2019 Group News

Dec 19, Hao and Shanshan’s paper, titled “Structure Activity Relationships Study of Novel 6 Aryl-2-Benzoyl-Pyridines as Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitors with Potent Antiproliferative Properties”, is accepted in Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Najah also contributed to the work. Congratulate to everyone for this pre-Christmas gift.

Dec 5, Dr. Li received two patent plaques from UTRF for the two newly issued US patents this year. Dr. Li currently holds ten issued US patents now.

Nov 29, our collaboration paper with Dr. Subhash’s lab, titled “VERU-111 suppresses tumor growth and metastatic phenotypes of cervical cancer cells through the activation of p53 signaling pathway”, is accepted in Cancer Letters (2017 IF=6.49).

Nov 25, Big congratulations to Najah who successfully defended her Master’s thesis and will receive a MS degree from UTHSC. Najah will continue as a PhD graduate student to work towards the realization of “Dr. Najah G. Albadari” in the next few years.

Nov 16, Zongtao and Dr. Li co-authored a paper with Dr. Slominski and other colleagues, titled “Characterization of Serotonin and N-acetylserotonin Systems in the Human Epidermis and Skin Cells”, is accepted for publishing in Journal of Pineal Research (2018 IF=15.2).

Nov 12, Kinsie’s paper, titled “X-Ray Crystal Structure Guided Discovery and Antitumor Efficacy of Dihydroquinoxalinone as Potent Tubulin Polymerization Inhibitors”, is accepted in ACS Chemical Biology (2018 IF=4.4).  Congratulations to Kinsie, Souvik, Hao, and the rest of the research team members.

Nov 4, A joint press release by UTRF, Veru Inc., and UTHSC covering Shanshan’s MCT paper on breast cancer was published by UTRF: https://utrf.tennessee.edu/promising-new-treatment-for-prostate-cancer-also-demonstrates-encouraging-results-against-triple-negative-breast-cancer/. Congratulate to Shanshan, Dr. Seagroves’ lab, and the rest of the team members.

Oct 31, Dr. Foyez Mahamud who has been a postdoc in the Li lab for 1.5 years started his second postdoc at Rice University in Houston, TX. We wish Foyez the best in his continued career development.

Oct 29, Dr. Li’s startup company, SEAK Therapeutics LLC, is highlighted in the UTRF newsletter: https://utrf.tennessee.edu/following-the-molecules-from-drug-discovery-to-entrepreneurship/

October 14, Hongmei’s review paper, title “Recent advances on elucidating paclitaxel resistance mechanisms in non-small cell lung cancer and strategies to overcome drug resistance”, is accepted in Current Medicinal Chemistry (2018 IF=3.5). Congratuations to Hongmei and Kinsie.

September 12, Dr. Li’s startup company, SEAK Therapeutics LLC, received a one-year, Phase I SBIR grant from the NCI to develop a new, patented small molecule compound as potential treatment for pediatric cancers. Dr. Zhongzhi Wu is the PI of this grant.

September 9, The Li lab is receiving a Sponsored Research Agreement #1 from Veru Inc. Veru will provide some research support over the next two years to further characterize Veru-111, a novel tubulin inhibitor that is currently under Phase I/II clinical trials in prostate cancer.

September 5, our collaborative paper with Dr. Junming Yue’s lab, titled “Ovarian primary and metastatic tumors suppressed by survivin knockout or a novel survivin inhibitor”, is accepted in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (IF=5.3). Jim and Qinghui made our survivivn inhibitor. Congratulations to Jim, Qinghui, and all co-authors.

August 28, The Li lab’s DoD breast cancer breakthrough level 2 grant application received notice for being funded. Dr. Li’s collaborator, Dr. Tiffany Seagroves, is the Parnter PI in this relatively large 3-year grant.

August 12, the Li lab welcomes two new graduate students this fall, Mr. Jiaxing Wang and Ms Rui Wang. Jiaxing obtained both his BS and MS from Peking Univeristy in China, and Rui obtained her BS from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University in China and her MS from the University of Mississppi. Rui’s project will be evaluating new small molecule compounds against pancreatic cancer, and Jiaxing’s project will focus on crystal structures and drug designs for tubulin inhibition and possibly other targets as he goes along.

July 8, our collaborative paper with Dr. Ram I Mahato’s lab in UNMC, titled “Nanoparticulate Delivery of a Potent Microtubule Inhibitor for Metastatic Melanoma Treatment”, accepted in Journal of Controlled Release (2018 IF=7.9). Hao made the tubulin inhibitor. Congratulations to Hao and all co-authors.

June 28, Qinghui and Kinsie’s paper, titled “Structure guided design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of 2-(1H-Indol-3-yl)-1H-imidazol-4-yl)(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl) Methanone (ABI-231) analogs targeting the colchicine binding site in tubulin”, is accepted for publication in J Med Chem. Congratulations to Qinghui, Kinsie and all co-authors.

June 27, 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”, continues to be well-cited, as of today, it has been cited in 462 published papers according to Google. Great job, Georgina.

June 25, Kinsie’s DJ95 paper in Molecular Pharmacology is featured as the cover image for its July’2019 issue. In addition, Kinsie received the Highlighted Author Award for the month of July 2019, and is featured on the ASPET website: https://www.aspet.org/aspet/news/news/2019/06/18/molecular-pharmacology-highlighted-trainee-author-july-2019.

April 26, our invited review paper written by Najah and Shanshan titled “The Transcriptional Factors HIF-1 and HIF-2 and Their Novel Inhibitors in Cancer Therapy”, is accepted in Expert Opinion On Drug Discovery. Congratulations to Najah and Shanshan for a great work well done.

April 21, Kinsie’s paper titled “Colchicine binding site agent DJ95 overcomes drug resistance and exhibits antitumor efficacy” is accepted in Molecular Pharmacology.

April 15, Dr. Li co-authors a paper with Dr. Slominski on a paper entitled “Protective effects of novel derivatives of vitamin D3 and lumisterol against UVB-induced damage in human keratinocytes involve activation of Nrf2 and p53 defense mechanisms”, is accepted for publication in Redox Biology.

April 10, our collaborative paper with Dr. Mahato’s lab at UNMC, with Ruinan Yang (Mahato lab) and Hao Chen (Li lab) as co-first authors, titled “Polymeric Micellar Delivery of Novel Microtubule Destabilizer and Hedgehog Sgnaling Inhibitor for Treating Chemoresistant Prostate Cancer”, is accepted in J. Pharm. Exp. Ther. Congratulations to Hao.

March 31, Dr. Hongmei Cui, a postdoc in our lab, will start as a Full Professor in Lanzhou University in China. Congratulations to Hongmei and we wish her continued success in her career development.

January 19, Kinsie and Souvik (Dr. Miller’s lab) published a review paper entitled “Current advances of tubulin inhibitors as dual acting small molecules for cancer therapy” in Med. Res. Rev. (IF=8.29 in 2017/2018). Hao and Shanshan also made significant contributioins to this comprehensive reveiw paper.