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Diversity in Medicine and Science at Upstate

This subject guide celebrates diversity at Upstate Medical University by highlighting individuals who have made significant contributions to Upstate's mission and to medicine and science in general.

Mariano Viapiano PhD

Dr. Mariano Viapiano is currently an associate professor in the field of Neuroscience and Physiology, and also Neurosurgery at Upstate. Dr. Viapiano directs the SUNY Upstate Brain Tumor Laboratory and Biorepository. This research lab focuses on the study of brain cancer, specifically malignant brain tumors and the extracellular matrix. The lab researches brain cancer therapies, tumor microenvironment, tumor invasion, extracellular matrix, nano-therapeutics, and immunotherapies.

Originally from Argentina, Viapiano received his B.S. in Molecular Biology (1993) and his Ph.D in Neuroscience (1998) from the University of Buenos Aires. He continued additional training in Brazil at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine for Neuropharmacology (2001) and the Yale University School of Medicine for Neurobiology (2006).

He initiated his independent career in 2006 at Ohio State University where he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and managed his first laboratory. His lab made an important discovery of a protein that was present in brain cancer but not in healthy brain tissue, and continued to study it further. The lab’s complete findings on the protein were published in Cancer Research journal in 2012.  That same year he was recruited to Boston for a joint appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He served as Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of the Harvey Cushing Neuro-Oncology Laboratories. While there he initiated a translational research program to target ECM molecules in malignant gliomas. He joined SUNY Upstate Medical University in 2016 and initiated the first program in experimental neuro-oncology while also directing the Brian Tumor Laboratory.


Recent Publications:

Book Chapters:

Viapiano MS, Lawler SE. Malignant glioma microenvironment. In: Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery, 7th Ed., pp 814-824 (H. R. Winn, Ed). Elsevier, PA (2016)

Sinyuk M, Lathia JD, Viapiano MS. Characterization and analysis of extracellular matrix in malignant brain tumors and their cellular derivatives. In: Neuromethods: Extracellular Matrix, pp 113-138 (J. Leach and E. Powell, Eds). Humana Press, NJ (2015)


Sengupta S, Nandhu M, Longo S, Sengupta S, Longo J, Sampath P, Viapiano M. First-in-kind T cells carrying a chimeric antigen receptor against an extracellular matrix protein target glioblastoma cells and show anti-tumor efficacy.  Neuro-Oncology (2018) 20: vi129-vi130.

Cho C-F, Ghotmi Y, Fadzan C, Wolfe J, Bergmann S, Qu Y, Murrell E, Bononi F, Luyt L, Chiocca EA, Viapiano M, Pentelute B, Lawler S. BTP-7, a novel peptide for therapeutic targeting of malignant brain tumors. Neuro-Oncology (2018) 20: vi74.

Nandhu MS, Behera P, Bhaskaran V, Longo S, Barrera-Arenas LM, Sengupta S, Rodriguez-Gil DJ, Chiocca EA, Viapiano MSDevelopment of a function-blocking antibody against fibulin-3 as targeted reagent for glioblastoma. Clin. Cancer Res. (2018) 24: 821-833. PMID: 29146721

Diaz F, Gregory S, Nakashima H, Viapiano MS, Knipe DM. Intramuscular delivery of replication-defective herpes simplex virus gives antigen expression in muscle syncytia and improved protection against pathogenic HSV-2 strains. Virology (2018) 513: 129-135. PMID: 29069622

Nandhu MS, Kwiatkowska A, Bhaskaran V, Hayes JL, Hu B, Viapiano MSTumor-derived fibulin-3 activates proinvasive NF-kappa B in glioblastoma cells and their microenvironment. Oncogene (2017) 36: 4875-4886. PMID: 28414309

Presley K, Hwang J, Cheong S, Tilley R, Collins J, Viapiano MS, Lannutti JJ. Nanoscale upconversion for oxygen sensing. Mater. Sci. Eng. C (2017) 70 (Pt 1): 76-84. PMID: 27770952

Zhao Y, Tabassum S, Piracha S, Nandhu MS, Viapiano MS, Roblyer D. Angle correction for small animal tumor imaging with spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI). Biomed. Opt. Express. (2016) 7: 2373-2384. PMID: 27375952

Cho CF, Lee K, Speranza MC, Bononi FC, Viapiano MS, Luy LG, Weissleder R, Chiocca EA, Lee H, Lawler SE. Design of a microfluidic chip for magnetic-activated sorting of one-bead-one-compound libraries. ACS Comb. Sci. (2016) 18: 271-278. PMID: 27124678

Ropper AE, Zeng X, Haragopal H, Anderson JE, Aljuboori Z, Han I, Abd-El-Barr M, Lee HJ, Sidman RL, Snyder EY, Viapiano MS, Kim SU, Chi JH, Teng YD. Targeted Treatment of Experimental Spinal Cord Glioma With Dual Gene-Engineered Human Neural Stem Cells. Neurosurgery. (2016) 79: 481-491. PMID: 26671631

Xue R, Nelson MT, Teixeira SA, Viapiano MS, Lannutti JJ. Cancer cell aggregate hypoxia visualized in vitro via biocompatible fiber sensors. Biomaterials (2016) 76: 208-217. PMID:26524540

Xue R, Ge C, Richardson K, Palmer A, Viapiano M, Lannutti JJ. Microscale Sensing of Oxygen via Encapsulated Porphyrin Nanofibers: Effect of Indicator and Polymer "Core" Permeability. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. (2015) 7: 8606-8614. PMID:25850567

Long PM, Tighe SW, Driscoll HE, Fortner KA, Viapiano MS, Jaworski DM. Acetate supplementation as a means of inducing glioblastoma stem-like cell growth arrest. J. Cell Physiol. (2015) 230: 1929-1943. PMID:25573156

Nandhu MS, Hu B, Cole SE, Erdreich-Epstein A, Rodriguez-Gil DJ, Viapiano MSNovel paracrine modulation of Notch-DLL4 signaling by fibulin-3 promotes angiogenesis in high-grade gliomas. Cancer Res. (2014) 74:5435-5448. PMID:25139440

Roth AD, Elmer J, Harris DR, Huntley J, Palmer AF, Nelson T, Johnson JK, Xue R, Lannutti JJ, Viapiano MSHemoglobin regulates the migration of glioma cells along poly(ε-caprolactone)-aligned nanofibers. Biotechnol. Prog. (2014) 30: 1214-1220. PMID:25044995

Junghans A, Waltman MJ, Smith HL, Pocivavsek L, Zebda N, Birukov K, Viapiano M, Majewski J. Understanding dynamic changes in live cell adhesion with neutron reflectometry. Mod. Phys. Lett B. (2014) 28: 1430015/1 - 1430015/9. PMID:25705067

Dwyer CA, Bi WL, Viapiano MS, Matthews RT. Brevican knockdown reduces late-stage glioma tumor aggressiveness. J. Neurooncol. (2014) 120:63-72. PMID:25052349

Tsen AR, Long PM, Driscoll HE, Davies MT, Teasdale BA, Penar PL, Pendlebury WW, Spees JL, Lawler SE, Viapiano MS, Jaworski DM. Triacetin-based acetate supplementation as a chemotherapeutic adjuvant therapy in glioma. Intl. J. Cancer (2014) 134: 1300-1310. PMID: 23996800

Rao SS, Lannutti JJ, Viapiano MS, Sarkar A, Winter JO. Toward 3D biomimetic models to understand the behavior of glioblastoma multiforme cells. Tissue Eng Part B Rev. (2014) 20: 314-3278. PMID: 24044776

Xue R, Behera P, Viapiano MS, Lannutti JJ. Polydimethylsiloxane-core Polycaprolactone-shell nanofibers as biocompatible, real-time oxygen sensors. Sensors and Actuators B. Chem. (2014) 192: 697-707. PMID: 25006274