Ivan Still, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biology

Office: McEver Rm.31

Phone: 479-356-2032

Arkansas Tech University

Fax: 479-964-0837

Russellville, AR 72801

E-mail: istill@atu.edu




1988   BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, Second Division, Upper Class. University College London UK.


1992   PhD in Human Genetics. University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

            Title: Isolation of novel genes expressed during retinal development.




BIOL 1114     Principles of Biology

BIOL 4033     Cell Biology

BIOL 4083     Cancer Biology

BIOL 4891     Seminar in Biology

BIOL 4992     Undergraduate research projects in cell and molecular biology


Coming to University is an exciting period in a student’s life. He/she is about to experience a number of things for the very first time, foremost of all is their chosen Major! I believe in  encouraging student not only to learn the subject matter but also to critically interpret and examine the underlying data: in other words to think about the subject. While knowledge is a fundamental requirement in all academic situations, later on it is the ability to think laterally and apply the knowledge gained during the student’s formative years that is ultimately important in the future career of the graduating student. I bring this to the fore both in the class setting and when I mentor students in one-to-one situations. My door is always open to students so that I may help them in any way I can.

General Research InterestS

Molecular basis of cancer.

Control of transcription mediated by nuclear hormone receptors, coregulators and chromatin structure.

Mechanisms of DNA damage induced by polyaromatic hydrocarbons

Muscle cell differentiation

Molecular evolution of protein-protein interactions

Current program: Characterization of the Transforming Acidic Coiled Coil (TACC) gene family.

In 1998, I discovered and published a new family of proteins that are important in the development of cancer. From 2000-2006, my research team (at Roswell Park Cancer Institute) explored the role of these Transforming Acidic Coiled Coil proteins in the interphase nucleus, and the role they play in cell cycle checkpoint activation that occurs during DNA damage. These goals are being furthered here to provide a coherent picture of how dysregulation, alteration of splicing patterns or mutations of the TACC genes adversely affects normal cellular metabolism and contributes to the development and progression of cancer.


Mentored research is important in the development of future graduate and medical students. So every Fall and Spring semester I encourage one or two junior or senior students to participate in my TACC-related projects. These projects have ranged from exploring the use of the Affymetrix Exon array to identify novel breast cancer biomarkers, to targeted knock-out of genes in muscle cells. More recently, we have opened up collaborations with Dr. Gavin Jones in the Department of Chemistry to test the anticancer activity of newly made organic compounds. Research projects of this nature underlie medicine and the pharmaceuticals industry and show the intimate relationship between chemistry and biology. These research projects have been funded by the generous support of the ATU undergraduate research program and the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium.

Fall 2009   H. Pham   BIOL4992-02 Dir. Research: Muscle Biology
Fall 2009  Kim Huynh   BIOL4992-02 Dir. Research: Cancer Therapy
Fall 2008  H. Pham/ Z. Parker BIOL4992-02 Dir. Research: Muscle Biology
Spring 2008 Richard Athey BIOL4992-02 Dir. Research: Gene targeting
Spring 2008 Chad Cragle BIOL4992-02 Dir. Research: Muscle Research
Fall 2007  Chad Cragle BIOL4992-02 Dir. Research: Rhabomyosarcoma
Spring 2007  Sarah Norman BIOL4992-02 Dir. Research: Breast Cancer Biomarkers
Spring 2007  Jonathan Brixey BIOL4992-05 Dir. Research: Cancer Biology
Spring 2007  Kevvy Wijaya BIOL4992-05 Dir. Research: Cancer Biology


High School Students Supervised

Spring 2007

Ever Sandoval: Bacterial Transformation, Russellville High School

Summer 2002, 2004 Anthony DiMatteo:Paduan Scholar Internship, St. Francis High School


13. Kunapuli P, Somerville R, Still IH, and Cowell J.K. (2003). The ZNF198 gene, involved in rearrangement in myeloproliferative disease, forms complexes with HHR6A/6B and RAD18, implicating it in the post replication DNA repair process. Oncogene 22: 3417-3423

15. Tien AC, Lin MH, Su LJ, Hong YR, Cheng TS, Lee YC, Wong FH, Lin WJ, Still IH, Huang CY (2004). Identification of the substrates of Aurora kinases from a protein-protein interaction model. Mol. Cell. Proteomics 3:93-104.

16. Gangisetty O, Lauffart B, Sondarva, G, Chelsea D, and Still IH. (2004). The Transforming acidic coiled coil proteins interact with nuclear histone acetyltransferases. Oncogene 23:14:2559-2563.

17. Still IH, Vettaikkorumakankauv AK, Dimatteo A, and Liang P. (2004). Structure-function evolution of the Transforming acidic coiled genes revealed by analysis of phylogenetically diverse organisms. BMC Evolutionary Biology 4: 16

18. Singh KK, Kulaweic M, Still I, Desouki MM, Geradts, J and Matsui S-I.  (2005). Inter-genomic cross talk between mitochondria and the nucleus plays an important role in tumorgenesis.  Gene 354:140-6.

20. Lauffart B, Dimatteo A, Vaughan MM, Cincotta M, Black JD and Still IH. (2006). Temporal and spatial expression of TACC1 in the mouse and human. Developmental Dynamics 235:1638-1647

21. Kulawiec M, Arnouk H, Desouki M , Kazim L, Still I and Singh KK. (2006). Proteomic analysis of mitochondria-to-nucleus retrograde response in human cancer cells. Cancer Biology and Therapy, 5: 967 – 968

22. Lauffart B, Sondarva G, Gangisetty O, Cincotta M, and Still IH. (2007). Interaction of TACC proteins with the FHL family: implications for ERK signaling. Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling 1:5-15.

23. Lauffart B, Gangisetty O, and  Still IH. (2007). Evolutionary conserved interaction of TACC2/TACC3 with BARD1 and BRCA1: potential implications for DNA damage response in breast and ovarian cancer. Cancer Therapy 5:409-416.

24. Kulawiec M, Safina A, Desouki MM, Still IH, Matsui S-I, Bakin  A, and Singh KK. (2008). Tumorigenic transformation of human breast epithelial cells induced by mitochondrial DNA depletion. Cancer Biology & Therapy 7:1732-1743.

25. Vettaikkorumakankauv AK, Lauffart B, Gangisetty O, Cincotta M, Hawthorne LA, Cowell JK and Still IH. (2008). The TACC proteins are coregulators of the retinoid-X receptorb. Cancer Therapy 6:805-816.

26. Still IH, Eslinger MR, Lauffart B . (2009). TACC1 (transforming, acidic coiled-coil containing protein 1).  Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. (REVIEW). URL : http://AtlasGeneticsOncology.org/Genes/TACC1ID42456ch8p11.html

27. Eslinger MR, Lauffart B, Still IH. (2009).  TACC3 (transforming, acidic coiled-coil containing protein 3). Atlas Genet Cytogenet Oncol Haematol. (REVIEW) URL : http://AtlasGeneticsOncology.org/Genes/TACC3ID42458ch4p16.html


1. Cleveland State University 2006 Talk entitled: “aTACCking a new gene’s role in cancer

2. Arkansas Tech University 2006 Talk entitled: “aTACCking a new gene’s role in cancer

3. Key Note Speaker, Arkansas Junior Science and Humanities Symposium March 16 2007.
Talk entitled: “
When Good Cells Turn Bad: How Cancer Develops”.

4. Arkansas Tech University 2009 (April 2) Talk entitled: “Wanderlust: how a cancer metastasizes

5. University of The Ozarks 2009 (September 25) Talk entitled: “A decade of TACCs: have we pinned down their functions yet? 

Professional AFFiliations

American Association for Cancer Research

Arkansas Academy of Sciences

Managing Editor, Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science.


Marquis Who's Who in America, Editions 55-60

Marquis Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Editions 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 (10th Anniversary)

Who's Who Among American Teachers & Educators 11th Edition (2007)



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