Patricia Kruk, Ph.D.

Professor, College Of Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology

Professor, College Of Medicine Pathology & Cell Biology

Professor, Department Of Oncologic Sciences

College Of Medicine Pathology & Cell Biology

Professor, Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of South Florida

Vice Chair, Pathology & Cell Biology, University of South Florida

Contact Info Dept. Path & Cell Biol, MDC 11
12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd
Tampa, 33612

Academic Email:

Academic Phone: (813) 974-0548

View My C.V.


  • PHD, Medical Sciences/Anatomy, University Of British Columbia, 1992
  • MS, Zoology, University of Alberta, 1983
  • BS, Biological Sciences, Concorida University, 1980

Interdisciplinary and Emerging Signature Programs

  • Biomedical Engineering & Nanomedicine
  • Cancer Biology
  • Women & Children's Health

Research Interests

  • As part of the Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Pathobiology program in the Department of Pathology at USF, the research focus in my lab is on early molecular changes responsible for ovarian epithelial transformation. In particular, we are interested in the molecular regulation of telomerase, DNA repair and apoptosis associated with a familial risk for ovarian cancer.
  • Our research concerns the signal transduction pathways involved in early stages of ovarian oncogenesis. We are examining the molecular mechanism(s) that regulate telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein expressed in over 90% of all cancers. Studies in this laboratory also indicate that telomerase re-expression appears to confer increased cancer cell survival and resistance to chemotherapeutic-mediated apoptosis associated with elevated levels of anti-apopototic proteins including survivin and Bcl-2. Consequently, a recent translational study revealed Bcl-2 present at levels 10x greater in urine samples from women with ovarian cancer compared to normal controls or women with benign gynecologic disease.
  • Lastly, in agreement with clinical reports that certain women with hereditary ovarian cancer initially respond better to chemotherapy, other studies in this laboratory are directed at understanding the molecular mechanism(s) by which BRCA1 amino-terminal mutations result in enhanced cellular apoptosis following genotoxic stress.
  • Thus, while elevated urinary levels of Bcl-2 may provide a novel, safe, sensitive and economic method ovarian cancer detection, inhibition of the signaling pathways regulating telomerase activity or activation of cellular BRCA1 amino-terminal mutation targets may be beneficial for the treatment of ovarian cancer, an insipid disease with the highest mortality of all gynecological cancers.


  • National Academy of Inventors (Member, 2012 - Present)
  • Women in Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research (Member, 2005 - Present)
  • Minorities in Cancer Research, American Association for Cancer Research (Member, 2005 - Present)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (Member, 1991 - Present)
  • Women in Academic medicine, USF Health (Member, 2007 - 2009)
  • American Society for Investigative Pathology (Member, 2005 - 2007)

Recent Publications

  • Dobrinksi K, Esposito NN, Kruk, PA, Wenham R, Hoffman M, Coppola D, Bai W, Zhang X, Siddique N, Nicosia SV. Procurement and cytological feature of human fallopian tube fimbrial cells by ex vivo imprinting and washing. J. Am. Soc. Cytopathol. 3: 309-318, 2014.
  • Woolery KT, Hoffman MS, Kraft J, Nicosia SV, Kumar A, Kruk PA Urinary Interleukin-1β Levels Among Gynecological Patients. J. Ovarian Res. , 2014.
  • Onursal Onen, Alper Sisman, Nathan D. Gallant, Patricia Kruk and Rasim Guldiken A Urinary Bcl-2 Surface Acoustic Wave Biosensor for Early Ovarian Cancer Detection Sensors. 12(6) : 7423-7437, 2012.
  • Xu C-X, Tan L, Yang H, Permuth-Wey J, Kruk PA, Wenham RM, Nicosia SV, Lancaster JM, Sellers TA, Cheng JQ Mir-214 regulates ovarian cancer cell stemness by targeting p53/Nanog Journal of Biological Chemistry. : 34970-34978, 2012.
  • Shen Z, Ravi K, Jinwal U, Nicosia SV, Kruk P, Xiaohang Z, Bai W 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 suppresses telomerase expression and human cancer cell survival through miR-498 Journal of Biological Chemistry. 287: 41297-309, 2012.
  • Woolery KT, Kruk PA Ovarian Epithelial-Stromal Interactions: Role of Interleukins 1 and 6. Gynecol. Intl. : 358493, 2011, 2011.
  • Drenberg, CD.Saunders, BO.Wilbanks, GD.Chen, R.Nicosia, RF.Kruk, PA.Nicosia, SV. Urinary angiostatin levels are elevated in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. Gynecologic oncology. 117(1) : 117-24, 2010.
  • O'Donnell, JD.Linger, RJ.Kruk, PA. BRCA1 185delAG mutant protein, BRAt, up-regulates maspin in ovarian epithelial cells. Gynecologic oncology. 116(2) : 262-8, 2010.
  • Linger, RJ.Kruk, PA. BRCA1 16 years later: risk-associated BRCA1 mutations and their functional implications. The FEBS journal. 277(15) : 3086-96, 2010.
  • Anderson NC, Bermudez Y, Badgwell D, Chen R, Nicosia SV, Bast RC, Kruk PA* Urinary levels of Bcl-2 are elevated in ovarian cancer patients Gynecol Oncol. 112(1) : 60-67, 2009.
  • Guo J, Shu S-K, He L, Lee Y-C, Kruk PA, Grenman S, Nicosia SV, Coppola D, Cheng JQ. Deregulation of the IKBK oncogene is associated with tumor progression, poor prognosis and cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer. Amer. J. Pathol.. 175(1) : 324-333, 2009.
  • Walker RF, Pakula LC, Sutcliffe MJ, Kruk PA, Graakjaer J, Shay JW. A case study of disorganized development and its possible relevance to genetic determinants of aging. Mech. Ageing Develop.. 130(5) : 350-356, 2009.
  • Zhang Y, Zhang M, Dong H, Yong S, Li X, Olashaw N, Kruk PA, Cheng JQ, Bai W, Chen J, Nicosia SV, Zhang X Deacetylation of cortactin by Sirt1 promotes cell migration Oncogene. 28(3) : 445-460, 2009.
  • Drenberg C, Livingston S, Chen R, Kruk PA, Nicosia SV. Expression of Semaphorin 3F and its receptors in epithelial ovarian cancer, fallopian tubes, and secondary Mullerian tissues. Obstet. Gynecol. Intl.. 1: 1-8, 2009.
  • Anderson NS, Turner L, Livingston S, Chen R, Nicosia SV, Kruk PA*. Bcl-2 expression is altered with ovarian tumor progression: an immunohistochemical evaluation. J. Ovarian Research.. 2(16) : 1-11, 2009.
  • Bermudez Y, Yang H, Cheng JQ, Kruk PA Pyk2/ERK1/2 mediate Sp1- and cMyc-dependent induction of telomerase activity by epidermal growth factor Growth Factors. 26: 1-11, 2008.
  • O'Donnell JD, Johnson NC, Turbeville TD, Alfonso MY, Kruk PA BRCA1 185delAG truncation protein, BRAt, amplifies caspase-medatied apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells In Vitro Cell Dev. Biol.. 44: 357-367, 2008.
  • Yang H, Kong W, he L, Zhao J-J, O'Donnell JD, Wang J, Wenham RM, Copppola D, Kruk PA, Nicosia SV, Cheng JQ MicroRNA expression profiling in human ovarian cacner: miRNA-214 induces cell survival and cisplatin resistance by targeting PTEN Cancer Research. 68: 424-433, 2008.
  • Bermudez, Y.Yang, H.Saunders, BO.Cheng, JQ.Nicosia, SV.Kruk, PA. VEGF- and LPA-induced telomerase in human ovarian cancer cells is Sp1-dependent. Gynecologic Oncology. 106: 526-537, 2007.
  • Bermudez, Y.Ahmadi, S.Lowell, NE.Kruk, PA. Vitamin E suppresses telomerase activity in ovarian cancer cells. Cancer detection and prevention. 31(2) : 119-128, 2007.
  • Bermudea Y, Erasso D, Johnson NC, Alfonso MY, Kruk PA Telomerase confers resistance to caspase-mediated apoptosis Clinical Interventions in Aging. 1: 155-167, 2006.
  • Yang, H.He, L.Kruk, P.Nicosia, SV.Cheng, JQ. Aurora-A induces cell survival and chemoresistance by activation of Akt through a p53-dependent manner in ovarian cancer cells. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer. 119(10) : 2304-2312, 2006.
  • Tebes, SJ.Kruk, PA. The genesis of RNA interference, its potential clinical applications, and implications in gynecologic cancer. Gynecologic oncology. 99(3) : 736-741, 2005.
  • Alfonso-De Matte, MY.Kruk, PA. Phosphatidylinositol triphosphate kinase-dependent and c-jun NH2-terminal kinase-dependent induction of telomerase by calcium requires Pyk2. Cancer research. 64(1) : 23-26, 2004.
  • Yang, H.Ou, CC.Feldman, RI.Nicosia, SV.Kruk, PA.Cheng, JQ. Aurora-A kinase regulates telomerase activity through c-Myc in human ovarian and breast epithelial cells. Cancer research. 64(2) : 463-467, 2004.
  • Johnson, NC.Dan, HC.Cheng, JQ.Kruk, PA. BRCA1 185delAG mutation inhibits Akt-dependent, IAP-mediated caspase 3 inactivation in human ovarian surface epithelial cells. Experimental cell research. 298(1) : 9-16, 2004.
  • Nicosia, SV.Wilbanks, GD.Saunders, B.Mayer, J.Cardosi, RJ.Kruk, PA.Cheng, J.Bai, W.Coppola, D.Fiorica, J. Cytology of human ovarian surface epithelial brushings. Cancer. 102(1) : 1-10, 2004.
  • Shoup BL, Kruk PA Inhibition of telomerase improves chemosensitivity in cisplatin resistant ovarian cancer cells Cancer Therapy. 2: 501-510, 2004.
  • Nicosia, SV.Bai, W.Cheng, JQ.Coppola, D.Kruk, PA. Oncogenic pathways implicated in ovarian epithelial cancer. Hematology/oncology clinics of North America. 17(4) : 927-943, 2003.
  • Johnson, NC.Kruk, PA. BRCA1 Zinc RING Finger Domain Disruption Alters Caspase Response in Ovarian Surface Epithelial Cells. Cancer Cell International. 2(1) : 1-16, 2002.
  • Alfonso-De Matte, MY.Yang, H.Evans, MS.Cheng, JQ.Kruk, PA. Telomerase is regulated by c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase in ovarian surface epithelial cells. Cancer research. 62(16) : 4575-45078, 2002.
  • Alfonso-De Matte, MY.Moses-Soto, H.Kruk, PA. Calcium-mediated telomerase activity in ovarian epithelial cells. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics. 399(2) : 239-244, 2002.
  • Alfonso-De Matte, MY.Cheng, JQ.Kruk, PA. Ultraviolet irradiation- and dimethyl sulfoxide-induced telomerase activity in ovarian epithelial cell lines. Experimental cell research. 267(1) : 13-37, 2001.
  • Kruk, PA.Godwin, AK.Hamilton, TC.Auersperg, N. Telomeric instability and reduced proliferative potential in ovarian surface epithelial cells from women with a family history of ovarian cancer. Gynecologic oncology. 73(2) : 229-236, 1999.
  • Kruk, PA.Bohr, VA. Telomeric length in individuals and cell lines with altered p53 status. Radiation oncology investigations. 7(1) : 13-21, 1999.
  • Kruk, PA.Orren, DK.Bohr, VA. Telomerase activity is elevated in early S phase in hamster cells. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 233(3) : 717-722, 1997.
  • Kruk, PA.Balajee, AS.Rao, KS.Bohr, VA. Telomere reduction and telomerase inactivation during neuronal cell differentiation. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 224(2) : 487-492, 1996.
  • Kruk, PA.Rampino, NJ.Bohr, VA. DNA damage and repair in telomeres: relation to aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 92(1) : 258-262, 1995.
  • Kruk, PA.Auersperg, N. A line of rat ovarian surface epithelium provides a continuous source of complex extracellular matrix. In vitro cellular & developmental biology. Animal. 30A(4) : 217-225, 1994.
  • Auersperg, N.Maines-Bandiera, SL.Dyck, HG.Kruk, PA. Characterization of cultured human ovarian surface epithelial cells: phenotypic plasticity and premalignant changes. Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology. 71(4) : 510-518, 1994.
  • Kruk, PA.Uitto, VJ.Firth, JD.Dedhar, S.Auersperg, N. Reciprocal interactions between human ovarian surface epithelial cells and adjacent extracellular matrix. Experimental cell research. 215(1) : 97-108, 1994.
  • Bohr VA, Kruk PA, Webb D, Ji J, Evans MK DNA repair and genomic instability in cancer and aging Biomedical gerontology. 18: 20-24, 1994.
  • Kruk, PA.Auersperg, N. Human ovarian surface epithelial cells are capable of physically restructuring extracellular matrix. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 167(5) : 1437-1443, 1992.
  • Maines-Bandiera, SL.Kruk, PA.Auersperg, N. Simian virus 40-transformed human ovarian surface epithelial cells escape normal growth controls but retain morphogenetic responses to extracellular matrix. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology. 167(3) : 729-735, 1992.
  • Auersperg, N.Maclaren, IA.Kruk, PA. Ovarian surface epithelium: autonomous production of connective tissue-type extracellular matrix. Biology of reproduction. 44(4) : 717-724, 1991.
  • Kruk, PA.Auersperg, N. Percoll centrifugation eliminates mold contaminants from cell cultures. In vitro cellular & developmental biology : journal of the Tissue Culture Association. 27A(4) : 273-276, 1991.
  • Kruk, PA.Maines-Bandiera, SL.Auersperg, N. A simplified method to culture human ovarian surface epithelium. Laboratory investigation. 63(1) : 132-136, 1990.
  • Reid, PE.Owen, DA.Kruk, PA.Maitland, ME. Histochemical classification based upon reaction types and its application to carbohydrate histochemistry. The Histochemical journal. 22(5) : 299-308, 1990.
  • Auersperg, N. Kruk, PA. MacLaren, IA.Watt, FM.Mydral, SE. Heterogeneous expression of keratin, involucrin, and extracellular matrix among subpopulations of a poorly differentiated human cervical carcinoma: possible relationships to patterns of invasion. Cancer research. 49(11) : 3007-3014, 1989.
  • Enesco, HE.Kruk, PA. Dietary restriction reduces fluorescent age pigment accumulation in mice. Experimental gerontology. 16(4) : 357-361, 1981.
  • Kruk, PA.Enesco, HE. alpha-Tocopherol reduces fluorescent age pigment levels in heart and brain of young mice. Experientia. 37(12) : 1301-1302, 1981.

Positions Held

  • Associate Professor (Pathology & Cell Biology, University of South Florida 2003 - 2008)
  • Assistant Professor (Pathology, Univeristy of South Florida 1996 - 2003)


  • Robert J. Grasso Award (University of South Florida - 2012)
  • Excellence in Innovation Award (National Academy of Inventors - 2010)
  • University of South Florida Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Faculty Research Award (University of South Florida - 2008)
  • Robert J. Grasso Award (University of South Florida - 1999)
  • Upjohn Travel Award (Upjohn Company - 1993)
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award (American Association of Anatomists - 1992)
  • Student Travel Award (University of British Columbia - 1990)
  • Student Travel Award (American Society of Cell Biology - 1990)
  • Student Travel Award (American Association of Anatomists - 1990)
  • University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship (University of British Columbia - 1987)
  • Evelyn Martin Memorial Fellowship (British Columbia Fouhdation for Non-Animal Research - 1987)
  • University of British Columbia MacMillan Family Fellowship (University of British Columbia - 1985)