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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Melissa Rogers, Ph.D.


NJMS-UH Cancer Center (NJMSUHCC)
205 South Orange Avenue Room F1216
Newark , NJ 07101
Phone: (973) 972-2984



Melissa B. Rogers, Ph.D., is a tenured Associate Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics at Rutgers NJ Medical School (NJMS) in Newark, NJ. Dr. Rogers received her B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, and Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. She also trained at Dana Farber Cancer Institute with Dr. L. Gudas (1985-1991) and in the Dept. of Genetics, Harvard Medical School with Dr. J. Seidman (1992). In 1993, she was appointed as Assistant Professor in Biology at the University of South Florida in Tampa and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 1999. At USF, Dr. Rogers received awards for both research and teaching.
In 2001, Dr. Rogers moved to Rutgers NJMS (previously UMDNJ). Her research has been continuously funded since 1993 by external sources that include the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, March of Dimes, NJ State Commission on Cancer Research, and Leukemia Research Foundation, Inc. Dr. Rogers has reviewed for the NIH, National Science Foundation, AHA, Alzheimer's Assoc., and Philip Morris External Research Program and journals. She now chairs the AHA Genetics & Epigenetics 3 Review Panel. Dr. Rogers' teaching duties include directing and lecturing medical and graduate student courses. Dr. Rogers is a member of the AHA, the Society for Developmental Biology, the NJMS University Hospital Cancer Center Community, and the NJMS Cardiovascular Research Institute.



Ph.D., 1985, Brandeis University, Biology




Relevant Publications:

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography: sort=date&direction=ascending
Fotinos, A, Fritz, DT, Lisica, S, Liu, Y, Rogers, M. B. Competing Repressive Factors Control Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 (BMP2) in Mesenchymal Cells Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 117:439–447 (2016)
Rogers, M. B., TA Shah, NN Shaikh. Turning Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 (BMP2) On and Off in Mesenchymal Cells. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 116(10):2127-38 (2015)
Yutzey, KE, Demer, LL, Body, SC, Huggins, GS , Towler, DA, Giachelli, CM, Hofmann- Bowman, MA, Mortlock, DP, Rogers, MB, Sadeghi, MM, Aikawa, E. Calcific aortic valve disease: A consensus summary from Alliance of Investigators on Calcific Aortic Valve Disease, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 34(11):2387-93 (2014)
Fotinos, A, Nagarajan, N, Adriano S. Martins, AS, Fritz, DT, Garsetti, D, Lee, AT, Hong, CC, and Rogers, MB, Bone Morphogenetic Protein-focused Strategies to Induce Cytotoxicity in Lung Cancer Cells, Anticancer Research, 34 (5): 2095-2104 (2014)
Kruithof, BPT, Xu J, Fritz, DT, Cabral CS, Gaussin, V, and Rogers, M. B. (2011) An In Vivo Map of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 Post-transcriptional Repression in the Heart, genesis, The Journal of Genetics and Development 49:841–850.
Kruithof, BPT, Fritz, DT, Liu, Y, Garsetti, DE, Frank, DB, Pregizer, SK, Gaussin, V, Mortlock, DP, and Rogers, M.B (2010) An Autonomous BMP2 Regulatory Element in Mesenchymal Cells, J. Cell. Biochem. 112: 666 - 674. PMID: 21136487
Jiang, S, Fritz, DT, and Rogers, MB (2010) A Conserved Post-Transcriptional Bmp2 Switch in Lung Cells, J. Cell. Biochem. 110: 509 – 521. PMID: 20432245
Devaney JM, Tosi LL, Fritz DT, Gordish-Dressman HA, Jiang S, ........ Hoffman EP, and Rogers MB (2009) Differences in Fat and Muscle Mass Associated With a Functional Human Polymorphism in a Post-transcriptional BMP2 Gene Regulatory Element. J. Cell Biochem. J. Cell Biochem. 107: 1073 - 1082. PMID: 19492344


Courses Taught

BIOC5007Q Found of Biochem & Mol Biology


BIOC5240Q Molec Biol of the News


GSND5200Q Intro to Biomedical Sciences


Current Research

Regulating the Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2)

Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) is an essential signal. We focus on the regulation of
BMP2 in three contexts:
1. In EMBRYOGENESIS, because abnormal BMP2 levels cause birth defects, including lethal
congenital malformations of the heart and other organs.
2. In the adult VASCULATURE AND CARDIAC VALVES, because excessive BMP2 levels in the
blood vasculature and coronary valves promote pathological calcification (e.g.,
atherosclerosis and calcific aortic valve disease).
3. In LUNG TUMORS, because BMP2 levels are abnormally elevated in human lung tumors
relative to non-malignant lung tissue and in vitro and in vivo experiments and patient
studies indicate that elevated levels of BMP2 that BMP2 promotes lung tumor tumorigenesis
and bone metastases.

We discovered a sequence within the regulatory part of the gene that has been largely
unchanged since fishes and mammals diverged, the “ultra-conserved sequence” (UCS). The
extraordinary conservation of this sequence supports a fundamental role in animal
development and function. One role of the UCS is to turn off BMP2 synthesis in clinically
relevant cell types (e.g., heart valves, vascular cells, and healthy lungs). We
hypothesize that the ability of the UCS to block BMP2 synthesis is compromised in tissues
that express pathological levels of BMP2.

New preventative and therapeutic targets are needed for these pathologies. Therefore we
seek to identify regulatory proteins and microRNAs that can pharmacologically reawaken
BMP2 repression.

STUDENT PROJECTS: A student would analyze the expression of BMP2 reporter genes
or BMP2 itself in cells and mice that model these diseases. Potential methods: tissue
culture of primary and immortalized cells, transfection of plasmids and microRNAs into
cells, the generation of reporter gene plasmids, biochemical characterization of
regulatory processes, transgenic mouse analyses.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 1R01HL114751, “BMP2 Gene Regulation in Calcific
Aortic Valve Disease”, 07/01/2012 – 06/31/2016
Foundation of UMDNJ and Dean’s Biomedical Research Support Program, #PC53-12, “BMP2
Repression and Embryogenesis and Adult Physiology”, 04/01/2012-03/30/2014

Melissa B. Rogers, Ph.D., Associate Professor,
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
UMDNJ - NJ Medical School, Bldg. MSB, Room E627
Phone 973 972 2984
Fax 973 972 5594



Everything A Medical School Should Be - And More

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