Sami Sauma

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Casaccia Lab, Neuroscience Initiative

Sami Sauma earned a B.A. in Biology from La Salle University and an M.S. in Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University. As a masters student, he developed a thesis project under the supervision of D. Craig Hooper investigating the role of immunity, exosomes and the tumor microenvironment in an animal model of glioma. Prior to joining Dr. Casaccia’s lab, Sami worked as a technician for four years in the Department of Neurosurgery at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. There, he performed autologous tumor vaccine preparations and downstream immune-related analyses as part of a Phase I immunotherapy clinical trial for glioblastoma multiforme. While at Jefferson, Sami was also involved in the development of an IGF1R antisense-based treatment targeting M2 macrophages in glioma and the formation of a Philadelphia-based biotechnology startup.

Sami joins the Neuroscience team as part of the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology doctoral program at CUNY’s Graduate Center. His goal is to develop a project addressing the role of metabolism in glial biology during development and adulthood.

In June 2021, Sami received a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), totaling $31,736 over two years for “Metabolic Control of Proliferation and Differentiation in Oligodendrocytes.”


N. Nayeem, S. Sauma, A. Ahad, R. Rameau, S. Kebadze, M. Bazett, B. J. Park, P. Casaccia, S. Prabha, K. Hubbard, M. Contel. Insights into Mechanisms and Promising Triple Negative Breast Cancer Therapeutic Potential for a Water-Soluble Ruthenium Compound. ACS Pharmacol. Transl. Sci., 2024, acsptsci.4c00020. DOI:

K. Veerasammy, Y. X. Chen, S. Sauma, M. Pruvost, D. K. Dansu, T. Choetso, T. Zhong, D. Marechal, P. Casaccia, R. Abzalimov, Y. He. Sample Preparation for Metabolic Profiling Using MALDI Mass Spectrometry Imaging. JoVE, 2020, No. 166, 62008. DOI:

D. K. Dansu, S. Sauma, P. Casaccia. Oligodendrocyte Progenitors as Environmental Biosensors. Semin Cell Dev Biol, 2020. DOI:

S. Sauma, P. Casaccia. Gut-Brain Communication in Demyelinating Disorders. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 2020, 62, 92–101. DOI:

S. Sauma, P. Casaccia. Does the Gut Microbiota Contribute to the Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Niche? Neuroscience Letters, 2019, 134574. DOI: