LaMonica Stewart, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College

Dr. LaMonica Stewart is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology at Meharry Medical College. Since joining the Meharry faculty in 2004, Dr. Stewart has primarily performed research and been involved in the training of medical and Ph.D. graduate students. Her current research projects examine the regulation of prostate cancer growth and progression by compounds that activate the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARg). Her laboratory uses human prostate cancer cell lines and xenograft mouse models to define the mechanisms by which PPARg agonists inhibit tumor cell proliferation and invasion. Her research has revealed that one class of PPAR agonists, the thiazolindinediones, regulates activation of the androgen receptor and alters expression of several proteins that control cell cycle progression. The data from these studies has also shown that the thiazolidinediones activate both PPAR dependent and PPAR-independent signaling pathways within human prostate cancer cells. The information gained from these studies will be used to identify new treatment strategies for early and late stage prostate cancer. Dr. Stewart is expanding her research program to include studies that examine the effect of PPARg ligands and anti-diabetic agents on other diseases of the prostate and urogenital system as well as the factors that control PPARg expression within the prostate. She also has begun to explore the effects of metformin and other antidiabetic agents on prostate cancer growth and progression. Dr. Stewart also serves as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology at Meharry. In this role, she advises students within the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Ph.D. program and serves on multiple committees within the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

Dr. Stewart is a 1991 magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, where she earned a B.S. in Biochemistry. She earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1996. Following her doctoral training, Dr. Stewart completed postdoctoral fellowships at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD and Baylor College of Medicine.