Christopher R. Zito, Ph.D.

Christopher R. Zito, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology

czito-profilepage.jpgInspired by his father — a former science teacher — to pursue the sciences, Dr. Zito remains amazed by “the incredible machine we call the human body.” He applies his passion to his work both as a professor at USJ and a clinical researcher at Yale University Medical School in the Department of Medical Oncology where he works in cancer research. 

At University of Saint Joseph, Dr. Zito readily shares his laboratory research experience and knowledge of the biological sciences with students, providing them with a distinctive teaching style focused on “real life” applicability. His work in the lab, including patient case studies, shapes his teaching.

“I believe you can teach a student a lesson for a day, for a week, even for a year, and while some lessons are retained, most are forgotten,” he said. “It is the spark of curiosity, though, that gives a student the tools to learn, and makes her a student for life.”  Students in his classes are “sparked” by Dr. Zito’s real-life passion, knowledge, and expertise. 

Academic Degrees

Ph.D., Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Wesleyan University
M.S., Cellular & Molecular Biology, University of New Haven
B.S., Biological & Physical Sciences, Albertus Magnus College 

Contact Information

E-mail: [email protected] 
Department Webpage: Biology

Recent Research/Publications/Presentations


  • Aziz SA, Sznol J, Albiges L, Zito CR, Jilaveanu LB, Camp RL, Escudier B, Kluger HM. Microvessel Area as a Predictor of Sorafenib Response in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma. Annals of Oncology (accepted conditionally)

  • Jilaveanu LB, Zhao F, Zito CR, Kirkwood JM, Nathanson KL, D'Andrea K, Wilson M, Rimm DL, Flaherty KT, Lee SJ, Kluger HM. Expression of Drug Targets in patients treated with Sorafenib, Carboplatin,and Paclitaxel. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 6;8(8)

  • Zito CR, Jilaveanu LB, Anagnostou, V, Rimm D, Bepler G, Garcia-Echeverria C, Hackl W, Camp R, Kluger HM, and Chao HH. Multilevel targeting of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase pathway in non-small cell lung cancer cells, PLoS One 2012 Feb 15, 7(2).

  • Zito CR, and Kluger HM. Immunotherapy for Metastatic Melanoma (Review). J.Cell. Biochem. 2012 Mar, 113(3): 725-734.

  • Jilaveanu LB, Zito CR, Aziz SA, Chakraborty A, Davies MA, Camp RL, Rimm DL, Dudek A, Sznol M, Kluger HM. In Vitro Studies of Dasatinib its Targets and Predictors of Sensitivity. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res 2011 Apr, 24(2): 386-9.

  • Aziz SA, Jilaveanu LB, Zito C, Camp RL, Rimm DL, Conrad P, Kluger HM. Vertical Targeting of the Phosphatidylinositol-3 Kinase Pathway as a Strategy for Treating Melanoma. Clinical Cancer Research, 2010, Dec 15; 16(24); 6029-6039.

  • Jilaveanu LB, Zito CR, Aziz SA, Schmitz JC, Sznol M, Camp RL, Rimm DL, and Kluger HM. C-Raf is Associated with Disease Progression and Cell Proliferation in a Subset of Melanomas. Clinical Cancer Research 2009 Sep 15: 15(18): 5704-13.

  • Aziz SA, Davies M, Pick E, Zito CR, Jilaveanu, LB, Camp RL, Halaban R, Rimm DL, Kluger Y, and Kluger HM Phosphatidylinositol-3-Kinase (PI3K) as a therapeutic target in melanoma. Clinical Cancer Research. 2009 May 1: 15(9): 3029-36.

  • Jilaveanu LB, Zito CR, Lee SJ, Nathanson KL, Camp RL, Rimm DL, Flaherty KT, and Kluger HM. Expression of sorafenib targets in melanoma patients treated with carboplatin, paclitaxel, and sorafenib. Clinical Cancer Research 2009 Feb 1: 15(3): 1076-85.

  • Jilaveanu LB, Zito CR, Oliver DB. Dimeric SecA is essential for protein translocation. P.N.A.S. (USA) 2005 May 24;102(21):7511-6.

  • Zito CR, Antony E, Hunt JF, Hingorani MM, and Oliver DB. Mutation of a conserved glutamate residue in E.coli SecA reveals its complex role in ATP binding and hydrolysis. J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 15;280(15):14611-9

  • Zito CR and Oliver, D. Two-stage binding of SecA to the bacterial translocon regulates ribosome-translocon interaction. J. Biol. Chem. 2003 Oct 17; 278(42):40640-40646.

  • Morrow BA, Elsworth JD, Zito C, Roth RH. Biochemical and behavioral anxiolytic-like effects of R(+)HA-966 at the level of the ventral tegmental area in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Apr;143(3):227-34.

  • Eitzer BD, Iannucci-Berger WA, Mark G, Zito C. Fate of toxic compounds during composting. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 1997 Jun;58(6):953-60.


  • Jilaveanu LB, Zito CR., Barr ML, Parisi F, Rimm DL, Bosenberg M, Halaban R, Kluger Y, and Kluger HM. Development of new approaches for melanoma brain metasteses. Society for Melanoma Research (SMR) international research congress 2013.

  • Chao HH, Kluger HM, and Zito CR. Dual Targeting of PI3K and mTOR results in synergistic growth inhibition in NSCLC cells. American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting 2010.