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School of the Built Environment

Dr Bela Ozsvari

Research Associate


I graduated from the University of Szeged, Hungary having completed an MSc in Biological Sciences in 2004. Then I started my PhD in the laboratory of Prof. Peter Hegyi and Prof. Zoltan Rakonczay at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged. The main focus of my work was to study the role of trypsin on pancreatic duct epithelial cells in the early stage of pancreatitis. During this time, I visited the laboratory of Prof. Barry Argent at the University of Newcastle and after winning a Rosztoczy Scholarship to the USA I spent 12 months at the Boston University Medical Centre.

After completing my PhD I worked as a staff scientist at Avidin Biotechnology (Szeged, Hungary) where I worked on anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective drug discovery projects, got involved also in the development of various in vitro and vivo drug screening technologies. During these years, we developed and patented a novel curcumin derivative, having potent anticancer activity against leukaemia and brain tumor.

In 2013 I joined the research group of Prof. Michael Lisanti as a research associate at the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, focusing on the development of drugs targeting cancer stem cells and tumor metabolism in breast cancer metastasis. We showed that several antibiotics, including doxycycline, target mitochondrial biogenesis and can eradicate breast cancer stem cells, a treatment which might help stop metastasis.

I took up my current role as a Research Associate Fellow at the Biomedical Research Centre of University of Salford in May 2017. Here, we recently discovered senolytic (anti-aging) properties of the well-known antibiotic, azithromycin. 

Research Interests

Development of drugs targeting cancer stem cells and tumor metabolism in breast cancer metastasis, tumor recurrence and drug resistance.

Aging, cellular process of senescence, development of novel senolytics.

Qualifications and Memberships

  • 2019 – Member of the Editorial Board of Pharmaceutics Journal
  • 2008 PhD, Faculty of Medicine, University of Szeged, Hungary
  • 2005 MSc, Biology translator, University of Szeged, Hungary
  • 2004 MSc in Biology, University of Szeged, Hungary


Selected publications:

B Ozsvari, JR Nuttall, F Sotgia, MP Lisanti Azithromycin and Roxithromycin define a new family of “senolytic” drugs that target senescent human fibroblasts Aging (Albany NY) 10 (11), 3294

B Ozsvari, G Bonuccelli, R Sanchez-Alvarez, R Foster, F Sotgia Targeting flavin-containing enzymes eliminates cancer stem cells (CSCs), by inhibiting mitochondrial respiration: vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) in cancer therapy Aging (Albany NY) 9 (12), 2610

B Ozsvari, F Sotgia, MP Lisanti A new mutation-independent approach to cancer therapy: Inhibiting oncogenic RAS and MYC, by targeting mitochondrial biogenesis Aging (Albany NY) 9 (10), 2098

Bela Ozsvari, Marco Fiorillo, Gloria Bonuccelli, Anna Rita Cappello, Luca Frattaruolo, Federica Sotgia, Rachel Trowbridge, Richard Foster, Michael P. Lisanti: Mitoriboscins: Mitochondrial-based therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs), bacteria and pathogenic yeast. Oncotarget 11/2017;, DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.19084

Rebecca Lamb, Bela Ozsvari, Camilla L Lisanti, Herbert B Tanowitz, Anthony Howell, Ubaldo E Martinez-Outschoorn, Federica Sotgia, Michael P Lisanti: Antibiotics that target mitochondria effectively eradicate cancer stem cells, across multiple tumor types: Treating cancer like an infectious disease. Oncotarget 01/2015; 6(7)., DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.3174 *Highlighted in Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2015. 12(4):190.

Jonas Rosendahl, Heiko Witt, Richárd Szmola, Eesh Bhatia, Béla Ozsvári, Olfert Landt, Hans-Ulrich Schulz, Thomas M Gress, Roland Pfützer, Matthias Löhr, Peter Kovacs, Matthias Blüher, Michael Stumvoll, Gourdas Choudhuri, Péter Hegyi, René H M te 

Morsche, Joost P H Drenth, Kaspar Truninger, Milan Macek, Gero Puhl, Ulrike Witt, Hartmut Schmidt, Carsten Büning, Johann Ockenga, Andreas Kage, David Alexander Groneberg, Renate Nickel, Thomas Berg, Bertram Wiedenmann, Hans Bödeker, Volker Keim, Joachim Mössner, Niels Teich, Miklós Sahin-Tóth: Chymotrypsin C (CTRC) variants that diminish activity or secretion are associated with chronic pancreatitis. Nature Genetics 02/2008; 40(1):78-82., DOI:10.1038/ng.2007.44

Other papers:

M Peiris-Pagès, B Ozsvári, F Sotgia, MP Lisanti Mitochondrial and ribosomal biogenesis are new hallmarks of stemness, oncometabolism and biomass accumulation in cancer: Mito-stemness and ribo-stemness features Aging (Albany NY) 11 (14), 4801

EM De Francesco, B Ozsvari, F Sotgia, MP Lisanti Dodecyl-TPP Targets Mitochondria and Potently Eradicates Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs): Synergy With FDA-Approved Drugs and Natural Compounds (Vitamin C and Berberine). Frontiers in oncology 9, 615

F Sotgia, B Ozsvari, M Fiorillo, EM De Francesco, G Bonuccelli, MP Lisanti A mitochondrial based oncology platform for targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs): MITO-ONC-RX Cell Cycle 17 (17), 2091-2100

B Ozsvari, F Sotgia, MP Lisanti Exploiting mitochondrial targeting signal (s), TPP and bis-TPP, for eradicating cancer stem cells (CSCs) Aging (Albany NY) 10 (2), 229

B Ozsvari, F Sotgia, K Simmons, R Trowbridge, R Foster, MP Lisanti Mitoketoscins: Novel mitochondrial inhibitors for targeting ketone metabolism in cancer stem cells (CSCs) Oncotarget 8 (45), 78340

Márió Gyuris, László Hackler, Lajos I Nagy, Róbert Alföldi, Eszter Rédei, Annamária Marton, Tibor Vellai, Nóra Faragó, Béla Ózsvári, Anasztázia Hetényi, Gábor K Tóth, Péter Sipos, Iván Kanizsai, László G Puskás: Mannich Curcuminoids as Potent Anticancer Agents. Archiv der Pharmazie 05/2017; 350(7)., DOI:10.1002/ardp.201700005

Gloria Bonuccelli, Maria Peiris-Pages, Bela Ozsvari, Ubaldo E Martinez-Outschoorn, Federica Sotgia, Michael P Lisanti: Targeting cancer stem cell propagation with palbociclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor: Telomerase drives tumor cell heterogeneity. Oncotarget 12/2016; 8(6)., DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.14196

Béla Ozsvári, Rebecca Lamb, Michael P Lisanti: Repurposing of FDA-approved drugs against cancer - focus on metastasis. Aging 04/2016; 8(4)., DOI:10.18632/aging.100941

László Hackler, Béla Ózsvári, Márió Gyuris, Péter Sipos, Gabriella Fábián, Eszter Molnár, Annamária Marton, Nóra Faragó, József Mihály, Lajos István Nagy, Tibor Szénási, Andrea Diron, Árpád Párducz, Iván Kanizsai, László G Puskás: The Curcumin Analog C-150, 

Influencing NF-κB, UPR and Akt/Notch Pathways Has Potent Anticancer Activity In Vitro and In Vivo. PLoS ONE 03/2016; 11(3):e0149832., DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0149832

Rebecca Lamb, Gloria Bonuccelli, Béla Ozsvári, Maria Peiris-Pagès, Marco Fiorillo, Duncan L Smith, Generoso Bevilacqua, Chiara Maria Mazzanti, Liam A McDonnell, Antonio Giuseppe Naccarato, Maybo Chiu, Luke Wynne, Ubaldo E Martinez-Outschoorn, Federica Sotgia, Michael P Lisanti: Mitochondrial mass, a new metabolic biomarker for stem-like cancer cells: Understanding WNT/FGF-driven anabolic signaling. Oncotarget 09/2015; 6(31)., DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.5852

Rebecca Lamb, Bela Ozsvari, Gloria Bonuccelli, Duncan L Smith, Richard G Pestell, Ubaldo E Martinez-Outschoorn, Robert B Clarke, Federica Sotgia, Michael P Lisanti: Dissecting tumor metabolic heterogeneity: Telomerase and large cell size metabolically define a sub-population of stem-like, mitochondrial-rich, cancer cells. Oncotarget 08/2015; 6(26)., DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.5260

Rebecca Lamb, Marco Fiorillo, Amy Chadwick, Bela Ozsvari, Kimberly J Reeves, Duncan L Smith, Robert B Clarke, Sacha J Howell, Anna Rita Cappello, Ubaldo E Martinez-Outschoorn, Maria Peiris-Pagès, Federica Sotgia, Michael P Lisanti: Doxycycline down-regulates DNA-PK and radiosensitizes tumor initiating cells: Implications for more effective radiation therapy. Oncotarget 06/2015; 6(16)., DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.4159

Arianna De Luca, Marco Fiorillo, Maria Peiris-Pagès, Bela Ozsvari, Duncan L Smith, Rosa Sanchez-Alvarez, Ubaldo E Martinez-Outschoorn, Anna Rita Cappello, Vincenzo Pezzi, Michael P Lisanti, Federica Sotgia: Mitochondrial biogenesis is required for the anchorage-independent survival and propagation of stem-like cancer cells. Oncotarget 06/2015; 6(17)., DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.4401

L.I. Nagy, L.Z. Fehér, G.J. Szebeni, M. Gyuris, P. Sipos, R. Alföldi, B. Ózsvári, L. Hackler, A. Balázs, P. Batár, I. Kanizsai, L. G. Puskás: Curcumin and Its Analogue Induce Apoptosis in Leukemia Cells and Have Additive Effects with Bortezomib in Cellular and Xenograft Models. 05/2015; Biomed Res Int 2015:1-11., DOI:10.1155/2015/968981

Marco Fiorillo, Andrea F Verre, Maria Iliut, Maria Peiris-Pagés, Bela Ozsvari, Ricardo Gandara, Anna Rita Cappello, Federica Sotgia, Aravind Vijayaraghavan, Michael P Lisanti: Graphene oxide selectively targets cancer stem cells, across multiple tumor types: Implications for non-toxic cancer treatment, via " differentiation-based nano-therapy ". Oncotarget 02/2015; 6(6)., DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.3348

Rebecca Lamb, Hannah Harrison, Duncan L Smith, Paul A Townsend, Thomas Jackson, Bela Ozsvari, Ubaldo E Martinez-Outschoorn, Richard G Pestell, Anthony Howell, Michael P Lisanti, Federica Sotgia: Targeting tumor-initiating cells: Eliminating anabolic cancer stem cells with inhibitors of protein synthesis or by mimicking caloric restriction. Oncotarget 02/2015; 6(7)., DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.3278

Takacs Sf, Benedek A, Man I, Ozsvari B, Puskas GL, Neefs M, Benotmane MA, Safrany G, Lumniczky K: Analysis of radiation-induced blood-brain barrier damage in mice by in vivo bio-imaging technique.. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 01/2015; 21(1-2):87.

Andrea E. Tóth, András Tóth, Fruzsina R. Walter, Lóránd Kiss, Szilvia Veszelka, Béla Ózsvári, László G. Puskás, Markus M. Heimesaat, Shinya Dohgu, Yasufumi Kataoka, Gábor Rákhely, Mária A. Deli: Compounds Blocking Methylglyoxal-induced Protein Modification and Brain Endothelial Injury. Archives of Medical Research 11/2014; 45(8)., DOI:10.1016/j.arcmed.2014.10.009

Lóránd Kiss, Éva Hellinger, Ana-Maria Pilbat, Ágnes Kittel, Zsolt Török, András Füredi, Gergely Szakács, Szilvia Veszelka, Péter Sipos, Béla Ózsvári, László G. Puskás, Monika Vastag, Piroska Szabó-Révész, Mária A. Deli: Sucrose Esters Increase Drug Penetration, But Do Not Inhibit P-Glycoprotein in Caco-2 Intestinal Epithelial Cells. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 10/2014; 103(10)., DOI:10.1002/jps.24085

Ferenc Deák, Lajos Mátés, Eva Korpos, Agnes Zvara, Tibor Szénási, Mónika Kiricsi, Luca Mendler, Anikó Keller-Pintér, Béla Ozsvári, Hajnalka Juhász, Lydia Sorokin, László Dux, Nicolas Mermod, László G Puskás, Ibolya Kiss: Extracellular matrilin-2 deposition controls the timing of the myogenic program during muscle regeneration.. Development 06/2014; J Cell Science, 127:3240-3256., DOI:10.1242/jcs.141556

Lajos I Nagy, Eszter Molnár, Iván Kanizsai, Ramóna Madácsi, Béla Ozsvári, Liliána Z Fehér, Gabriella Fábián, Annamária Marton, Csaba Vizler, Ferhan Ayaydin, Klára Kitajka, László Hackler, Lajos Mátés, Ferenc Deák, Ibolya Kiss, László G Puskás: Lipid droplet binding thalidomide analogs activate endoplasmic reticulum stress and suppress hepatocellular carcinoma in a chemically induced transgenic mouse model. Lipids in Health and Disease 11/2013; 12(1):175., DOI:10.1186/1476-511X-12-175

L I Nagy, E Molnár, I Kanizsai, B Ozsvári, L Z Fehér, G Fábián, A Marton, C Vizler, F Ayaydin, K Kitajka, L Hackler, L Mátés, F Deák, I Kiss, L G Puskás: Lipid Droplet Binding Thalidomide Analogs Activate Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Suppress Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Chemically Induced Transgenic Mouse Model.. Lipids in Health and Disease 10/2013; 12:175.

Sevil Korkmaz, Eniko Barnucz, Sivakkanan Loganathan, Shiliang Li, Tamás Radovits, Péter Hegedus, Alina Zubarevich, Kristóf Hirschberg, Alexander Weymann, László G Puskás, Béla Ozsvári, Nóra Faragó, Iván Kanizsai, Gabriella Fábián, Márió Gyuris, Béla Merkely, Matthias Karck, Csaba Szabó, Gábor Szabó: Q50, an Iron-Chelating and Zinc-Complexing Agent, Improves Cardiac Function in Rat Models of Ischemia/Reperfusion-Induced Myocardial Injury. Circulation Journal 04/2013; 77(7)., DOI:10.1253/circj.CJ-12-1162

Lóránd Kiss, Fruzsina R Walter, Alexandra Bocsik, Szilvia Veszelka, Béla Ozsvári, László G Puskás, Piroska Szabó-Révész, Mária A Deli: Kinetic analysis of the toxicity of pharmaceutical excipients Cremophor EL and RH40 on endothelial and epithelial cells. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 04/2013; 102(4)., DOI:10.1002/jps.23458

Ramóna Madácsi, Iván Kanizsai, Liliána Z Fehér, Márió Gyuris, Béla Ozsvári, András Erdélyi, János Wölfling, László G Puskás: Aromatic Sulfonamides Containing a Condensed Piperidine Moiety as Potential Oxidative Stress-Inducing Anticancer Agents. Medicinal chemistry (Shariqah (United Arab Emirates)) 12/2012; 9(7)., DOI:10.2174/1573406411309070004

Levente Kürti, Szilvia Veszelka, Alexandra Bocsik, Béla Ozsvári, László G Puskás, Agnes Kittel, Piroska Szabó-Révész, Mária A Deli: Retinoic acid and hydrocortisone strengthen the barrier function of human RPMI 2650 cells, a model for nasal epithelial permeability. Cytotechnology 09/2012; 65(3)., DOI:10.1007/s10616-012-9493-7

Levente Kürti, Szilvia Veszelka, Alexandra Bocsik, Ngo Thi Khue Dung, Béla Ozsvári, László G Puskás, Agnes Kittel, Piroska Szabó-Révész, Mária A Deli: The effect of sucrose esters on a culture model of the nasal barrier. Toxicology in Vitro 04/2012; 26(3):445-54., DOI:10.1016/j.tiv.2012.01.015

Petra Pallagi, Viktória Venglovecz, Zoltán Rakonczay, Katalin Borka, Anna Korompay, Béla Ozsvári, Linda Judák, Miklós Sahin-Tóth, Andrea Geisz, Andrea Schnúr, József Maléth, Tamás Takács, Mike A Gray, Barry E Argent, Julia Mayerle, Markus M Lerch, Tibor Wittmann, Péter Hegyi: Trypsin Reduces Pancreatic Ductal Bicarbonate Secretion by Inhibiting CFTR Cl− Channels and Luminal Anion Exchangers. Gastroenterology 09/2011; 141(6):2228-2239.e6., DOI:10.1053/j.gastro.2011.08.039

László G Puskás, Liliána Z Fehér, Csaba Vizler, Ferhan Ayaydin, Erzsébet Rásó, Eszter Molnár, István Magyary, Iván Kanizsai, Márió Gyuris, Ramóna Madácsi, Gabriella Fábián, Klaudia Farkas, Péter Hegyi, Ferenc Baska, Béla Ozsvári, Klára Kitajka: Polyunsaturated fatty acids synergize with lipid droplet binding thalidomide analogs to induce oxidative stress in cancer cells. Lipids in Health and Disease 06/2010; 9(1):56., DOI:10.1186/1476-511X-9-56

Béla Ozsvári, László G Puskás, Lajos I Nagy, Iván Kanizsai, Márió Gyuris, Ramóna Madácsi, Liliána Z Fehér, Domokos Gerö, Csaba Szabó: A cell-microelectronic sensing technique for the screening of cytoprotective compounds. International Journal of Molecular Medicine 04/2010; 25(4):525-30., DOI:10.3892/ijmm_00000373

Péter Hegyi, Zoltán Rakonczay, Klaudia Farkas, Viktória Venglovecz, Béla Ozsvari, Ursula Seidler, Mike A Gray, Barry E Argent: Controversies in the Role of SLC26 Anion Exchangers in Pancreatic Ductal Bicarbonate Secretion. Pancreas 09/2008; 37(2):232-4., DOI:10.1097/MPA.0b013e318164f8ff

Béla Ozsvári, Péter Hegyi, Miklós Sahin-Tóth: The Guinea Pig Pancreas Secretes a Single Trypsinogen Isoform, Which Is Defective in Autoactivation. Pancreas 09/2008; 37(2):182-8., DOI:10.1097/MPA.0b013e3181663066

V Venglovecz, Z Rakonczay, B Ozsvári, T Takács, J Lonovics, A Varró, M A Gray, B E Argent, P Hegyi: Effects of bile acids on pancreatic ductal bicarbonate secretion in guinea pig. Gut 09/2008; 57(8):1102-12., DOI:10.1136/gut.2007.134361

P. Hegyi, V. Venglovecz, B. Ozsvari, T. Takacs, J. Lonovics, A. Varro, Z. Rakonczay: Diferential effects of bile acids on pancreatic ductal bicarbonate secretion. Pancreas 11/2007; 35(4)., DOI:10.1097/01.mpa.0000297715.92757.4f

Edit Tóth-Molnár, Viktória Venglovecz, Béla Ozsvári, Zoltán Rakonczay, András Varró, Julius G Papp, András Tóth, János Lonovics, Tamás Takács, Imre Ignáth, Béla Iványi, Péter Hegyi: New Experimental Method to Study Acid/Base Transporters and Their Regulation in Lacrimal Gland Ductal Epithelia. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science 09/2007; 48(8):3746-55., DOI:10.1167/iovs.06-1291


Postgraduate research

Patents: Co-author of several patents, including anticancer effects of novel thalidomide and curcumin analogs; and a novel cardioprotective, antioxidant, quinol analog, Q-50.