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Vesselin Penchev

Class 2008
Education BS, Macalester College

Dr. Bill Matsui

Current Position Medical School

University of Maryland Medical School

Research Interests

Investigating how CSCs influence the development and progression of cancer.
I am interested in the biology of Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs). I am focused on investigating how CSCs influence the development and progression of cancer from pre-malignant to a malignant state and what their role is in the development of distant metastases. My project involves examining the functional relationship between distinct CSC populations in Pancreatic Cancer and elucidating the the link between CSC properties such as tumorigenicity, metastatic capability and chemoresistance. Identifying the mechanisms that govern these CSC properties would allow for the development of better targeted therapies.


Penchev VR, Rasheed ZA, Maitra A, Matsui W.  Heterogeneity and targeting of pancreatic cancer stem cells. Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Aug 15;18(16):4277-84. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-3112. Review. PMID:22896694