Tomoo Iwakuma, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Genetics

Department of Genetics/Cancer Center
Room 439, 533 Bolivar Street
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 568-3235
Fax: (504)568-8500


MD - 1991
Kyushu University in Japan

PhD - 1997
Kyushu University in Japan


Dr. Iwakuma received an M.D. at Kyushu University in Japan, majoring in Orthopedics. He received his Ph.D. at the Department of Biochemistry at the same University. He spent several years as a research fellow studying gene therapy, pharmacology, and molecular genetics in different laboratories. Following postdoctoral training at the Department of Molecular Genetics at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, he joined LSU, Department of Genetics/Cancer Center, as an assistant professor as of August 15, 2005.

Dr. Iwakuma's primary research focuses on the field of Cancer Research, especially dissecting the mechanism of cancer metastasis in mice, characterizing osteosarcoma tumor-initiating cells, dissecting protein function in the tumor suppressor p53 pathway, and applying disease models to translational research, to ultimately cure cancer.

Research Interests
  • Dissecting the mechanism of cancer metastasis in mouse models
  • Characterizing osteosarcoma tumor-initiating cells
  • Mitotic checkpoint and chromosome instability
  • Functional analysis of mutant p53 function
Selected Publications

Adhikari AS, Agarwal N, Iwakuma T#. Metastatic potential of Tumor-Initiating Cells in Solid Tumors. Frontiers in Bioscience 2011, Jan 1;16:1927-1938.  

Post SM, Quintás-Cardama A, Pant V, Iwakuma T, Hamir A, Jackson JG, Maccio DR, Bond GL, Johnson DG, Levine AJ, Lozano G. A High-Frequency Regulatory Polymorphism in the p53 Pathway Accelerates Tumor Development. Cancer Cell2010, Sep 14;18(3):220-230.
 PMID: 20832750

Adhikari A, Agarwal N, Wood BM, Pochampally RR, Constance P, Iwakuma T#. CD117 and Stro-1 identify osteosarcoma tumor-initiating cells associated with metastasis and drug resistance. Cancer Research 2010, 70(11): 4602-4612. PMID: 20460510

Odvody J, Vincent T, Arrate MP, Grieb B, Wang S, Garriga J, Lozano G, Iwakuma T, Haines DS, Eischen CM. A deficiency in Mdm2 binding protein inhibits Myc-induced B-cell proliferation and lymphomagenesis. Oncogene 2010, 29(22): 3287-3296. PMID: 20305689. PMCID: PMC2880662

Busso CS, Iwakuma T, Izumi T. Ubiquitination of mammalian AP endonuclease (APE1) regulated by the p53-MDM2 signaling pathway. Oncogene 2009, 28(13):1616-1625. PMID: 19219073. PMCID: PMC2664849

Terzian T, Suh Y-A, Iwakuma T, Post SM, Neumann M, Lang GA, Van Pelt CS, Lozano G. The inherent instability of mutant p53 is alleviated by Mdm2 or p16INK4a loss. Genes & Development 2008, 22(10): 1337-1344. PMID: 18483220. PMCID: PMC2377188

Iwakuma T#, Tochigi Y, Van Pelt CS, Caldwell LC, Terzian T, Parant JM, Chau GP, Koch J, Eischen CM, Lozano G#. Mtbp haploinsufficiency in mice increases tumor metastasis. Oncogene 2008, 27(13):1813-1820. #Corresponding authors. PMID: 17906694

Iwakuma T, Lozano G. Crippling p53 activities via knockin mutations in mouse models. Oncogene 2007, 2177-2184. Review. PMID: 17401426

Iwakuma T, Lozano G, Flores ER. Li-Fraumeni Syndrome: a p53 Family Affair.Cell Cycle 2005, 4 (7): 41 - 43. Extra-Views. PMID: 15917654

Lang GA*,Iwakuma T*, Suh A-Y, Liu G, Rao VA, Parant JM, Valentin-Vega YA, Terzian T, Caldwell LC, Strong LC, El-Naggar AK, Lozano G. Gain of Function of a p53 hot spot mutation in a mouse model of Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Cell2004, 119 (6): 861-872. *These two authors contributed equally to this study. PMID: 15607981 

Additional Info

Tomoo Iwakuma, M.D., PhD, Biosketch