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Linda Connelly, PhD

Linda Connelly, PhD
  • Full Member
    Cancer Biology Program
    University of Hawaii Cancer Center
  • Academic Appointments

  • Associate Professor
    Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy
    University of Hawaii at Hilo


  • PhD, Molecular Pharmacology
    Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research
    University College London, UK
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    Department of Medical and Molecular Pharmacology, UCLA
    Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Research Focus

Dr. Connelly's research focuses on characterizing the effects of molecular mediators of inflammation on breast cancer progression and metastasis with the aim of identifying new drug targets. She and her staff are currently investigating the role of osteoprotegerin (OPG) in breast cancer primary tumor growth and metastasis. They are performing in vitro studies using human breast cancer cells to determine whether the transcription factor NF-kappaB up-regulates OPG and using shRNA gene knockdown and the chick embryo model to study this protein during primary tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. The aim of these studies is to determine whether OPG is a potential therapeutic target in breast cancer.

Dr. Connelly and her staff are also studying the tumor-promoting effects of macrophages in breast cancer. They are particularly interested in the interaction between adipocytes, macrophages and tumor cells and are working to establish in vitro and in vivo models to look at interactions between these cells in the breast tumor microenvironment.

Selected Publications

  • Zaynagetdinov R, Sherrill T, Gleaves L, Connelly L, McLeod A, Dulek D, Peebles R, Fingleton B, Yull F, Stathopoulos G, Blackwell T. (2015). Interleukin-5 Facilitates Tumor Metastasis to the Lungs by Modulating the Immune Microenvironment. Cancer Research,75(8):1624-34.
  • Weichhaus M, Tsang Mui Chung S, Connelly L. (2015). Osteoprotegerin in breast cancer: beyond bone remodeling. Molecular Cancer,14:117.
  • Weichhaus M, Segaran P, Renaud A, Geerts D, Connelly L. (2014). Osteoprotegerin expression in triple negative breast cancer cells promotes metastasis. Cancer Medicine, Oct;3(5):1112-25.
  • Zaynaetdinov R, Stathopoulos G, Sherrill T, Cheng DS, McLeod AG, Ausborn JA, Polosukhin VV, Connelly L, Zhou W, Fingleton B, Peebles RS, Prince LS, Yull FE, Blackwell TS. (2012). Epithelial nuclear factor-kappaB signaling promotes lung carcinogenesis via recruitment of regulatory T lymphocytes. Oncogene,31(26):3164-76. PMID:22002309.
  • Connelly L, Barham W, Onishko HM, Chen L, Sherrill T, Zabuawala T, Ostrowski MC, Blackwell TS, Yull FE. (2011). NF-kappaB activation within macrophages leads to an anti-tumor phenotype in a mammary tumor lung metastasis model. Breast Cancer Res, 13(4):R83. PMID:21884585.
  • Connelly L, Barham W, Onishko H, Sherrill T, Chodosh LA, Blackwell TS, Yull FE. (2011). Inhibition of NF-kappa B activity in mammary epithelium increases tumor latency and decreases tumor burden. Oncogene,30(12):1402-12. PMID: 21076466.

Publication list via PubMed

Active Grants

  • L. Connelly, PI
    NIH/NCI R15
    "Osteoprotegerin in breast cancer cells: role in tumor growth and metastasis"