Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Salvador Alejo, Ph.D.

M.D./Ph.D. Student

Salvador (Sal) completed his PhD in the lab of Gangadhara Sareddy, PhD in May 2023. As a student in the South Texas Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD Program), Sal has transitioned back to medical school for his final two years of clinical training before an anticipated MD graduation of May 2025. Sal’s graduate research utilized patient-derived primary tissues and mice models of glioblastoma (GBM) to examine the role of lysine-specific histone demethylase 1A (KDM1A/LSD1) to potentiate DNA damage response of glioma stem cells and determine the potential of small molecular inhibitors of KDM1A as a novel treatment strategy for GBM alongside standard of care modalities such as radiation and chemotherapy. He envisions a career as a translational cancer researcher with interests in internal medicine, radiation oncology, and pathology.

About Me

My name is Sal. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. As a first-generation college grad and non-traditional student, I did my undergrad at Harvard and completed an informal postbac at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I am a fluent Spanish speaker and taught the Medical Spanish course at UT Health San Antonio. In my spare time, I enjoy watching sports and rooting for my hometown Golden Knights and Raiders.


Hiking; Watching Sports and TV/Movies

Research Topic

Epigenetic regulation of DNA repair in Glioblastoma

Why I chose MD/PhD

To obtain training as a physician-scientist and make an impact in the lives of cancer patients by translating bench research to the clinic.

Post-bac work or other affiliations

Postbac at the University of Nevada Las Vegas


Post-Baccalaureate, Biochemistry, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 2017

B.A., Mathematics, Harvard University, 2010


Alejo, S., Palacios, B. E., Venkata, P. P., He, Y., Li, W., Johnson, J. D., Chen, Y., Jayamohan, S., Pratap, U. P., Clarke, K., Zou, Y., Lv, Y., Weldon, K., Viswanadhapalli, S., Lai, Z., Ye, Z., Chen, Y., Gilbert, A. R., Suzuki, T., … Sareddy, G. R. (2023). Lysine-specific histone demethylase 1A (KDM1A/LSD1) inhibition attenuates DNA double-strand break repair and augments the efficacy of temozolomide in glioblastoma. In Neuro-Oncology (Vol. 25, Issue 7, pp. 1249–1261). Oxford University Press (OUP).

He, Y., Alejo, S., ., Johnson, J. D., Jayamohan, S., & Sareddy, G. R. (2023). Reticulocalbin 3 Is a Novel Mediator of Glioblastoma Progression. In Cancers (Vol. 15, Issue 7, p. 2008). MDPI AG.

He, Y., Alejo, S., Venkata, P. P., Johnson, J. D., Loeffel, I., Pratap, U. P., Zou, Y., Lai, Z., Tekmal, R. R., Kost, E. R., & Sareddy, G. R. (2022). Therapeutic Targeting of Ovarian Cancer Stem Cells Using Estrogen Receptor Beta Agonist. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(13), 7159.

Venkata, P. P., Chen, Y., Alejo, S., He, Y., Palacios, B. E., Loeffel, I., Liu, J., Pratap, U. P., Gray, G., Achuthan Pillai, S. M., Zou, Y., Lai, Z., Suzuki, T., Viswanadhapalli, S., Palakurthi, S., Tekmal, R. R., Vadlamudi, R. K., Kost, E., & Sareddy, G. R. (2022). KDM1A inhibition augments the efficacy of rapamycin for the treatment of endometrial cancer. Cancer Letters, 524, 219–231.

Sareddy, G. R., Pratap, U. P., Venkata, P. P., Zhou, M., Alejo, S., Viswanadhapalli, S., Tekmal, R. R., Brenner, A. J., & Vadlamudi, R. K. (2021). Activation of estrogen receptor beta signaling reduces stemness of glioma stem cells. Stem Cells, 39(5), 536–550.

Zhou, M., Venkata, P. P., Viswanadhapalli, S., Palacios, B., Alejo, S., Chen, Y., He, Y., Pratap, U. P., Liu, J., Zou, Y., Lai, Z., Suzuki, T., Brenner, A. J., Tekmal, R. R., Vadlamudi, R. K., & Sareddy, G. R. (2021). KDM1A inhibition is effective in reducing stemness and treating triple negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 185(2), 343–357.

Zhang, C., Leng, F., Saxena, L., Hoang, N., Yu, J., Alejo, S., Lee, L., Qi, D., Lu, F., Sun, H., & Zhang, H. (2019). Proteolysis of methylated SOX2 protein is regulated by L3MBTL3 and CRL4DCAF5 ubiquitin ligase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 294(2), 476–489.

Leng, F., Yu, J., Zhang, C., Alejo, S., Hoang, N., Sun, H., Lu, F., & Zhang, H. (2018). Methylated DNMT1 and E2F1 are targeted for proteolysis by L3MBTL3 and CRL4DCAF5 ubiquitin ligase. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1641.

Li, W., Xiong, X., Abdalla, A., Alejo, S., Zhu, L., Lu, F., & Sun, H. (2018). HGF-induced formation of the MET–AXL–ELMO2–DOCK180 complex promotes RAC1 activation, receptor clustering, and cancer cell migration and invasion. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(40), 15397–15418.

Zhang, C., Hoang, N., Leng, F., Saxena, L., Lee, L., Alejo, S., Qi, D., Khal, A., Sun, H., Lu, F., & Zhang, H. (2018). LSD1 demethylase and the methyl-binding protein PHF20L1 prevent SET7 methyltransferase–dependent proteolysis of the stem-cell protein SOX2. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 293(10), 3663–3674.