Catherine D. Mao, Ph.D.

Research Faculty, Department of Clinical Sciences
Division of Clinical Nutrition


Dr. Mao received her BS in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Ph. D in Microbiology from the University Paris 7-Rene Diderot (Paris, France) followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research-UK) (London, United Kingdom). Her research work has been funded by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the National Institute of Health.

  • Member of the Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences
  • Member of the Markey Cancer Center-Cancer Cell Biology/Signaling group

Professional Associations

  • Dr. Mao served for a 4 year term (2004-2007) on the American Heart Association-Ohio Valley Affiliate Committee 5C study section: Basic Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Member of the American Society for Cell Biology
  • Member of the North American Vascular Biology Organization

Research Focus

Dr. Mao research interests are centered on the cellular signaling and mechanisms controlling endothelial cell homeostasis and behavior in physiological conditions (growth and tissue repair) and pathophysiological conditions (tumor development, metastatic tumor progression, and other age-related diseases such as diabetes) with a particular focus on the Wnts and Wnt-signaling components and their regulation by lithium and the cellular metabolic redox-states. She is currently funded by the National Institute on Aging to study the transcriptional regulation of the matrix-metalloproteinase 1 during endothelial cell senescence and the role of the matrix-metalloproteinase 1/protease activated receptor axis in the establishment and reinforcement of cell senescence.

Recent Publications

  • I. Struewing, T. Boyechko, C. Barnett, M. Beildeck, S. W. Byers and C. D. Mao. The balance of TCF7L2 variants with differential activities in Wnt-signaling is regulated by lithium in a GSK3b-independent manner. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2010, 399:245
  • I. T. Struewing, S. N. Durham, C. D. Barnett and C. D. Mao. Enhanced endothelial cell senescence by lithium-induced matrix metalloproteinase 1 expression. J. Biol. Chem. 2009, 284:17595.
  • R. P. Bunaciu, T. Tang and C. D. Mao. Differential expression of Wnt13 isoforms during leukemic cell differentiation. Oncol. Rep. 2008, 20:195.
  • T. Tang, K. Rector, C. D. Barnett and C. D. Mao. Upstream reading frames regulate the expression of the nuclear Wnt13 isoforms. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2008, 366:1081.
  • I. T. Struewing, C. D. Barnett, W. Zhang, S. Yadav, and C. D. Mao. Frizzled-7 turnover at the plasma membrane is regulated by cell density and the calcium-dependent protease calpain-1. Exp. Cell Res. 2007, 313:3526.
  • I. T. Struewing, C. D. Barnett, T. Tang and C. D. Mao. Lithium increases PGC1-alpha expression and mitochondrial biogenesis in primary bovine endothelial cells. FEBS J. 2007, 274:2749-65.
  • I. T. Struewing, A. Toborek and C. D. Mao. Mitochondrial and Nuclear forms of Wnt13 are generated by alternative promoters, alternative RNA splicing and alternative translation start sites. J. Biol. Chem. 2006, 286:7282.
  • C. Mao*, P. Hoang and P.E. DiCorleto. Lithium inhibits cell cycle progression and induces stabilization of p53 in bovine aortic endothelial cells. J. Biol Chem. 2001, 276:26180.* Corresponding author.
  • C. Mao, O. Tahlil-Ben Malek, M. E. Pueyo, P. G. Steg and F. Soubrier. Differential expression of rat frizzled-related frzb-1, frizzled receptor fz1 and fz2 in the rat aorta following balloon injury. Atheroscler. Thromb. Vasc. Biol., 2000, 20:43.
Catherine Mao, Ph.D.

Catherine D. Mao, Ph.D.
Research Faculty

Room 209C Wethington Building
900 South Limestone Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0200
(859) 218-0587
Fax: (859) 257-2454