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Mohanish Deshmukh, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member studying how cells regulate their survival and death.

Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology
Co-Director, UNC MD/PhD Program
UNC-Chapel Hill
Cancer Cell Biology

Area of Interest

Our laboratory studies the mechanisms by which mammalian cells regulate their survival and death pathways. We are particularly interested in identifying differences in the apoptotic pathway between mitotic and postmitotic cells.

To study this, we use a variety of models including neurons, stem cells and cancer cells. We have identified multiple mechanisms by which apoptosis is strictly inhibited in postmitotic cells. An increased restriction of apoptosis is particularly beneficial for postmitotic cells such as neurons as they have limited regenerative potential and the need for long-term survival.

Our overall goals for the cancer projects are to identify differences in apoptosis regulation between mitotic cells and neurons and utilize this knowledge to selectively kill brain tumor cells while sparing neurons.

Find publications on PubMed

Awards and Honors

  • Mentor of the Year Award (Neurobiology Curriculum), UNC-Chapel Hill, 2012
  • UNC-Chapel Hill Teaching Excellence Award, 2004
  • Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator Award, 2001-2003
Headshot of Mohanish Deshmukh.