Gene CDC5L, a Potential Target for 6p12-p21 Amplicon in Osteosarcoma. Mol Cancer Res 2008;6(6): 937–4.

Tao J, Jiang MM, Jiang L, Salvo JS, Zeng HC, Dawson B, Bertin TK, Rao PH, Chen R, Donehower LA, Gannon F, Lee BH. Notch activation as a driver of osteogenic sarcoma. Cancer Cell. 2014;26(3):390-401. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.07.023.

Zhao S, Kurenbekova L, Gao Y, Roos A, Creighton CJ, Rao P, Hicks J, Man TK, Lau C, Brown AM,   Jones SN, Lazar AJ, Ingram D, Lev D, Donehower LA, Yustein JT. NKD2, a negative regulator of     Wnt signaling, suppresses tumor growth and metastasis in osteosarcoma. Oncogene. 2015 Sep 24;34(39):5069-79.

Rao PH, Zhao S, Zhao YJ, Yu A, Rainusso N, Trucco M, Allen-Rhoades W, Satterfield L, Fuja D, Borra VJ, Man TK, Donehower LA, Yustein JT. Coamplification of Myc/Pvt1 and homozygous deletion of Nlrp1 locus are frequent genetics changes in mouse osteosarcoma. Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2015;54(12):796-808.

View publications on the National Library of Medicine

View publications on PubMed



* Texas Children's Hospital physicians' licenses and credentials are reviewed prior to practicing at any of our facilities. Sections titled From the Doctor, Professional Organizations and Publications were provided by the physician's office and were not verified by Texas Children's Hospital.