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Andrew Ray

F. Andrew Ray
Associate Professor

Phone: (970) 491-5976
Fax: (970) 491-0623
Office: 491 Molecular and Radiological Biosciences Building



Research Interests

In the early 1960s, great consternation was caused when it was realized that a virus (Simian virus 40) contaminating human polio vaccines was capable of causing tumors in baby hamsters. This same virus was found to cause human cells to exhibit cancer-like traits. Whether this virus causes cancer in people is still actively debated and unanswered.

Dr. Ray's research has delved into questions of how the SV40 virus causes cancer traits in normal human cells. Two key traits of cancer cells are genomic instability and immortality. These two traits combine to give the cancer cell a one-two punch. Genomic instability allows a cancer cell lineage to acquire new phenotypes and continually evolve in vivo. The immortal phenotype allows the cells the time to accomplish this evolution.

Dr. Ray has been using the SV40 large T antigen protein to study this process. The protein, when expressed in human fibroblasts, causes chromosome mutation. This genomic instability, a direct effect of T antigen expression, leads to immortalization,(usually by activating telomerase) at rare but detectable frequencies. He is using mutant versions of the T antigen gene in an attempt to understand how T antigen causes these radiomimetic effects.

Selected Publications


  • L. M. Petti and F. A. Ray, Transformation of Mortal Human Fibroblasts and Activation of a Growth Inhibitory Pathway by the BPV E5 Oncoprotein. Cell Growth & Differentiation 11:395-408, (2000).
  • M. C. Montalto, J. S. Phillips, and F. A. Ray, Telomerase activation in human fibroblasts during escape from crisis. J. Cell. Physiol. 180:46-52, (1999).
  • F. A. Ray, M. J. Waltman, J. M. Lehman, J. B. Little, J. A. Nickoloff, and P. M. Kraemer, Identification of SV40 T antigen mutants that alter T antigen-induced chromosome damage in human fibroblasts. Cytometry, 31:242-250 (1998).
  • T. H.-T. Chang, F. A. Ray, D. A. Thompson, and R. Schlegel, Disregulation of mitotic checkpoints and regulatory proteins following acute expression of SV40 large T antigen in human cells. Oncogene 14:2383-2394 (1997).
  • Book Chapters

  • J. A. Nickoloff, W.- P. Deng, E. M. , Miller, and F. A. Ray, Site-Directed Mutagenesis of Double-Stranded Plasmids, Domain Substitution, and Marker Rescue by Comutagenesis of Restriction Sites, in Basic DNA and RNA Protocols (Ed. A.J. Harwood), Methods in Molec.Biol. Vol 58, Chapter 54, Humana Press, Totowa, NJ (1996).
  • F. A. Ray, T. D. Friedrich, J. Laffin, and J. M. Lehman Protein Quantitation Using Flow Cytometry. In: The Protein Protocols Handbook (Ed. J. M. Walker) Humana Press Inc. Totowa, NJ pp. 33-38 (1996).
  • F. A. Ray, Simian Virus 40 Large T Antigen Induces Chromosome Damage That Precedes and Coincides with Complete Neoplastic Transformation. In: Oncogenic Mechanisms of DNA Tumor Viruses (Eds. G. Barbanti-Brodano, M. Bendinelli and H. Friedman) Plenum Publishing Corp., N Y pp. 15-26 (1995).
  • F. A. Ray, Electroporation of Plasmid DNA into Normal Human Fibroblasts. In: Electroporation and Electrofusion Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology, Vol. 48 (Ed. J. A. Nickoloff) Humana Press Inc. Totowa, NJ. pp.133-140 (1995).
  • T. D. Friedrich, F. A. Ray, J. Laffin, and J. M. Lehman Flow Cytometric Quantitation of Cellular Proteins. In press in: The Protein Protocols Handbook, Second Edition (Ed. J. M. Walker) Humana Press.
  • Mailing Address

    Environmental & Radiological Health Sciences
    1681Campus Delivery
    Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, CO 80523
    Phone: (970) 491-7038
    Fax: (970) 491-2940
    Email: ERHSDepartment