Vera Chesnokova, PhD

Associate Professor, Medicine

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Vera Chesnokova, PhD

Associate Professor, Medicine

The research of Vera Chesnokova, PhD, focuses on the molecular and physiological mechanism of pituitary tumor development and the role of pituitary cell senescence in tumor growth. She found that expression of senescence-associated proteins restrains pituitary tumor development in mice and may underlie slow growth of pituitary tumors in humans. Dr. Chesnokova also is studying the role of pituitary and local growth hormone in colon tumor development. Her research showed that growth hormone suppresses major tumor suppressor proteins, including p53, PTEN and APC, creating a pro-tumorigenic environment in the colon. Her current research also includes mechanisms of neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus and the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in new neuron and glia development in the human and murine brain. She studies the role of cell cycle proteins in the generation of new neurons and mechanisms underlying stimulation of adult neurogenesis by antidepressants. Her research showed that cell cycle inhibitor p21 plays a key role in restraining neuronal proliferation in the hippocampus and that the action of antidepressants on neurogenesis occurs via p21 suppression.

View NIH Biographical Sketch as a PDF

  • Undergraduate: Novosibirsk State University, 1973
  • Doctorate: Institute of Cytology and Genetics, 1983
  • Member, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, 2003-present
  • Editorial Board: Frontiers in Endocrinology, Pituitary, Current
  • Editorial Board: Frontiers in Systems and Translational Endocrinology, Current
  • Independent Investigator Award, NARSAD, 2009
  • Young Investigator Award, NARSAD, 2003
  • Young Investigator Award, Cedars-Sinai, 1999

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Click here for a list of peer-reviewed publications.

  • Chesnokova V, Zonis S, Rubinek T., Yu R, Ben-Shlomo A, Kovacs K, , Wawrowsky K, and S. Melmed. Senescence Mediates Pituitary Hypoplasia and Restrains Pituitary Tumor Growth. Cancer Res 2007; 67(21):1-9.
  • Robert N. Pechnick , Svetlana Zonis, Kolja Wawrowsky, Jonathan Pourmorady, and Vera Chesnokova. p21Cip1 restricts neuronal proliferation in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jan 29;105(4):1358-63.Featured in Commentaries:Kathryn A. Cunningham and Cheryl S. Watson Cell cycle regulation, neurogenesis, and depression.PNAS 2008 105 (7) 2259-2260.
  • Hot Topic Series. Pechnick RN, Chesnokova V. Adult Neurogenesis, Cell Cycle and Drug Discovery in Psychiatry.Neuropsychopharmacology, 2009, 34: 244 Dec;23(12):1383-94.
  • Chesnokova V, Zonis S, Kovacs K, Ben-Shlomo A, Wawrowsky K, Bannykh S, Melmed S p21(Cip1) restrains pituitary tumor growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 11;105(45):17498-503.
  • Chesnokova V, Zhou C, Ben-Shlomo A, Zonis S, Tani Y, Ren SG, Melmed S. Growth hormone is a cellular senescence target in pituitary and nonpituitary cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013 110:E3331-E3339
  • Zonis S, Ljubimov VA, Mahgerefteh M, Pechnick NR , Wawrowsky K, and Chesnokova V. p21Cip restrains hippocampal neurogenesis and protects neuronal progenitors from apoptosis during acute systemic inflammation. Hippocampus. 2013 Dec;23(12):1383-1394.

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