Jane Ishmael


Office: 541-737-5783

Pharmacy Building

Pharmacy Building 411

1601 SW Jefferson Avenue

1601 SW Jefferson Avenue
Corvallis, OR 97331
National Institute on Drug Abuse Postdoctoral Fellow, 1996-1999 Oregon State University, Postdoctoral Training, 1995-1999 Oregon State University, Ph.D., 1995 University of Bradford, England, Bachelor of Science, 1988
Honors and Awards: 

Congratulations to Ian Humphreys, who started his research career as an undergraduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Jane Ishmael from 2015-17.  Ian was supported by the College of Pharmacy Summer Undergraduate program in 2016 and 2017, and went on to pursue a Master’s degree in the laboratory of Dr. Tom Sharpton (Microbiology, OSU).  Ian is now a Ph.D. student in Dr. Daniel Baker’s laboratory at the University of Washington and has just published his first, first author paper in Science.  DOI: 10.1126/science.abm4805 


Dr. Jane Ishmael (Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences) and collaborator Dr. Christian Badr (Massachusetts General Hospital) received an R21 Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to study ER stress in glioblastoma. 

Research Highlights: 

Dr. Ishmael’s research focuses on the use of new chemical entities from marine organisms and fungi as tool compounds to disrupt cell signaling and proteostasis in human cancer cells. With a special interest in glioblastoma, our goal is to identify and validate novel druggable targets for the treatment of human disease.

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
Pharmacy Professnl Instr
OSU Main Campus
Faculty Type: 
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Research/Career Interests: 

Our research focuses on understanding the functional relationship between autophagy (“self-eating”) and cell death signaling in brain tumor cells. Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common malignant primary tumor of the central nervous system and remains very difficult to treat. These tumors arise from astrocytes and have many biological characteristics that allow them to evade cell death. We utilize a range of human cancer cell types and genetically modified mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) to determine how cells use autophagy as a survival response to stress. Our research interests are closely aligned with the drug discovery efforts in the College of Pharmacy and we study a number of unique compounds that have arisen in nature in diverse and unusual ecosystems. The main projects in the Ishmael laboratory are currently centered around structures with anticancer potential that were discovered by Drs. Kerry McPhail and Taifo Mahmud at collection sites in Panama, South Africa, Indonesia and the Red Sea.  By working at the interface of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology we seek to understand the potential of these naturally occurring structures to modulate autophagy, inhibit cellular proliferation and induce apoptotic or alternate modes of cancer cell death.  Our long-term goal is to characterize new chemical entities with the potential to inspire drug development for and identify new cellular targets for cancer chemotherapy.

Functional Group: