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Faculty in the Division of Molecular & Cellular Pathology, directed by Ralph Sanderson, Ph.D., worked hard to continue their research endeavors in the month of June, as evidenced by several publications and a patent.

Selvarangan Ponnazhagan, Ph.D., Professor, MCP, along with UAB faculty members Joel Berry, Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering), Jessy Deshane, Ph.D. (Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine), and Roy Koomullil, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering) joined forces to study how the biomechanics of breast tumors influences immune suppression. The group recently published a paper entitled “Mechanical Strain Induces Phenotypic Changes in Breast Cancer Cells and Promotes Immunosuppression in the Tumor Microenvironment” in the journal Laboratory Investigation. (Wang Y, Goliwas K, Severino P, Hough K, Van Vessem D, Wang H, Tousif S, Koomullil R, Frost A, Ponnazhagan S, Berry J, Deshane J. 2020 Jun 22.doi: 10.1038/s41374-020-0452-1.Online ahead of print).

This collaboration also led to a June 2020 R01 submission of a Multi-PI proposal to NCI’s special announcement Cancer Tissue Engineering Collaborative: Enabling Biomimetic Tissue-Engineered Technologies for Cancer Research.

From the lab of Rajaskeran Namakkal Soorappan, Ph.D., Associate Professor:

Reductive Stress Causes Pathological Cardiac Remodeling and Diastolic Dysfunction.  Shanmugam G, Wang D, Gounder SS, Fernandes J, Litovsky SH, Whitehead K, Radhakrishnan RK, Franklin S, Hoidal JR, Kensler TW, Dell'Italia L, Darley-Usmar V, Abel ED, Jones DP, Ping P, Rajasekaran NS. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2020 Jun;32(18):1293-1312. doi: 10.1089/ars.2019.7808.


DNA damage-free iPS cells exhibit potential to yield competent cardiomyocytesMiller JM, Mardhekar NM, Pretorius D, Krishnamurthy P, Rajasekaran NS, Zhang J, Kannappan R.Miller JM, et al. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2020 Apr 1;318(4):H801-H815. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00658.2019.

Role of Free Radical Formation in Murine Cytomegalovirus-Induced Hearing LossPecha PP, Almishaal AA, Mathur PD, Hillas E, Johnson T, Price MS, Haller T, Yang J, Rajasekaran NS, Firpo MA, Park AH. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 May;162(5):709-717. doi: 10.1177/0194599820901485.

MitoQ regulates redox-related noncoding RNAs to preserve mitochondrial network integrity in pressure-overload heart failureKim S, Song J, Ernst P, Latimer MN, Ha CM, Goh KY, Ma W, Rajasekaran NS, Zhang J, Liu X, Prabhu SD, Qin G, Wende AR, Young ME, Zhou L. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2020 Mar 1;318(3):H682-H695.

In addition, Dr. Namakkal-Soorappan is featured on the the American Heart Association's national website – under "Education & Meetings" where he am is the first row attending lectures:


Joanne Murphy-Ullrich, Ph.D., Professor, had a new patent issued jointly with Mark Suto at Southern Research, and the UAB Research Foundation: Oxadiazoles and thiadiazoles as TGF-beta inhibitors, patent #10,653,682, issued May 19, 2020. The present disclosure is concerned with oxadiazole and thiadiazole analogs that are capable of inhibiting TGF-.beta. and methods of treating cancers such as, for example, multiple myeloma and a hematologic malignancy, and methods of treating fibrotic conditions using these compounds. 

Sooryanarayana Varambally, Ph.D., Associate Professor: 

Fermentable fiber-induced hepatocellular carcinoma in mice recapitulates gene signatures found in human liver cancer. Chandrashekar DS, Golonka RM, Yeoh BS, Gonzalez DJ, Heikenwälder M, Gerwirtz AT, Varambally S*, Vijay-Kumar M*. PLoS One. 2020 Jun 19;15(6)

PAICS, a De Novo Purine Biosynthetic Enzyme, Is Overexpressed in Pancreatic Cancer and Is Involved in Its Progression. Agarwal S, Chakravarthi BVSK, Kim HG, Gupta N, Hale K, Balasubramanya SAH, Oliver PG, Thomas DG, Eltoum IA, Buchsbaum DJ, Manne U*, Varambally S*. Transl Oncol. 2020 Jul;13(7):100776.

MicroRNA Mediated Inflammation and Coagulation Effects in Rats Exposed to Inhaled Analog of Sulfur Mustard. Tapasi Rana, Aamir Ahmad, Iram Zafar, Nithya Mariappan, Darshan Shimoga Chandrashekar, Tariq Hamid, Maroof Husain, Varambally S, Shama Ahmad and Aftab Ahmad. Annals of NY Acad Sci. In Press.

Adam Wende, Ph.D., Associate Professor had a recent publication in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA), highlighting the work of postdoc Manoja Brahma, specifically focused on the completion of his AHA postdoctoral fellowship.
"Together our data, for the first time, show that high myocardial glucose availability is sufficient to attenuate myocardial ketone body utilization via mechanisms that may be further altered in diabetes," Wende says. "Ketones have become a primary focus in research centered on either obesity and/or heart failure about four years ago. However, most of the prior work is centered on heart failure in the absence of diabetes. We now show in humans and four models of mouse diabetes or glucose signaling that there is suppression of ketone body oxidation. Our results provide evidence that increased glucose leads to suppression of cardiac ketolytic capacity through multiple mechanisms and identifies a potential crosstalk between glucose and KB metabolism in the diabetic myocardium."