• Title:
    Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Department:

Sharon Kassan, Ph.D.



During her undergraduate studies, Dr. Sharon Kassan worked at the Rockefeller University under the direction of Dr. James M. Manning who encouraged her to pursue a project on sickle cell anemia.

After completing her undergraduate degree in biology at Barnard College, she followed her interest in biomedical sciences by enrolling in a doctoral program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where she became interested in cancer biology. Initially, she worked with Dr. Kevin J. Scanlon studying amino acid transport in human leukemia cells.

She followed her interest in the biology of cancer by working under the direction of Dr. Erlio Gurpide and Dr. Honoree Fleming in the Department of Endocrinology and Reproductive Sciences. She studied the biochemical and immunochemical properties of estrogen receptors in human endometrial cancer cells. In 2002, she joined the faculty at Rivier.


  • Ph.D., Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
  • M.Phil., Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
  • A.B., Columbia University

Academic Philosophy

“My goal is to give my students an appreciation of the amazing discoveries in biology, human genetics and medicine that have already improved our lives and will continue to impact our health in the future. I try to impart the thrill that scientists feel when they formulate a hypothesis and carry out a controlled experiment that solves a scientific quandary. It is also important for students to realize that many important discoveries were made serendipitously as articulated by Louis Pasteur in his famous words: “Chance favors the prepared mind”.

In order to make science relevant to my students, I apply biological principles to practical human concerns by focusing my lectures on the molecular details of various human diseases and how through biomedical research, scientists are developing innovative therapies to treat many devastating human diseases.”


  • Human Biology/Biomedical Sciences
  • Cancer Biology
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Human Genetics/Human Genome Sciences/Genetic Engineering
  • Medical Biochemistry/Sickle Cell Anemia/Cystic Fibrosis

Courses Taught

  • BIO 105 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIO 106 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
  • BIO 109 Human Biology I
  • BIO 110 Human Biology II

Recent Publications and Proceedings

  1. Kassan, S., Mechanick, J.I. and Gurpide, E. (1989) Altered Estrogen Receptor System in Estrogen-Unresponsive Human Endometrial Adenocarcinoma Cells. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry. 33:327-333.
  2. Kassan, S. and Gurpide E. (1987) Immunochemical Differences in Estradiol Receptors from Estrogen-Responsive and Unresponsive Human Endometrial Adenocarcinoma Cells. Presented at the 69th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society. Indianapolis, Indiana.
  3. Holinka, C.F., Anzai, Y. Hata, H., Kuromoto, H., and Kassan, S. (1988) Estradiol Effects on the Proliferation of Endometrial Cancer Cells in Culture. International Endocrine Society Meeting, Tokyo, Japan.
  4. Gurpide, E., Holinka, C.F., Anzai, Y., Hata, H., Kuramoto, H., Kassan, S. and Markiewicz, L. (1987) Estrogen Actions on Endometrial Adenocarcinoma. Serona conference on Steroid Receptors.
  5. Gurpide, E., Kassan, S. and Fleming, H. (1984) Heterogeneity and Regulation of Estrogen Specific Binders. 4th congress of Pan American biochemical Societies, Buenos Aires.
  6. Scanlon, K.J., Riegelhaupt, R., Pallai, M.E., Kisthard, H., Kassan, S. and Waxman, S. (1983) Altered Methotrexate Sensitivity in Human Leukemic K562 Amino Acid Transport Mutant Cells. In: Cheimistry and Biology of Pteridines. Elsevier/North Holland, NY 5:933-939.