Carolyne Falank, PhD

Carolyne Falank, PhD2017-01-10T09:30:30+00:00

Carolyne Falank, PhDCarolyne Falank, PhD

Research Fellow


BS: Marine Science, University of Maine, Orono
MS: Applied Medical Sciences: Toxicology and Cancer Biology, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
PhD: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maine, Orono

Postdoctoral: My primary research project is focused on the effects of bone marrow adipose tissue on multiple myeloma. The bone microenvironment is a crucial contributor to myeloma oncogenesis and disease progression, however, bone marrow adipose tissue has been recently recognized as a potential contributor. We are currently investigating the factors that adipocytes from the bone marrow are having on myeloma growth, metastasis and drug resistance. In addition, I am focused on developing an effective and efficient drug delivery system for the treatment of multiple myeloma using multi-walled carbon nanotubes. I am focused on developing and testing carbon nanotubes that are bone targeting and can deliver anti-myeloma drugs such as bortezomib, carfilzomib and other small molecule inhibitors.

Doctorate: My Ph.D. thesis was focused on looking at the contribution of cohesion defects within chromosomes in particulate hexavalent chromium-induced chromosome instability. Particulate Cr(VI) is a known human lung carcinogen, however the molecular mechanism is unknown. After prolong exposure to particulate Cr(VI) we showed an increase in chromosome instability as a result of aneuploidy and chromosome damage. I focused on looking at key molecules that are responsible for maintaining proper sister chromatid cohesion such as shugoshin1, SMC1, PP2AB56alpha, Rad21 and methylation markers SuV39H2 and H3K9me3 after chromate exposure. In addition, I investigated these molecular mechanisms as a stable phenotypic change.

Masters: My M.S. degree was focused on showing the carcinogenic potential of depleted uranium to lung cells.

A complete list of publications can be found on My NCBI

Falank C, Fairfield H, Reagan MR. Signaling Interplay between Bone Marrow Adipose Tissue and Multiple Myeloma cells. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) (2016) 7.

Dadwal U, Falank C, Fairfield H, Linehan S, Rosen CJ, Kaplan DL, Sterling J, Reagan MR. Tissue-engineered 3D cancer-in-bone modeling: silk and PUR protocols. Bonekey Rep (2016) 5:842.

Fairfield H, Falank C, Avery L, Reagan MR. Multiple myeloma in the marrow: pathogenesis and treatments. Ann N Y Acad Sci (2016) 1364:32–51.

McDonald MM, Fairfield H, Falank C, Reagan MR. Adipose, Bone, and Myeloma: Contributions from the Microenvironment. Calcif Tissue Int (2016).

Holmes AL, Joyce K, Xie H, Falank C, Hinz JM, Wise JP Sr. The impact of homologous recombination repair deficiency on depleted uranium clastogenicity in Chinese hamster ovary cells: XRCC3 protects cells from chromosome aberrations, but increases chromosome fragmentation. Mutat Res (2014) 762:1-9.

Carolyne LaCerte and John Pierce Wise, Sr. “Chapter 3: The potential threat of genotoxic metals to marine mammal health: A case study of chromium toxicity in toothed and baleen whales” In Aquatic Animals, Biology, Habitats, and Threats, 2011, Editor: David L. Eder.

LaCerte C, Xie H, Aboueissa AM, Wise JP Sr. Particulate depleted uranium is cytotoxic and clastogenic to human lung epithelial cells. Mutat Res. (2010) Mar 29;697(1-2):33-7.

Xie H, LaCerte C, Thompson WD, Wise JP Sr. Depleted uranium induces neoplastic transformation in human lung epithelial cells. Chem Res Toxicol. (2010) Feb 15;23(2):373-8.

Pabuwal V, Boswell M, Pasquali A, Wise SS, Kumar S, Shen Y, Garcia T, LaCerte C, Wise JP Jr, Wise JP Sr, Warren W, Walter RB. Transcriptomic analysis of cultured whale skin cells exposed to hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)]. Aquat Toxicol. (2013) Jun 15;134-135:74-81.

Li Chen T, LaCerte C, Wise SS, Holmes A, Martino J, Wise JP Jr, Thompson WD, Wise JP Sr. Comparative cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of particulate and soluble hexavalent chromium in human and sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) skin cells. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. (2012) Jan;155(1):143-50.

Professional Memberships and Societies

  • Society of Toxicology 2007-Present
  • American Society of Bone and Mineral Research 2015-Present

Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Assistant: Marine Mammal Biology and Toxicology, University of Southern Maine 2011
  • Teaching Assistant: Principles of Toxicology, University of Southern Maine 2014
  • Co-Instructor: PHS205, Pharmacology II, University of New England, 2017
  • Co-Instructor: Journal Club- Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials-Based Approaches for Cancer Research, 2017