Kurmasheva Lab

Raushan Kurmasheva, PhD

Rank: Assistant Professor
Department: Molecular Medicine
Office: 4.100.18
Tel: 210.562.9155

Faculty Profile: Raushan Kurmasheva, PhD

Lab Research

Our Expertise:

  • Pediatric solid tumors
  • Preclinical therapeutics
  • Patient-derived xenografts
  • DNA damage and repair (PARP, MGMT)

Preclinical Therapeutics of Pediatric Solid Tumors

For the last 19 years, our laboratory’s research has centered around pediatric cancer, specifically preclinical and basic research domains. The preclinical development of new effective therapies for children with solid tumors is the main focus of our research efforts. We are committed to elucidating molecular and genetic underpinnings of pediatric cancers as significant gaps in our understanding of these diseases persist. Our group aims to advance knowledge of why drugs cause toxicities and induce resistance and to develop innovative treatment strategies that would ultimately improve the lives of young patients.

Team science is a critical part of our group’s academic and professional journey, and it is rooted in our long-term commitment to preclinical research of pediatric cancer as part of the PPTP/PPTC/PIVOT Consortiums (see below). Since joining the GCCRI, I have taken a leadership role in establishing the PDX Core to test chemotherapeutic agents in pediatric cancer models and co-direct (with Dr. Peter Houghton) the CPRIT-funded Texas Pediatric Cancer Drug Testing Core (TPC-DTC; see below). This Core’s goal is to develop a genomic platform guiding patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model selection, characterize intratumoral heterogeneity, and disseminate genomic and preclinical data. Our translational efforts extend to developing innovative drug delivery approaches (nanoformulated drugs, antibody-drug conjugates, etc.) that reduce the toxicity of cancer therapies. Mechanistically, our group recently reported a new PARP1:MGMT protein interaction in pediatric cancer cells. We observed the MGMT PARylation by PARP1, which reveals a mechanism of resistance that cells develop to protect themselves from DNA methylation induced by standard-of-care DNA damaging agents. Our research efforts reflect our dedication to advancing our understanding of why and how cancer develops in children. Through innovative discoveries and collaborative efforts, we are committed to making a meaningful and sustained impact on pediatric cancer diagnosis, treatment, and patient outcomes.

For specific publications, please see the complete list of 86 peer-reviewed articles: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/raushan.kurmasheva.1/bibliography/public/

The Pediatric Preclinical In Vivo Testing (PIVOT) Consortium – Sarcoma, Renal, and Liver Tumors (preclinicalpivot.org)

It is a great honor to lead the sarcoma, renal, and liver tumors project of the Pediatric In Vivo Testing Consortium (PIVOT) – a public-private international partnership funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). PIVOT is focused on the identification and development of novel, effective, targeted, and nano-formulated agents in omically characterized PDX models. This initiative was launched in 2005 (previously known as the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program/Consortium (PPTP/PPTC)) with uninterrupted funding by NCI since then, and we are proud to be a part of its mission for 13 years. PIVOT comprises 7 academic research programs (UTHSCSA, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia) specializing in basic research and preclinical testing of treatments for the most common pediatric cancers and led by renowned experts in the fields. Our concortium has tested more than 100 agents and combinations; the results of our research were published in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and were used to develop a number of phase I/II clinical trials.

Texas Pediatric Cancer Drug Testing Core (TPC-DTC) 

The objective of the CPRIT (Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas) supported TPC-DTC is to provide reproducible high-quality in vivo data to guide pediatric clinical development of novel agents and combinations. This CPRIT Core facility has developed within the context of the Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity for Children Act (RACE for Children Act). For preclinical testing, this will necessitate having sufficient models with the appropriate genetic alterations in the context of the appropriate childhood cancer types. The RACE Act requires the FDA to develop a list of molecular targets of known and new drugs/biologics. If agents are determined to be substantially relevant to the growth and progression of pediatric cancer, this may trigger the requirement for pediatric investigations. This expectation applies both to drugs/biologics being developed by Pharma and academic centers. Our primary focus is to use the 170 patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models established and characterized under the previous CPRIT grant (RP160716) and additional models developed by this group.


Raushan Kurmasheva, PhD
Assistant Professor
Designated Animal Research Officer
Co-Director, CPRIT Core (https://tpc-dtc.uthscsa.edu)
Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute
Department of Molecular Medicine
University of Texas Health at San Antonio
8403 Floyd Curl Drive, Rm 4.100.18
Mail Code 7784
San Antonio, TX 78229
P: 210-562-9155
F: 210-562-9014


  • MMED5001 Advances in Personalized Medicine
  • CSA 6075 Cancer Biology Core II course
  • PHAR5023 Drug Development and Discovery Course
  • CSA5077 Grant Proposal Writing


The Director of the UT Health San Antonio Cancer Center Dr. Ruben Mesa congratulated Dr. Kurmasheva on being selected by the Circle of Hope (#5) for funding of her project studying mechanisms of resistance to PARP1 inhibition in Ewing sarcoma. Dr. Mesa noted that the donors “were inspired by the clinical need for these children and the great work of you and your colleagues at the GCCRI.”

Information About the Circle of Hope