case western reserve university



Nancy Oleinick

Radiation Oncology
Biochemistry, Environmental Health Sciences, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Contact | Eduction| Research | Potential Impact | Publications | Fields | Web Site


Phone: (216) 368-1117
Fax: (216) 368-1142
Office: School of Medicine, BRB-324, Cleveland, OH 44106-7222


Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University Pittsburgh
B.S. in Chemistry, Chatham College


Mechanism of Photosensitization

Investigating the mechanism of cellular responses to photosensitizers and light (photodynamic therapy, PDT), focusing on Pc 4, a phthalocyanine photosensitizer developed by our group, determining where Pc 4 binds in cancer cells, which membrane components are initially photodamaged, and how lethally damaged cells are eliminated by apoptosis or autophagy.

Photodynamic Therapy of Cancer

Evaluating biomarkers of tumor response to PDT in collaboration with dermatologists conducting a clinical trial of Pc 4-PDT for skin cancer.

Imaging of PDT Response

Exploring imaging modalities that can report on mechanisms of response of model tumors to PDT, in collaboration with various other laboratories.

Nanoparticles for Photodynamic Therapy

Developing new nanoparticle-photosensitizer conjugates for delivery of the photosensitizer to tumors and studying their photochemical, cellular, and biochemical, as well as their ability to improve PDT of model tumors


This research will enhance understanding of mechanisms of PDT in cells and tumors, improve the delivery of photosensitizers to tumors, and contribute to the clinical progress of PDT with Pc 4.


J Usuda, SM Chiu, ES Murphy, M Lam, AL Nieminen, NL Oleinick, Domain-dependent photodamage to Bcl-2: A membrane-anchorage region is needed to form the target of phthalocyanine photosensitization, J. Biol. Chem. 278: 2021-2029 (2003).

LY Xue, SM Chiu, NL Oleinick, Differential Responses of Mcl-1 in Photosensitized epithelial vs. lymphoid-derived human cancer cells. Oncogene 24: 6987-6992 (2005).

SM Chiu, LY Xue, K Azizuddin, and NL Oleinick, Photodynamic therapy-induced death of HCT116 cells: Apoptosis with or without Bax expression. Apoptosis 10: 1357-1368 (2005).

JE George, Y Ahmad, D Varghai, X Li, J Berlin, D Jackowe, M Jungermann, MS Wolfe, L Lilge, A Totonchi, RL Morris, A Peterson, WD Lust, ME Kenney, CL Hoppel, J Sun, NL Oleinick, D Dean. Pc 4 photodynamic therapy of U87-derived human glioma in the nude rat, Lasers Med. Surg. 36: 383-389 (2005).