Department of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh
Melanie S. Flint, PhD
Adjunct Research Assistant Professor
School of Pharmacy & Biomolecular Sciences, Cockcroft Building, University of Brighton, Lewes Road
Brighton, UK BN2 4GJ



BS (Biology), University of Portsmouth, England, 1993.
MS (Applied Toxicology), University of Portsmouth, England, 1994.
PhD (Biochemical Toxicology), Imperial College, University of London, England, 1998.
Postdoctoral Scientist, CDC/NIOSH, Morgantown, WV, 1998-2000.

Research Areas
Cancer Pharmacology
Photo of Melanie S. Flint, PhD

Dr. Flint’s primary research project involves the direct interplay between stress hormones (cortisol, NE, and E), cancer and chemotherapy. This is accomplished through a mechanistic study of administration of stress hormones to cancerous cells, and observing these effects both in vitro and in rodent models. Currently, the focus of Dr Flint’s work is translational breast and ovarian cancer research. Specifically, her research examines hormonal influences on cell cycle regulation and cancer. There are two ongoing research projects which will endeavor to begin to fill a large gap in the literature and are readily translated to the clinic; 1) determine the mechanisms through which catecholamines and glucocorticoids affect DNA damage and repair mechanisms in breast cancer cells and to understand how these hormones affect the efficacy of chemotherapy agents with a focus on high risk BRCA mutation carriers (figure 1) and 2) examine the mechanisms of catecholamines and glucocorticoids on the adaptive immune system, and tumorigenesis using a genetic mouse model and a human cohort in ovarian cancer.

figure 1
Figure 1

Important Publications
Flint MS, A Baum, B Episcopo. KZ Knickelbein, AJ Liegey Dougall, WH Chambers and FJ Jenkins.  Chronic exposure to sress hormones promotes transformation and tumorigenicity of 3T3 mouse fibroblasts.  Stress 16:114-121, 2013.
Flint MS and DH Bovbjerg.  DNA damage as a result of psychological stress:  Implications for breast cancer.  Breast Cancer Res 14:320-322, 2012.
Flint MS, RA Budiu, P Teng, M Sun, D Stolz, M Lang, AM Vlad, BL Hood and TP Conrads.  Restraint stress and stress hormones significantly impact T lymphocyte migration and function through specific alterations of the actin cytoskeleton.  Brain Behavior & Immunity 25:1187-1196, 2011.
Maxwell GL, BL Hood, R Day, U Chandran, D Kirchner, NW Bateman, J Allard, C Miller, M Sun, MS Flint, VS Kolli, C Zahn, J Oliver, S Banerjee, T Litzi, A Parwani, G Sandburg, S Rose, M Becich, A Berchuck, E Kohn, JI Risinger and TP Conrads.  Proteomic analysis of Stage I endometrial cancer tissue:  Identification of proteins associated with oxidative processes and inflammation.  Gynecologic Oncology 1:121:586-594, 2011.
Flint MS, K McCarty, F Jenkins, TP Conrads, M Sun and A Baum.  Psychological stress accelerates the onset of tumour formation and alters the type and location of tumours in a DMBA mouse carcinogenesis model.  Stress and Health 27:doi:10.1002/smi.1343.
Bateman NW, M Sun, BL Hood, MS Flint and TP Conrads.  Defining central themes in breast cancer biology by differential proteomics:  Conserved regulation of cell spreading and focal adhesion kinase.  Journal of Proteome Research 9:5311-5324, 2010.
Flint MS, BL Hood, M Sun, NA Stewart, J Jones-Laughner and TP Conrads.  A proteomic analysis of the murine liver in response to a combined exposure to psychological stress and 7,12-dimethylbenz(a) anthracene.  Journal of Proteome Research 9:509-520, 2010.
Flint MS, NE Bateman, G Kim, BL Hood, NA Stewart and TP Conrads.  Stress hormones mediate drug resistance to paclitaxel in human breast cancer cells through a Cdk-1 dependent pathway.  Psychoneuroendocrinology 34:1533-1541, 2009.

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