Brian Cummings, Ph.D.

Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences
Professor and Department Head

Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences


Ph.D. Pharmacology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 1999

B.S. Biochemistry and Toxicology, Eastern Michigan University 1994

Areas of Expertise

Research Areas: Molecular mechanisms in cell death, specifically role of lipids and water disinfection byproducts

Opportunities for Collaboration: Medicinal chemistry and small molecule cancer screening assays; nanoparticle formulation and drug delivery; lipidomic analysis of post-disease tissues

Honors, Awards, and Achievements
  • American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Toxicology Young Investigator Award, 2016
  • University of Georgia Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, 2009
  • Teacher of the Year, College of Pharmacy, UGA, 2008
Research Interests

Dr. Cummings’ laboratory studies molecular mechanisms involved in cell death, with a particular emphasis on the role of lipids.  The laboratory uses lipidomic approaches, such as two-dimensional, high performance, thin-layer chromatography in tandem with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (2D-HP-TLC-ESI-MS), to identify lipids altered in prostate cancer cells exposed to anti-cancer agents.   Recent work has also used lipidomics to determine mechanisms of lipid-based drug delivery by nanoparticles. They hope to use these data to design and track novel nanoparticulate drug carriers and understand their mechanisms of action.

The Cummings laboratory also studies the molecular mechanisms of cell death induced by water disinfection byproducts (DBPs) such as bromate, which are environmental oxidants. Current studies are focused on epigenetic changes induced in kidney cells after chronic exposure to low levels of DBPs.

Selected Publications

[* = Corresponding Author]

M. Amaraneni, J. Pang, J.V. Bruckner, S. Muralidhara, T.B. Mortuza, D. Gullick, S. Hooshfar, C.A. White and B.S. Cummings*, Influence of maturation on In Vivo tissue to plasma partition coefficients for Cis- and Trans-permethrin. J Pharm Sci, 106(8); 2144-2151, 2017. IF = 2.713

M. Amaraneni, J. Pang, T.B. Mortuza, S. Muralidhara, B.S. Cummings, C.A. White, C.V. Vorhees, J. Zastre and J.V. Bruckner, Brain uptake of deltamethrin in rats as a function of plasma protein binding and blood-brain barrier. Neurotoxicology, 62; 24-29, 2017. IF = 3.1

S. Pati, S. Krishna, J.H. Lee, M.K. Ross, C.B. de La Serre, D.A. Harn, J.J. Wagner, N.M. Filipov and B.S. Cummings*, Effect of high-fat diet and age on the blood lipidome and circulating endocannabinoids of female C57BL/6 mice, Biochim Et Biophys Acta-Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids, 1863(1); 26-39, 2017. IF = 5.547

T. Mortuza, C. Chen, C.A. White, B.S. Cummings, S. Muralidhara, D. Gullick and J.V. Bruckner*, Toxicokinetics of deltamethrin: Dosage dependency, vehicle effects, and low-dose age-equivalent dosimetry in rats. Toxicol Sci, epublished 20 November 2017. IF = 4.0

N.E. Scholpa, S.B. Briggs J.J. Wagner and B.S. Cummings*, Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor 1a (p21) modulates response to cocaine and motivated behaviors.  J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 35(7): 56-65, 2016. IF = 3.76

A. Al-Azayzih, W.N. Missaoui, B.S. Cummings* and P.R. Somananth*, Liposomal-mediated delivery of the p21 activated kinase-1 (PAK-1) inhibitor IPA3 limits prostate tumor growth in vivo.  Nanomedicine-Nanotechnology Biology and Medicine, S1549-9634 (16): 2016.  IF = 5.67 *Co-Corresponding Authors

P.K. Sethi, C.A. White, B.S. Cummings, R.N. Hines, S. Muralidhara and J.V. Bruckner*, Ontogeny of plasma proteins, albumin and binding of diazepam, cyclosporine and deltamethrin, Pediatric Research, 79(3): 409-415, 2016. IF = 2.76

S. Pati, B. Nie, R.D. Arnold and B.S. Cummings*, Extraction, chromatographic and mass spectrometric methods for lipid analysis.  Biomed Chromatogr, 30(5), 695-709, 2016. IF = 1.73

N.E. Scholpa, R.T. Kolli, M. Moore, R.D. Arnold, T.C. Glenn and B.S. Cummings*, Nephrotoxicity of epigenetic inhibitors used for the treatment of cancer.  Chem Biol Interact, 258; 21-29, 2016. IF = 2.62

R. Gullick, J.V. Bruckner, C.A. White, C. Chen., B.S. Cummings and M.G. Bartlett*, Quantitation of deltamethrin in rat liver and muscle using dispersive solid phase extractions with GC-NCI-MS. J AOAC International, 99(3): 813-820, 2016. IF = 0.92

M. Amaraneni, A. Sharma, J. Pang, S. Muralidhara, B.S. Cummings, C.A. White, J.V. Bruckner and J. Zastre*, Plasma protein binding limits the blood brain barrier Permeability of the pyrethroid insecticide, deltamethrin. Tox Lett, 250-251, 21-28, 2016.  IF = 3.52

B.T. McPhail, C.A. White, B.S. Cummings, S. Muralidhara, J.T. Wilson and J.V. Bruckner*, The immature rate as a potential model for chemical risks to children, Ontogeny of selected hepatic P450s.  Chem Biol Interact, 256; 167-77, 2016. IF = 2.62

B.S. Cummings*, S. Pati, S. Sahin, N.E. Scholpa, P.Monian, P.N. Tinquero, J.K. Clark and J.J. Wagner, Differential effects of cocaine exposure on the abundance of phospholipid species in the rat brain and blood. Drug Alcohol Depend, 1:152: 147-66, 2015.

P.K. Sethi, C.A. White, B.S. Cummings, R.N. Hines, S. Muralidhara and J.V. Bruckner*, Ontogeny of plasma proteins, albumin and binding of diazepam, cyclosporine and deltamethrin, Pediatric Research, 237, doi: 10.1038/pr.2015.237, 2015.

D. Gullick, A. Popovici, J.V. Bruckner, B.S. Cummings, T.G. Osmitiz and M.G. Bartlett, Determination of deltamethrin in rat plasma and brain tissue using gas chromatography-negative ionization mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography B, 960:158-65, 2014.

N.E. Scholpa, X. Zhang, R. Kolli and B.S. Cummings (2014) Epigenetic changes in renal cells after exposure to bromate. Toxicol Sci, 141(2): 432-40.

K.M. Waters, B.S. Cummings, H Shankaran, N.E. Scholpa and T.J. Weber (2014), ERK oscillations-dependent gene expression patterns by stress response.  Chem Res Toxicol, 27(9): 3442-51.

N.D. Quach, R.D. Arnold and B.S. Cummings (2014), Secretory phospholipase A2 enzymes as pharmacological targets for treatment of disease.  Biochem Pharmacol, 90(4): 338-48.

N.D. Quach, J.N. Mock, N.E. Scholpa, M.W. Eggert, C. Payre, G. Lambeau, R.D. Arnold and B.S. Cummings (2014) Role of the phospholipase A2 receptor in liposome drug delivery in prostate cancer cells.  Mol Pharm, 11(10): 3443-51.

J.N. Mock, L.J. Costyn, S.L. Wilding, R.D. Arnold and B.S. Cummings, Evidence for distinct mechanisms of uptake and antitumor activity of secretory phospholipase A2 responsive liposomes in prostate cancer. Integr Biol, 17:5(1): 172-182, 2013.

R.P. Keer, T.M. Krunkosy, D.J. Hurley, B.S. Cummings, S.D. Holiday and R.M. Gogal, Lead induces autophagy and aberrant MHC class II surface expression in murine macrophage Raw 267.4 cells by dysregulation of MHC-II+ compartment exocytosis,Toxicol In Vitro, 27(3): 1018-24, 2013.

N. Kolisetty, R.J. Bull, S. Muralidhara, L.J. Costyn, D.A. Delker, Z. Guo, J.A. Cotruvo, J.W. Fisher and B.S. Cummings, Association of brominated proteins and changes in protein expression in the rat kidney with subcarcinogenic to carcinogenetic doses of bromate,Toxciol Appl Pharmacol, 272(2): 391-8, 2013.

A. C. McGinnis, B.S. Cummings and M.G. Bartlett, Ion exchange liquid chromatography method for the direct determination of small ribonucleic acids. Analytica Chimica Acta, 799: 57-67, 2013.

N. Kolisetty, D.A. Delker, S. Muralidahara, R.J. Bull, J.A. Cotruvo, J.W. Fisher and B.S. Cummings, Changes in mRNA and protein expression in the renal cortex and male and female F344 rats treated with bromate, Arch. Toxicol, 87: 1911-25, 2013.

Darren Gullick, Andrew Popovici, Holly C. Young, James V. Bruckner, Brian S. Cummings, Pei Li and Michael G. Bartlett (2014) “Determination of deltamethrin in rat plasma and brain tissue using gas chromatography-negative chemical ionization mass spectrometry.” Journal of Chromatography B, 960: 158-165.

A.C. Eaddy, B.S. Cummings, J. Mchowat and R.G. Schnellmann, The role of endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-independent phospholipase A2 in oxidant-induced lipid peroxidation, Ca2+ release and renal cell death.  Toxicol Sci, 128(2): 544-52, 2012.  (Impact factor = 4.653)

J.N. Mock, J.P. Taliaferro, X. Lu, S.K. Patel, B.S. Cummings and T.E. Long, Haloenol pyranones and morpholinones as antineoplastic agents of prostate cancer. Bioog Med Chem Lett, 22(14), 4854-8, 2012.  (Impact factor =  2.539)

R.J. Bull, N. Kolisetty, X. Zhang, S. Muralidhara, O. Quiones, K.Y. Lim, Z. Guo, J.A. Cotruvo, J.W. Fisher, X. Yang, D. Delker, S.A. Snyder and B.S. Cummings, Absorption and disposition of bromate in F344 rats, Toxicology, 300(1-2):83-91, 2012. (Impact factor = 3.681)

J.N. Mock, L.J. Costyn, S.L. Wilding, R.D. Arnold and B.S. Cummings, Evidence for distinct mechanisms of uptake and antitumor activity of secretory phospholipase A2 responsive liposomes in prostate cancer. Integr Biol, 17:5(1): 172-182, 2012.  (Impact  factor = 4.51)

B.S. Cummings, L.P. Willis and R.G. Schnellmann.  Measurement of cell death in mammalian cells. In:  Current Protocols in Pharmacology.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc, New York, NY.  12.8.1-12.8.24, 2012.

B.S. Cummings and R.G. Schnellmann.  Pathophysiology of Nephrotoxic Cell Injury. In:Diseases of the Kidney Vol 2 (9th ed).  Schrier R.W. and Gottschalk C.W. (eds). Little Brown and Co. New York, New York, 2012.

F.M. Poulet, K. Penraat, N. Collins, E. Evans, E. Thackaberry, D. Manfra, L. Engstrom, R. Geissler, M. Geraci-Erck, C. Frugone, M. Abutarif, J.S. Fine3, B.L. Peterson, B.S. Cummings and R.C. Johnson, Drug-induced hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia associated with alterations of cell membrane lipids and acanthocyte formation. Toxicol Pathol, 38(6), 907-22, 2010.

R.A. Kirkland, G. M. Saavedra, B.S. Cummings and J. L. Franklin, Bax regulates production of superoxide in both apoptotic and nonapoptotic neurons: role of caspases. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(48): 16114-27, 2010.

Blum JL, Kinsey GR, Monian P, Sun B, Cummings BS, McHowat J, Schnellmann RG, Profiling of fatty acids released during calcium-induced mitochondrial permeability transition in isolated rabbit kidney cortex mitochondria. Toxicol In Vitro, 2011, 25(5): 1001-6.

G. Zhu, J.N. Mock, I Aljuffali, B.S. Cummings and R.D. Arnold, Secretory phospholipase A2responsive liposomes. J Pharm Sci, 100(8): 3146-59.

I.A. Aljuffali, J.N. Mock, L. J. Costyn, B.S. Cummings, Tamas Nagy and R.D. Arnold, Enhanced anti-tumor activity of low-dose continuous administration schedules of topotecan in prostate cancer. Cancer Biol Ther, In Press, June 2011.

Grant Support
  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Biology and Medicine
  • American Water Works Association Research Foundation
  • Syngenta Global

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