Dana Pape-Zambito PhD

Dana Pape-Zambito PhD

Undergraduate Program Director of Biological and Microbiological Sciences

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences


BA (University of Delaware)

PhD (The Pennsylvania State University)

Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Fox Chase Cancer Center)

Research Interests

  • Breast cancer initiation and progression
  • Mammary gland developmentand lactation
  • Influence of endocrine disrupting hormones on the mammary gland 

I mentor undergraduate students on library based projects.  Currently, I am not accepting undergraduates or graduates for laboratory based projects.


Dr. Pape-Zambito is responsible for teaching General Biology lectures and laboratories, Human Physiology and Advanced Cell Biology.  She has expertise in physiology, specifically endocrinology, reproduction, and lactation.  She also has extensive experience studying breast cancer, so is well versed in histology and pathology of the normal and cancerous mammary gland.  Her Ph.D was completed in a department of Dairy and Animal Science, therefore Dr. Pape-Zambito also has a working knowledge of Animal and Veterinary Science. 

In the laboratory, Dr. Pape-Zambito has been researching development of breast cancer.  When a woman finds a suspicious lump in her breast she is usually sent for mammography followed by diagnostic biopsy.  Often the biopsy results confirm that a woman has benign breast disease, which is not a cancerous condition, but may develop into invasive breast cancer in the future.  This is problematic because a clinician’s course of treatment (ranging from simple observation to the extreme of prophylactic bilateral mastectomy) has significant reprucussions on a woman’s life and well being.  Any protein biomarkers that would help to determine whether or not a benign lesion has the potential to become cancerous would be greatly advantageous for the clinician and patient.  Dr. Pape-Zambito’s post-doctoral research was to discover and validate proteins that may be expressed in benign brest lesions that develop cancer that are not present in benign lesions that do not become cancerous.  This way one could predict which lesions are more likely to develop into cancer in the future, so that more aggressive treatment strategies could be followed before breast cancer develops.  Breast cancer is also a heterogenous disease and not all lesions have the potential to develop into breast cancer.  She is collaborating with others at Fox Chase Cancer Center to determine if there are genetic abberations leading to differences in protein expression that may allow certain in situ lesions to progress to invasive lesions.  Lastly Dr. Pape-Zambito is interested in determining how certain endocrine disrupting hormones may play a role in breast cancer iniitation.  Several man-made checicals can mimic the effects of hormones naturally produced by the body.  These synthetic chemicals act via the same receptors but can stimulate different effects than the endogenous hormone.  Dr. Pape-Zambito would like to determine whether or not certain endocrine disrupting hormones can transform normal mammary epithelial cells into preneoplastic, or cancerous cells.  Future research would be targeted at determining what cellular pathways are affected by the endocrine disrupting hormone.    

Dr. Pape-Zambito has been the recipient of several awards, most notably a post-doctoral fellowship from the Susan G. Komen foundation, and a pre-doctoral fellowship through the National Institutes of Health.  She has won several poster competitions where it was important to convey the importance of her research to a general lay audience. 

Selected Scholarly Activity

Pape-Zambito, D. A., & A. M. Mostrom. 2018. Improving Teaching through Triadic Alignment. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education. 19(3): 19.3.93. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i3.1642 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6195179/

Pape-Zambito, D., Z. Jiang, H. Wu, K. Devarajan, C. M. Slater, Q. Cai, A. Patchefsky, M. B. Daly and X. Chen.  Identifying a Highly-aggressive Subgroup of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) by Studying Intra-individual DCIS Heterogeneity among Invasive Breast Cancer Patients .  PLOS One.  2014 Jun 30;9(6):e100488. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100488.

Pape-Zambito, D. A.,R. F. Roberts, and R. S. Kensinger.  2010.  Estrone and 17b-estradiol concentrations in pasteurized-homogenized and commercial dairy products.  J. Dairy Sci. 93(6):2533:40. 

A. L. Magliaro-Macrina, A. C. W. Kauf, D. A. Pape-Zambito, and R. S. Kensinger.  2010.  Effect of dexamethasone on 14- and 18-month-old heifers induced into lactation.  J. Dairy Sci. 93 (Suppl. 1) 481. 

Pape-Zambito D. A.,  J. L.Kistler, X. Chen ,X. M. Li,Y. Chen,K. Q. Cai, H. Wu, M. Huang, A. T. Yeung, A. S. Patchefsky, M. B. Dalyand A. K. Godwin.  Molecular Biomarkers of Columnar Cell Lesions Identified by Proteomic Approaches (abstract).  In: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS); 2009 December 9-13; San Antonio, TX: AACR; 2009. Abstract nr 243. 

Pape-Zambito, D. A., A. L. Magliaro, and R. S. Kensinger.  2008.  17b-Estradiol and estrone concentrations in plasma and milk during bovine pregnancy.  J. Dairy Sci. 91(1):127-34.

Pape-Zambito, D. A., A. L. Magliaro, and R. S. Kensinger.  2007. Concentrations of 17b-estradiol in Holstein whole milk.  J. Dairy Sci. 90(7):3308-13. 

Pape-Zambito, D. A., C. A. Gifford, T. L. Ott, and R. S. Kensinger.  2007.  17b-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase and β-Casein Transcripts Detected in Bovine Milk Somatic CellsJ. Dairy Sci. 90: (Suppl. 1) 216. 

K. N. Patel, A. L. Magliaro, J. R. Werner, D. A. Pape-Zambito, and R. S. Kensinger.  2007.  Value of Anesthesia in the Dehorning of Dairy Calves.  J. Dairy Sci. 90: (Suppl. 1) 62-63. 

Pape-Zambito, D. A., A. L. Magliaro, and R. S. Kensinger.  2007.  Estradiol concentrations increase in bovine milk in late pregnancy and are correlated with milk fat and protein.  FASEB J. 21:973.19.   

Pape-Zambito, D. A., R. F. Roberts, N. M. Kauffman, and R. S. Kensinger.  2006.  17b-estradiol concentration in raw and pasteurized/homogenized whole milk.  J. Dairy Sci. 89: (Suppl. 1) 112.

Contact Information

Office location: McNeil Science & Technology Center, Room 375
Mailing address: University of Sciences
600 South 43rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495
Office Phone: 267.295.3173

d [dot] pape-zambito [at] usciences [dot] edu