Faculty Profile: Mahasin Osman, Ph.D

Mahasin Osman
Mahasin Osman, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Research in the Osman lab is both basic mechanistic and translational, focused on the mechanisms governing cell homeostasis and their dysfunction in human disease. Using well-established and new technology the Osman lab investigates signaling networks that underlie complex diseases, and aims at identifying biomarkers and drug targets.

Three main projects are being pursued to define how a newly identified pathway regulates the mTORC1-S6K negative feedback on insulin signaling and cell proliferation, links cancer and diabetes and how it mediates infection-generated cancers


Mahasin Osman received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in Biochemistry Cell and Molecular Biology. Her postdoctoral work also at Cornell focused on cell polarity and cytokinesis and was the first to define yeast IQGAP as the now widely used secretion marker in cytokinesis. As a Research Scientist with independent laboratory funded by the National Cancer Institute her laboratory identified a unique signaling pathway that couples cell growth and division and regulates the mTORC1/S6K-Akt axis, and which links cancer and metabolic disease
Research in the Osman lab is both basic mechanistic and translational, focused on the mechanisms that govern cell homeostasis and their dysfunction in human disease. These mechanisms are produced by evolutionarily conserved multi-protein complexes involved in decoding, transmitting and executing intrinsic and extrinsic signals, such as nutrients and growth factors, to regulate cell function. Using well-established and new technology the Osman lab investigates signaling networks that underlie the link between cancer and diabetes, and aims at identifying biomarkers and drug targets for personalized medicine.

Grants and Awards

2012 Certificate, Koc University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey and The American Society for Cell Biology, for Designing and Organizing the FAFM workshop (http://fafm.ku.edu.tr).
2012 Certificate and Award, United Nation Development Program (UNDP), for designing and teaching "Modern Cell Biology in research and disease" workshop at the University of Khartoum, Sudan
2011 AACR Award, Minority Scholars in Cancer Research. The AACR 102nd Annual Meeting, 2011, Orlando, FL.
2009 First Place Poster Prize winner, Translational Cancer Research, 22nd Annual International Symposium of the Hunter College Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function, Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell Medical College.
2007 ASCB, Visiting Professors award, Weill Cornell Medical College, NY, was funding research project to study protein trafficking by live imaging.
2007 First Place Prize winner for the best solution of the spectral problem competition in the Analytical and Quantitative Light Microscopy (AQLM) Course, MBL Woods Hole, MA
2004-2009 Grant (CA104285) from the NIH-National Cancer Institute (NCI).
2003-2004 American Cancer Society grant ($20K)
1997-2001 NIH fellowship in Molecular and Cell Biology of Cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)


2010-present American Association for Cancer Research, AACR.
1999-present American Society for Cell Biology, ASCB
1993-present Society for Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology
1993-present American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Funded Research

2004-2008 no-cost extension until 2009 CA104285-03: NIH, NCI, (PI) Roles for IQGAP1 in Polarity and Cytokinesis. (~$500,000 direct)
2003-2004 American Cancer Society (PI): Roles for IQGAP1 in cytokinesis and trafficking ($20,000 direct)
2007-2009 American Society for Cell Biology Visiting Professors Awards (PI) Roles for IQGAP1 in ER-Golgi trafficking in epithelial cells ($40,000 direct)
2003-2008 Hunter R. Rawlings III Presidential Research Scholar, Cornell University, (Mentor) awarded for outstanding undergraduate student proposals conducting research in my laboratory ($20,000 direct).
2003-2008 Cornell Tradition Scholarships Program, (Mentor) awarded for outstanding proposals by undergraduate student conducting research in my laboratory.

Teaching Experience

2003- 2009. BIOG 2990 - Introduction to Research Methods in Biology (3-5 credits course).

2006- 2008. BIOG 4990 - Independent Undergraduate Research in Biology (3-9 credits course)

The Cell Biology of Protozoan Pathogens. First West African Regional Workshop, JULY 13-24, 2009, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana (The American Society for Cell Biology)

East African Regional Training workshop. Cell Biology of Infectious Disease JULY 2008, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania (The American Society for Cell Biology)

633, 638 Molecular biology course at Cornell university.

Taught genetics, physiology, anatomy and Biochemistry undergrad courses.

Courses Taught

  • Macromolecular Biosynthesis (graduate course). (BIOG 638)
  • Principles of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BIOGM 638)

Selected Publications

  • Osman, M. A., Sarkar F. H., and Rodriguez-Boulan E. (2013). A Molecular Rheostat on the Interface of Cancer and Diabetes. Elsevier Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, BBA-Reviews on Cancer, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbcan.2013.04.005. NIHMSID 473942 (2013)
  • Osman M. A. Bloom G. S. and Tagoe E. A. (2013). Helicobacter pylori-Induced Alteration of Epithelial Cell Signaling and Polarity as a Possible Mechanism of the Etiology and Disparity of Gastric Carcinoma. Cytoskeleton 70:349–359 (2013)
  • Tekletsadik, K. Y., Sonn, R. and Osman, M. A. (2012). A Conserved Role for IQGAP1 in Regulating TOR Complex 1. J. Cell Sci. 125, 2041–2052 Epublished ahead of print February 10 2012. (2012)
  • Osman, M. A. (2010). An emerging role for IQGAP1 in regulating protein traffic. TheScientificWorldJOURNAL 10, 944–953. DOI 10.1100/tsw.2010.85 (2010)
  • Wang, J-B, Sonn, R., Tekletsadik, Y. K. Samorodnitsky, D. and Osman, M. A. (2009). IQGAP1 regulates cell proliferation through a novel CDC42-mTOR pathway. J Cell Sci; 122. 2024-2033. highlighted editorially and on the cover (2009)
  • Rittmeyer, E. N. Daniel, S. Hsu, S. C., and Osman, M. A. (2008). A dual role for IQGAP1 in regulating exocytosis. J Cell Sci; 121, 391-408 (Highlighted editorially and on the cover (2008)
  • Osman, M. A., and Cerione, R. A. (2006). Actin doesn't do the locomotion: Secretion drives cell polarization. In: Trafficking Inside Cells: Pathways, Mechanisms and Regulation. Ed. N. Segev, Landes Bioscience/Eurekah.com, Georgetown, Texas. http://www.eurekah.com/ (2006)
  • Osman, M. A., Konopka. J. and Cerione, R. A. (2002). Iqg1p Links Spatial and Secretion Landmark to Polarity and Cytokinesis. J Cell Biol., 159: 601-611. (Corresponding author) (2002)
  • Osman, M. A. and Cerione, R. A. (1998) Iqg1p, a yeast homologue of the mammalian IQGAPs, mediates Cdc42p effects on the actin cytoskeleton. J Cell Biol. 142: 443-455. (1998)