faculty portrait if available
Seetharama Jois
Professor
Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences
PHAR 316
318-342-1993
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Seetharama D Jois, Ph D
Professor, Pharmacy

Education

Ph D

1994,
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

MS

1986, Solid State Physics
University of Mysore, India

BS

1984, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics
University of Mysore, India

faculty feature photo

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Seetharama D. Jois is a professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the school of Pharmacy, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, USA. Before joining the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2006, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the school of Pharmacy at the National University of Singapore for six years. Dr. Jois obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1994 from Molecular Biophysics Unit, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Banglore, India and a Master’s degree in Physics from the University of Mysore India. After his Ph.D. degree, Dr. Jois obtained extensive training in Pharmaceutical Chemistry research at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. During the past 11 years at ULM, he has established research in a unique area of drug design discovery, namely protein-protein interaction and drug design. Dr. Jois’ research interest is in the area of peptidomimetic based drug design as a promising approach for developing therapeutic agents for autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Dr. Jois has published more than 80 original papers and 70 abstracts, and he has edited a book, Drug Design and Discovery (Humana Press, 2011) and two special issue journals. Recently, he has applied for a provisional and a PCT patent application. In addition to research work, Dr. Jois is involved in teaching Medicinal Chemistry and protein biochemistry to professional Pharm.D students and computational and experimental methods of drug discovery to graduate students.

Research Interests

Protein-protein interactions play an important role in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. The interaction between the proteins involves small surface binding epitopes. Thus, protein-protein interactions can be modulated by blocking surface epitopes of proteins. Hence, inhibition of protein-protein interaction has a tremendous impact on understanding the structural basis of these interactions and in developing new therapeutic strategies for many human diseases. Our group is focusing on two important areas of research to tweak the protein-protein interactions.

1. Design and structural studies of peptides for cell-adhesion inhibition

The main research interest is in the area of modulation of protein-protein interactions involved in cell-cell adhesion by peptides and peptidomimetics. Modulation of cell adhesion is essential for suppression of the immune response in autoimmune diseases, improving drug delivery through the biological barriers (i.e., intestinal mucosa and blood-brain barriers) and inhibition of tumor metastasis. The design of inhibitors of these interactions and their structural studies is the main goal of the research program. The current research focus is on the design of peptides and peptidomimetics from CD2 protein to disrupt the interaction of CD2 and CD58 (also called LFA3) protein molecules. For the past 12 years, I have designed peptides and peptidomimetics in this particular area. Preliminary in vivo studies using an animal model, collagen-induced arthritis in mice (CIA), indicated that a peptide from CD2 was able to suppress rheumatoid arthritis in mice. Furthermore, with the help of a collaborator, we have shown that these peptides are also effective in modulating the immune response in T cells that are derived from transgenic mice that develop arthritis similar to human arthritis. At present I am working on grafting these peptides to cyclotides, which are plant-derived peptides that have a multicyclic structure with disulfide bonds, are resistant to thermal, chemical, and enzymatic degradation, and are orally bioavailable.


2. Design of small molecular inhibitors targeted towards HER-2 as therapeutic agents for breast and lung cancer.

Growth factors are important mediators of cell proliferation. The interaction of growth factors with their receptors generates signal transduction. The intracellular domains of these receptor proteins are protein tyrosine kinases. The overexpression or activation of these receptors results in uncontrolled cell proliferation. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase and the related Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor-2 (HER-2) are the growth factors that have implications in cancer. The overexpression or activation of HER-2 frequently occurs in breast, ovarian and lung cancers. HER-2 oncogene in human breast carcinomas has been associated with a more aggressive course of the disease. The protein HER2 is known to interact with other EGFRs and form dimers/heteromers. The blockade of protein-protein interactions of HER2 with other EGFRs ultimately leads to control of cell growth and, hence, has therapeutic value for lung cancer patients. Using the three-dimensional structure of HER2 protein and its interaction with other receptors, I have designed novel peptidomimetics that target the extracellular domain of human epidermal growth factor receptor -2 (HER2) and inhibit the dimerization of HER2 with other receptors such as HER2: HER3 and EGFR: HER2. This approach is novel because the peptidomimetic molecule designed disrupts not only EGFR-HER2 dimerization but also HER2-HER3 dimerization. This project is funded by National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Health (NIH) grant number 1R15CA188225-01A1.

Professional Positions

July 2016

Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Louisiana at Monroe

June 2016 July 2012

Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Louisiana at Monroe

June 2012 January 2006

Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Louisiana at Monroe

December 2005 September 1999

Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, National University of Singapore

August 1999 November 1998

Assistant Professor-research, University of Kansas at Lawrence, Kansas

Licensure & Certification

Education Scholar an “online course certification in Developing a Personal Working Philosophy of Teaching/Learning in Health.
online course
Continuing education and development of teaching philosophy course by teaching development and scholarship resources for health professionals

Awards & Honors

August 2016 ULM Foundation Awards for Excellence in Research.

July 2009 AACP teacher of the year.

May 2009 Teaching Excellence Award.

May 2008 Teaching Excellence Award.

May 2004 Visiting Professor, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona USA.

March 2003 JSPS fellowship.

Courses Taught

PHAR 4007Medicinal Chemistry I, 3 course(s)

PHAR 4018Chemotherapeutic Agts, 1 course(s)

PHAR 5000MOLEC STRUC/FUNC PROTEIN, 2 course(s)

PHRD 4002PRINCIPLES OF DRUG ACTION I, 5 course(s)

PHRD 4027PRINCIPLES OF DRUG ACTION II, 6 course(s)

PHRD 4058NEUROLOGY & PSYCHIATRY MODULE, 1 course(s)

PHRD 4081INFECTIOUS DISEASES MODULE, 6 course(s)

PHRD 4083GASTRO NUTRITION & HEPTIC MOD, 1 course(s)

PHRD 5010CARDIOVASCULAR MODULE, 4 course(s)

PHRD 5027BONE AND JOINT MODULE, 4 course(s)

PHRD 5033RENAL/UROLOGY MODULE, 4 course(s)

PHRD 5035HEMATOLOGY/ONCOLOGY MODULE, 5 course(s)