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Matthew J. Gdovin, Ph.D.


Phone: (210) 458-5768

Lab website:

Areas of Specialization

» Photodynamic cancer therapy


Ph.D. in Physiology; Dartmouth College
B.S. in Biology; University of Texas at San Antonio


Research Interests

Dr. Gdovin's laboratory recently combined the use of fluorescent pH indicator dyes to optically record pHi with the photoactivation of caged compounds to develop a novel photodynamic cancer therapeutic. He exposed MCF-7 breast cancer cells to the H+ carrier nitrobenzaldehyde (NBA) and, following flash photolysis, was able to release this H+ from NBA and decrease pHi from 7.34 to 6.42 in an effort to cause pH-induced apoptosis. The reduction of pHi with this technique was focal, as only the cancer cells exposed to both NBA and the photoactivated wavelength were acidified. More importantly, they were able to demonstrate that this novel treatment killed 98% of cancer cells within three hours, with no changes to untreated control cells.

The technique was also effective in causing significant reductions in the growth of Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) tumors and nearly doubling survival time in mice. To date, the technique has been successful in killing two types of breast cancer and one type of prostate cancer, supporting the lab's hypothesis that reducing the pHi to cause apoptosis may be a mechanism to kill cancer which no cancer cells can evade.


Training Opportunities

Fluorescence microscopy; cell culture; in vitro photodynamic therapy; in vivo animal models of cancer and cancer treatments.



Click here for a list of publications.