Martina Bazzaro, Ph.D.

MEDOBGYN2 – Image – 180x222 – Martina Bazzaro

Assistant Professor


Bachelor of Science
University of Ferrara, Italy
University of Ferrara, Italy &
University of Lausanne, Switzerland
Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Chemistry


Post-doctoral Fellow

Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

Guest Researcher
Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Visiting fellow (Ph.D. student)
Institute of Biochemistry, Lausanne, Switzerland

Contact Info



Administrative Contact

Kit Brown

Mailing Address

Dept. of OB/GYN & Women’s Health
MMC 395 Mayo
8395C (Campus Delivery Code)
420 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Bio Statement
Dr. Bazzaro is an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at the Department of Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health and Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. She earned a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the Department of Pharmaceutical Science of the University of Ferrara, Italy.

Dr. Bazzaro served as guest researcher at the “Institut de Biochemie” in Lausanne, Switzerland and at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

She competed her postdoctoral training at the Department of Pathology of the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr.Bazzaro is an Italian citizen, U.S.A permanent resident and speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian.


Versión en Español

Version Française

Versione in Italiano

Research Interests

Dr. Bazzaro has a lifelong research interest in cervical and ovarian cancer. She combines her expertise in both the biology of ovarian cancer and pharmaceutical chemistry for the discovery of personalized medicine for women affected by cervical and ovarian cancer for which conventional chemotherapy is not a satisfactory option.
Dr. Bazzaro’s has ongoing research collaboration with several institutions and hospitals, nationally and internationally.
This includes:
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN
  • Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD
  • University of Alabama in Birmingham, AL
  • University of Ferrara, Italy

Research Projects
  • Personalized therapies for ovarian cancer resistant to conventional chemotherapy treatment.
  • Combinatorial chemotherapic treatment for ovarian cancer.
  • Targeting of metabolic pathways for ovarian and cancer treatment.
  • Role of Natural Killer (NK) cell in ovarian cancer.
Leadership Roles
2009-present Member, Faculty Search Committee, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, University of Minnesota.
2012-present Member, Science Council, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.
2011-present Member, Internal Pilot Grant Review Committee, Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.
2011-present Member, Research Council, Department of Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, University of Minnesota.
Journal Review Activities
Editorial board member:
Gynecology and Oncology, 2012- present
HERA Foundation, 2011-present
Review of manuscript for:
PLoS ONE, Medicinal Chemistry, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Journal, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
2006-present:   Member, American Society of Cell Biology
2004-present:   Member, American Association of Cancer Research
OC093424 Department of Defense (DOD) Ovarian Cancer Research Program
Role: PI                                                     
Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA)
Role: PI
Randy Shaver Community Fund
Role: PI
Randy Shaver Community Fund
Role: PI   
HERA Foundation
Role: PI                                                   
Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Department of Pathology
Award for Postdoctoral Investigator of the Year for Excellence in Basic Science
HERA Foundation
Role: PI                                                  
Wenner-Gren Foundation, Karolinska Insitute, Sweden


  1. Marastoni M, Bazzaro M, Bortolotti F, Salvadori S, Tomatis R. Symmetry-based inhibitors of HIV-protease. Design, synthesis and preliminary structure-activity studies of acylated 2,3-diamino-1-hydroxypropanes and 2,4 diamino-1-hydroxybutanes. Eur. J. Med. Chem.34: 651-657, 1999.
  2. Micheletti F, Bazzaro M, Canella A, Marastoni M, Tomatis R, Traniello S, Gavioli S. The lifespan of major histocompatibility complex class I/peptide complexes determines the efficiency of cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses. Immunology 96: 411-415, 1999.
  3. Marastoni M, Bazzaro M, Bortolotti F, Tomatis M. Synthesis and activity of new acylated diaminohydroxy- alkanes as human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitors.Arzneim.–Forsch./ Drug Res.50:564-568, 2000.
  4. Marastoni M, Bazzaro M, Gavioli R, Micheletti F, Traniello S, and Tomatis R. Design of dimeric peptides obtained from subdominant Epstein-Barr virus LMP2-derived epitope. Eur. J. Med.Chem. 35:1-6, 2000.
  5. Marastoni M, Bazzaro M, Salvadori S, Bortolotti F, Tomatis R. HIV-1 protease inhibitors containing an N-hydroxyamino acid core structure. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 9: 939-945, 2000.
  6. Marastoni M, Bazzaro M, Micheletti F, Gavioli R, Tomatis R. Peptide analogues of a subdominant epitope expressed in EBV-associated tumors: synthesis and immunological activity. J. Med. Chem. 44:2370-2373, 2001. 
  7. Vertuani S, Bazzaro M, Gualandi G, Micheletti F, Marastoni M, Canella A, Marino M, Tomatis R, Traniello S, and Gavioli R. Effect of interferon-alpha therapy on epitope-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses in hepatitis C virus-infected individuals. Eur. J. Immunol. 32:144-154, 2002.
  8. Marastoni M, Bazzaro M, Micheletti F, Gavioli R, Tomatis R. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitope analogues containing cis- or trans-4-aminocyclohexanecarboxylic acid residues. Bioorg Med. Chem. 10 (9): 3061-6, 2002.
  9. Marastoni M, Bazzaro M, Bortolotti F, Tomatis R. Synthesis and activity of N-benzyl pseudopeptides HIV protease inhibitors. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 11(11) 2477-83, 2003.
  10. Bazzaro M., Lee MK., Zoso A., Stirling W., Santillan A., Shih IE and Roden R.B.S. Ubiquitin-Proteasomal System Stress Sensitizes Ovarian Cancer to Proteasome Inhibitor-Induced Apoptosis. Cancer Research, 66(7): 3754-63, 2006.
  11. Bazzaro M, Santillan A, Lin Z, Tang T, Lee MK, Bristow RE, Shih IeM, Roden RB. Myosin II Co-chaperone General Cell UNC-45 Overexpression is Associated with Ovarian Cancer, Rapid Proliferation, and Motility. American Journal of Pathology 171(5): 1640-1649, 2007.
  12. Bazzaro M, Lin Z, Santillan A, Lee MK, Wang MC, Chan KC, Bristow RE, Mazitschek R, Bradner J, and Roden RBS. Ubiquitin Proteasome System Stress Underlies Synergistic Killing of Ovarian Cancer Cells by Bortezomib and a Novel HDAC6 Inhibitor. Clinical Cancer Research, 15;14(22):7340-7, 2008 (Cover).
  13. Lin Z.*, Bazzaro M*, Peng SW, and Roden RBS. Combination of Proteasome and HDAC6 Inhibitors for Therapy of Uterine Cervical Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. 15;15(2):570-7, 2009. (* Equal contribution).
  14. Bazzaro M*, Ravi K Anchoori, Mohana Krishna R Mudiam, Srinivas Kumar, Balasubramanyam Karanam, Rachel Isaksson Vogel, Riccardo, Gavioli, Federica Destro, Valeria Ferretti, Richard BS Roden and Saeed R Khan. α,β-Unsaturated Carbonyl System of Chalcone-Based Derivatives is Responsible for Broad Inhibition of Proteasomal Activity and Preferential Killing of HPV Positive Cervical Cancer Cells. J. Med. Chem., 27; 54(2): 449-456, 2011. (*Corresponding author).
  15. Anchoori RK., Khan, RS., Sueblinvong T., Felthauser A., Iizuka Y., Gavioli R., Destro E., Vogel R., Peng      SW., Roden RB and Bazzaro M. Stressing the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System without 20S Proteolytic Inhibition Selectively Kills Cervical Cancer Cells. PLoS ONE 2011; 6(8) e23888 Epub Aug. 31
  16. SueblinvongT., GhebreR., IizukaY., PambuccianS., Isaksson VogelR., SkubitzAMP and BazzaroM. Establishment, Characterization and Downstream Application of Primary Ovarian Cancer Cells Derived from Solid Tumors. 2012;7(11):e50519.
  17. Pribyl LJ, Coughlin KA, Sueblinvong T, Shields K, Iizuka Y, Downs LS, Ghebre RG, Bazzaro M. Method for obtaining primary ovarian cancer cells from solid specimens. J Vis Exp. 2014 Feb 4;(84):e51581. doi: 10.3791/51581.
  18. Coughlin K, Anchoori RK, Iizuka Y, Meints JP, Macneill L, Isaksson Vogel R, Orlowski RZ, Lee M, Roden RB, Bazzaro M. Small-Molecule RA-9 Inhibits Proteasome-Associated DUBs and Ovarian Cancer in Vitro and in Vivo Via Exacerbating Unfolded Protein Responses. Clin Cancer Res. 2014 Apr 11. [Epub ahead of print] 
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  • Last modified on October 16, 2014