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Dr. Jill Bargonetti



Jill Bargonetti, PhD, is the Hesselbach Professor of Biological Sciences at the City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College. Dr. Bargonetti is also the Chair of the Molecular Cellular and Developmental PhD subprogram at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she holds Professor appointments in the departments of Biology and Biochemistry. She is also an adjunct professor at the Weill Cornell School of Medicine as a member of the department of Cell Biology and a preceptor on the mTOR T32 training program. She is a scientist, educator, and choreographer, who in addition to running an active laboratory teaches a class she developed called “Choreographing Genomics” and also teaches undergraduate Cell Biology and the PhD student first year Molecular, Cellular and Developmental seminar.

Bargonetti is a leader in the area of cancer biology with a focus on the wild-type and mutant p53 pathways and their cross-talk modulators MDM2 and MDMX. Much of her research focuses on how breast cancer cells evade normal cell proliferation checkpoint programs when they express high levels of mutant p53, PARP, MDM2, and MDMX. In normal cells, p53 is responsible for turning on the genes that are required for cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The proteins MDM2 and MDMX keep p53 activity under control. In some cancer cells, MDM2 and MDMX are "hyperactive" and cause cells to inactivate their wild-type p53. Strikingly, 80% of Triple Negative Breast Cancers (TNBC) inactivate the p53 gene, and pathway, by mutations. Bargonetti's research group investigates how mutant p53, PARP, MDM2 and MDMX function, and cross-talk, in cancer cells. Her team is working to understand how these proteins can be used as breast cancer biomarkers to shift TNBC, and other hard to treat breast cancers, into treatable diseases.

Bargonetti is a native New Yorker who never had a Black science teacher. As such, she decided to become one. She went to Hunter Elementary School and Hunter High School, but then transferred to the Bronx High School of Science. She earned her BA in Biology from the State University of New York at Purchase after first being a dance major. She earned her PhD in molecular biology from New York University, working with Richard Novick, PhD, a National Academy of Science member. From 1990 to 1994, she received Post-doctoral training under the direction of Carol Prives, PhD, another National Academy of Science member, at Columbia University. In 1994, she returned to where she went to elementary school, CUNY Hunter College. She is happy to be a mentor to the diverse CUNY student population.


Click here to view Dr. Jill Bargonetti's CV.


Dr. Jill Bargonetti
Belfer Research Building
413 E 69th St, New York, NY
Office: BB-400


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