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2018 Group News

December 25, as an editorial member, Dr. Li co-authored an Editorial titled “Breakthroughs in Medicinal Chemistry: New Targets and Mechanisms, New Drugs, New Hopes–4”, published in Molecules.

December 18, Kinsie is the receipient of the 2018 UTHSC College of Pharmacy Outstanding Graduate Student Awardawarded annually to one graduate student in the collegeCongratulations to Kinsie for this well-deserved award.

December 14, Our collaborative paper with Dr. Chauhan’s group, titled “Therapeutic efficacy of a novel βIII/βIV-tubulin inhibitor (VERU-111) in pancreatic cancer”, is accepted in Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research (2017 IF 6.22). Qinghui synthesized VERU-111 for the study. Congratulate to Qinghui and all co-authors.

December 4, At the 2018 UTRF patent celebration ceremony, Dr. Li received plaques for the four recently issued US patents (US 10,022,356 B2; US 9,981,915 B2; US 9,447,049 B2; US 9,334,242 B2) on the tubulin project.

November 20, Kinsie successfully defended her thesis, and completed her PhD requirements. She is now Dr. Arnst who will move on with her career in UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, starting from 2019.

November 16, Dr. Li started a start-up company, SEAK Therapetuics LLC, to develop a potentially new targeted drug for childhood cancers, especially Leukemia and Neuroblastoma. These compounds are jointly patented by the University of Tennessee HSC and Emory Univeristy.

September 9, Our collaborative paper with Dr. Yue’s group,  “miR-203 inhibits ovarian tumor metastasis by targeting BIRC5 and attenuating the TGFβ pathway”, is accepted in Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research (2017 IF 6.22).

August 19, Qinghui and Kinsie’s paper “Structural modification of the 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl moiety in the tubulin inhibitor VERU-111 leads to improved antiproliferative activities”, is accepted in J. Med. Chem. (2016 IF 6.26). Congratulations to Qinghui, Kinsie, Hao, Jim, and all co-authors.

June 25, Georgina’s 2015 paper (2015, Vol 5: 378-389), published in Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, titled “HIF-1a pathway: role, regulation and intervention for cancer therapy”, has been cited for 268 times as of 6/25/2017, and is awarded the “2017 Outstanding Paper Award” by the journal (2017 IF=6.01).

May 24, Kinsie received the 2018 Robert A. Magarian outstanding podium presentation award at the 2018 MALTO meeting. Congratulations to Kinsie. This also marks the third consecutive year (2018: Kinsie; 2017: Zongtao; 2016: Qinghui), and the fourth accumulative year (2013, Min), where a member from the Li lab win this competitive award.

April 30, a collaborative paper with Dr. Zhaohui Wu’s group, titled “Survivin inhibitors mitigate chemotherapeutic resistance in breast cancer cells by suppressing genotoxic NF-kappaB activation”, is accepted for publication in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Jim synthesized the survivin inhibitor. Congratulations to Jim and all authors in this paper.

April 12, Brandon’s review paper, titled “Taxane Resistance in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Strategies”, is accepted for publication in Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B, congratulatioins to Brandon.

March 26, the Li lab welcomes Dr. Foyez Mahmud as a new postdoctoral researcher. Foyez will be working on the biological aspects of various projects. Welcome, Foyez.

March 16, a collaborative R61 NIH grant (PI: Dr. Darryl Quarles, UTHSC College of Medicine) in which Dr. Li is a co-I is awarded today, with a starting date of 4/1/2018. The Li lab contribution is by Hao, who synthesized and proposed modifications to generate novel polycystines/TAZ inhibitors. We are looking forward to working with Dr. Quarles’ lab and other collaborators on this project.

March 5,  a collaborative paper with Dr. Junming Yue’s group, titled “Knockdown of survivin results in inhibition of epithelial to mesenchymal transition in retinal pigment epithelial cells by attenuating the TGF pathway”, is accepted in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, on March 5th, 2018.

Febrary 13, Qinghui’s paper with Kinsie and Yi Xue, titled “Synthesis and biological evaluation of indole-based UC-112 analogs as potent and selective survivin inhibitors”, is accepted in European J. Med. Chem. (IF=4.52).  Congratulations to Qinghui, Kinise, Yi, and our collaborators.

Febrary 12, our collaborative paper with Dr. Rob Tuckey in Australia, titled “CYP27A1 acts on the pre-vitamin D3 photoproduct, lumisterol, producing biologically active hydroxy-metabolites”, is accepted in J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. (IF=4.56). Congratulations to Dejian for contributing to this paper.

Febrary 1, Dr. Hongmei Cui (Ph.D. Fudan University, China) joined the Li lab as a postdoctoral researcher in the cancer biology area on Feb 1. Welcome Dr. Cui.

January 30, Kinsie’s co-first author paper with Souvik (Dr. Miller’s lab) and Yuxi (Sichuan University) entitled “Heterocyclic-Fused Pyrimidines as Novel Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitors Targeting the Colchicine Binding Site: Structural Basis and Anti-Tumor Efficacy” is accepted in J Med Chem. (IF=6.26). Congratulations to Souvik, Kinsie, Yuxi, and all the co-authors.

January 11, the Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) funded a joint grant application of Dr. Monica Jablonski (PI, UT College of Medicine) and Dr. Li (Co-I), with the title of “Extended Release IOP-Lowering Formulation”. Hao in the Li lab will be synthesizing a more potent IOP lowering compound for this project.