Maria Todd

Professor of Biology

Areas of expertise
Molecular genetics of cancer development


PhD, Cambridge University 1990
BSc (Hons), University of Sussex 1987


Associate Professor
Southwestern University
August 01, 2010 - present

Assistant Professor
Southwestern University
August 01, 2004 - August 01, 2010

Visiting Assistant Professor
Southwestern University
August 01, 2002 - August 01, 2004

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Southwestern University
August 01, 2001 - August 01, 2002

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
January 01, 1999 - September 01, 2000

Research Associate
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
February 01, 1995 - December 01, 1998

Senior Research Associate
University of Texas Health Science Center
January 01, 1993 - January 01, 1995

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Texas Health Science Center
February 01, 1991 - December 01, 1992

Teaching Philosophy

Previous Courses

Genes and Molecules, Cell Biology, Molecular Genetics, Methods in Cellular/Molecular Biology, Cellular Physiology, Tumor Biology, Human Biology Today: The Human Genome Project (for non-majors)


My lab has two major research projects: (1) the role of cell cycle protein deregulation in the etiology of ovarian cancer, and the development of gene therapeutic approaches to inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells; and (2) the elucidation of the function of the tight junction protein, claudin-3, and the role of aberrantly overexpressed claudin-3 protein in breast cancer metastasis. I collaborate on the breast cancer project with two of my colleagues from the Department of Biology at Southwestern: Drs. Maria Cuevas and Rebecca Sheller.


PUBLISHED ARTICLES (please note: former last name was Daly):

Todd, M.C., Spruill, C., and Meerbrey, K.M. (2009). Small interference RNA-mediated suppression of overexpressed cyclin E protein restores G1/S regulation in NIH-OVCAR-3 ovarian cancer cells. International Journal of Oncology 35:375-380.

Todd, M.C., Sclafani, R.A., and Langan, T.A. (2000). Ovarian cancer cell lines that coexpress Rb and p16 are completely insensitive to adenoviral-mediated expression of p16. Oncogene 19 (2):258-264.

Groshong, S.D., Owen, G.I., Grimison, B., Schauer, I.E., Todd, M.C., Langan, T.A., Sclafani, R.A., Lange, C.A., and Horwitz, K. (1997). Biphasic regulation of breast cancer cell growth by progesterone: role of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, p21 and p27KIP1. Molecular Endo. :1593-1607.

Xiang, R.-H., Hensel, C.H., Garcia, D.K., Carlson, H., Kok, K., Daly, M.C., Kerbacher, K., van den Berg, A., Veldhuis, P., Buys, C.H.C.M., and Naylor, S.L. (1996). Isolation of human semaphorin III/F gene at chromosome 3p21, a region deleted in lung cancer. Genomics 32:39-48.

Todd, M.C., Xiang, R.-H., Garcia, D.K., Kerbacher, K.E., Moore, S.L., Hensel, C.H., Liu, P., Siciliano, M.J., Kok, K., van den Berg, A., Veldhuis, P., Buys, C.H.C.M., Killary, A.M., and Naylor, S.L. (1996). An 80 Kb P1 clone from chromosome 3p21.3 suppresses tumor growth in vivo. Oncogene 13:2387-2396.

Heppell-Parton, A.C., Daly, M.C., Drabkin, H.A., and Rabbitts, P.H. (1993). The probe BMS1271 identifies a new polymorphic locus (D3S1207) and maps to 3p26-pter. Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 63 (1):64-65.

Rabbitts, P., Daly, M., Douglas, J., Ganly, P., Heppell-Parton, A., and Sundaresan, B. (1993). Deletion mapping of chromosome 3 in lung tumours. Lung Cancer 9:69-74.

Daly, M.C., Xiang, R.-H., Buchhagen, D., Garcia, D.K., Hensel, G.H., Killary, A.M., Minna, J.D., and Naylor, S.L. (1993). A homozygous deletion on chromosome 3 in a small cell lung cancer cell line correlates with a region of tumor suppressor activity. Oncogene 8:1721-1729.

Chang, K.S., Wang, G., Freireich, E.J., Daly, M.C., Naylor, S.L., Trujillo, J.M., and Stass, S.A. (1992). Specific expression of the annexin VIII gene in acute promyelocytic leukemia. Blood 79:1802-1810.

Daly, M., Douglas, J., Bleehen, N.M., Hastleton, P., Twentyman, P., Sundaresan, B., Carritt, B., Bergh, J., and Rabbitts, P. (1991). An unusually proximal deletion on the short arm of chromosome 3 in a patient with small cell lung cancer. Genomics 9 (1):113-119.

Douglas, J., Daly, M. and Rabbitts, P. (1991). A pulsed field gel electrophoresis map locates the polymorphic probes for ErbA2 and ErbAB within 120 kb of each other confirming that ErbA2 maps to chromosome 3. Genomics 9 (2):398-400.

Rabbitts, P., Douglas, J., Daly, M., Sundaresan, V., Tox, B., Hasleton, P., Wells, F., Albertson, D., Waters, J., and Bergh, J. (1989). Frequency and extent of allelic loss on the short arm of chromosome 3 in nonsmall-cell lung cancer. Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer 1:95-105.


Brytanie N. Piana and Maria C. Todd (2007). Abnormal over-expression of Claudin-3 tight junction protein in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-415 breast cancer cell lines. The 2007 Lost Pines Molecular Biology Conference, TX, USA.

Shea Spruill and Maria C. Todd (2007). Suppression of Abnormally Elevated Levels of Cyclin E protein by siRNA Restores Growth Regulation ot NIH-OVCAR-3 Ovarian Cancer Cells.The 2007 Lost Pines Molecular Biology Conference, TX, USA.

Jay Gupta and Maria C. Todd (2006). Deregulated expression of BRG1 and E2F1 cell cycle proteins in an ovarian cancer cell line, PA-1. The Texas Academy of Sciences Conference, TX. USA.

Kristen Meerbrey and Maria Todd (2006). Small interference RNA (siRNA)-mediated suppression of over-expressed cyclin E protein in NIH-OV-CAR-3 ovarian cancer cells. The Texas Academy of Sciences Conference, TX. USA.

Kristen Meerbrey and Maria C. Todd  (2005). Overexpression of cyclin E protein in the p16-insensitive (RB+/p16+) ovarian cancer cell line, NIH-OVCAR-3. The 2005 Lost Pines Molecular Biology Conference, TX, USA.

Honors & Awards


2010 Southwestern University Teaching Award

External Grants:

2009-2012 National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation, $98,928

2007-2010 JP Morgan grant to Biology Department, $22,500

1998-1999 Post-doctoral Fellowship, Colorado Cancer League, $30,000

1994-1995 Post-doctoral Fellowship, San Antonio Cancer Institute, $30,000

1987-1990 Pre-doctoral Fellowship, The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, $25,000