Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, Augusta
Director, Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics (CET)
Assistant Department Head for Research and Graduate Education

Curriculum Vitae

Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, Augusta


B.S. , Mahatma Gandhi University 1994

M.S. , Annamalai University 1996

Ph.D. , NDRI, Indian Council of Agricultural Research 2000

Postdoctoral Fellow , Biological Sciences, Kent State University 2002-2003

Postdoctoral Fellow , Molecular Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic 2003-2007

Areas of Expertise

Research Areas: Molecular mechanisms regulating vascular permeability, angiogenesis, integrin activation, extracellular matrix remodeling and tumor growth

Opportunities for Collaboration: Assistance with statistical analysis for protocol approvals, research data analysis, and grant applications

Honors, Awards, and Achievements

1996: Runner-up, Best student, The Society of Biological Chemists, Annamalai Chapter

1996: Junior Research Fellowship, NDRI, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India

1999: Senior Research Fellowship, Council of Scientific and Industrial research, India

2005: Innovator Award (Cleveland Clinic): Novel approach to control vascular maturation

2005: Irvine H. Page Award, Cleveland Clinic

2006: Junior Investigator Award of Excellence by the Cleveland Clinic

2007: Award of Excellence by the Cleveland Clinic for the second consecutive year

2007: New Investigator Travel Award, American Heart Association (BCVS Council)

2008: Scientist Development Grant-National Award by the American Heart Association

2008: Young Investigator Award at the 12th Biennial Midwest Platelet Conference, Lexington, KY

2009-2016: University of Georgia-Wilson Pharmacy Intramural Grant Award for 7 consecutive years

2011-2015: Co-chair, Prostate Cancer Session, World Congress on Oncology, Greece.

2011: Statins for prostate cancer highlighted in the UK based Lead Discovery website

2012: Chair of planning committee, STaR conference 2012 ‘Cancer therapy-Making it personal’

2011-2014: UGA-CAP Translational Research Initiative Grant Awards for 3 consecutive years

2012 & 2014: International Travel Awards from the UGA Office of Senior VP and Provost

2012-Current: Invited to serve in the grant review panels of Prostate Cancer UK, Singapore National Science Foundation, Medical Research Council-UK, Italian Ministry of Health, European Commission for Research and Innovation

2012: Outstanding Achievement in Research Award at the 15th International Symposium on Molecular Medicine, Crete, Greece

2013: Elected as the Fellow of American Heart Association (FAHA)

2013 and 2014: Summer Research Awards for the most productive College Faculty

2014: American Legion Research Award

2015: Recipient of UGA-AU Inter-University collaborative seed grant award (2015-2016)

2016: Idea Development Award, US Department of Defense-Prostate Cancer Research Program

2016: U.S. PATENT Application No. 62/295,331 filed on February 15, 2016 “IPA3Loaded liposomes and methods of use thereof” By: Somanath PR (Shenoy) and Cummings BS.

Research Interests

Our long-term goal is to enable the development of new and innovative therapeutics for angiogenesis and fibrosis dependent clinical conditions as well as for cancers of the prostate, bladder and colon. Our efforts are to better understand the molecular mechanisms regulating vascular permeability, angiogenesis, integrin activation, extracellular matrix remodeling and tumor growth. Primary focus of our research is on Protein kinase B (Akt), a serine-threonine kinase, and its signaling partners on mediating these processes.

* Molecular mechanisms regulating angiogenesis and endothelial-barrier function

* Mechanisms leading to myofibroblast formation and pulmonary fibrosis

* Characterization of molecular signaling pathway regulating prostate and bladder cancer progression and tumor angiogenesis

* Identifying the molecular markers for the staging of prostate, bladder and colorectal

Selected Publications

  1. Gao F, Artham S, Sabbineni H, Al-Azayzih A, Peng XD, Hay N, Adams RH, Byzova TV and Somanath P.R. 2016, Endothelial-specific Akt1 loss blunts Angiopietin-1 and VEGF induced endothelial-barrier protection through tight-junction turnover. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. Oct;73(20):3917-33.
  2. Al-Azayzih A, Missaoui WN, Cummings BS and Somanath P.R. 2016, Liposomal delivery of the P21 activated kinase-1 (PAK-1) inhibitor IPA-3 limits prostate tumor growth in vivoNanomedicine. 12: 1231-1239.
  3. Abdalla A, Sabbineni H, Prakash R, Ergul A, Fagan SC and Somanath PR, 2015. et al, Akt inhibitor, triciribine, ameliorates chronic hypoxia-induced vascular pruning and TGFβ-induced pulmonary fibrosis. British Journal of Pharmacology, 172(16):4173-88.
  4. Goc A, Sabbineni H, Abdalla M, Somanath PR. 2015, P70 S6-kinase mediates the cooperation between Akt1 and Mek1 pathways in fibroblast-mediated extracellular matrix remodeling. Biochemica Biophysica Acta – Molecular Cell Research Apr 2; 1853(7):1626-1635.
  5. Gao F, Al-Azayzih A and Somanath P.R. 2015, Discrete functions of GSK3α and GSK3β in prostate cancer tumor growth and micrometastasis. Oncotarget, 20;6(8):5947-62. 
  6. Ma, .L, Kerr, B., Naga Prasad S.V., Byzova T.V. and Somanath, P.R. 2014. Differential effects of Akt1 signaling on short- vs. long-term consequences of myocardial infarction and reperfusion injury. Laboratory Investigation, Oct;94(10):1083-91. (Highlighted on cover page of the October issue)
  7. Goc A, Al-Husein B, Katsanevas, K, Steinbach A, Lou U, Sabbineni H, DeRemer, D and Somanath P.R. 2014. Src-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of GSK-3β is essential for prostate cancer micrometastasis Oncotarget. 15;5(3):775-87.
  8. Goc A, Al-Husein B, Abdalla M,  Al-Azayzih A and Somanath PR, 2012. P21 activated kinase-1 (Pak1) promotes prostate tumor growth and microinvasion via inhibition of TGFβ expression and enhanced MMP9 secretion. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288 (5), 3025-3035.
  9. Abdalla M, Goc A, Segar L and Somanath PR, 2013. Akt1 Mediates alpha-Smooth Muscle Actin Expression and Myofibroblast Differentiation via Myocardin and Serum Response Factor, Journal of Biological Chemistry.  Nov 15; 288(46): 33483-93.
  10. Kerr BA, Ma L, West XZ, Ding L, Malinin NL, Weber ME, Tischenko M, Goc, A, Somanath P.R., Penn MS, Podrez EA and Byzova T.V. 2013. Interference with Akt signaling protects against myocardial infarction by limiting the consequences of oxidative stress. Science Signaling. 6: (287), ra67.
  11. Goc A, Liu, J, Byzova, T.V. and Somanath, P.R. 2012. Akt1 mediates prostate cancer cell microinvasion and chemotaxis to metastatic stimuli via integrin β3affinity modulation, British Journal of Cancer. 107(4):713-23.
  12. Somanath, P.R., Vijai, J., Byzova, T.V. and Kandel, E.S. 2009. The role of PAK-1 in activation of MAP kinase cascade and oncogenic transformation by Akt. Oncogene, 28: 2365-2369.
  13. Somanath, P.R., Chen, J., Byzova, T.V. 2008. Akt1 is necessary for the vascular maturation and angiogenesis during cutaneous wound healing. Angiogenesis. Apr 16; 11 (3): 277-288.
  14. Feng, W., McCabe, N.P., Mahabeleshwar, G.H., Somanath, P.R., Phillips, D.R. and Byzova, T.V. 2008. Angiogenic response is dictated by beta3 integrin on bone marrow-derived cells. Journal of Cell Biology. 183(6):  1145-1157.
  15. Chen, J. & Somanath, P.R (Co-first authors), Chen, WS, Hay, N, Byzova, T.V. 2005. Akt1 regulates pathological angiogenesis, vascular maturation and permeability in vivoNature Medicine Nov.11 (11): 1188-1196.
Professional Appointments
  • Research Associate, Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, 2000-2001
  • Lecturer/Instructor, Kurukshetra University, 2001-2002
  • Research Associate, Molecular Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic, 2007-2008
  • Project Scientist, Molecular Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic, 2008-2009
  • Assistant Professor, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, 2009-2013
  • Fellow of the American Heart Association, 2013-Current
  • Associate Professor with Tenure, University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, 2013-Current
  • Research Biochemist, Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, Augusta, GA 2009-Current
  • Adjunct Faculty, Cancer Center, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 2011-Current
  • Editor, Vascular Biology Center Publication Alert, NAVBO 2016-Current
Grant Support

Ongoing Research Funding

  1. 1R01HL103952 (NIH R01 from NHLBI) 06/01/2011-05/31/2017; Protein kinase B (Akt)-mediated pathway regulating endothelial-barrier function, Role: PI.
  2. PC150431 (Department of Defense-PCRP) Idea Development Award 09/18/2016-09/17/2019; Secretory Phospholipase A2-Responsive Liposomal Delivery of IPA-3 for Prostate Cancer Therapy
  3. UL1-TR000454 (KL2-TR000455 and TL1-TR000456 by NCATS) 06/01/2017-05/30/2022
    Title: Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance (GaCTSA) by the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) (PI- Robert Taylor, Emory University); Role: Co-Director (UGA) for the KL2-TR000455 and the TL1-TR000456 Training Components.

Completed Projects

  1. 0830326N: (PI) Scientist Development Grant (American Heart Association, National) Molecular mechanisms regulating Akt1 stimulated integrin activation, extra-cellular matrix secretion and fibronectin matrix assembly (2008 – 2012).
  2. 1 I01 BX000891 (VA Merit Review) 04/01/2011-03/31/2015; Mechanisms and Consequences of Hypertension after Stroke.
    PI: Dr. Susan C. Fagan; Role: Co-Investigator
  3. 13PRE17100070 (American Heart Pre-doc fellowship – Abdalla) Role: Sponsor 07/01/2013-06/30/2015; Akt1-mediated pathway leading to pulmonary arterial hypertension
  4. American Legion Grant (2014-2015): IPA-3 for Prostate Cancer
  5. Translational Research Initiative Grant (Departmental) (2013-2014) Title: Examining TGFβ and Integrin αvβExpression in Early and Aggressive Human Prostate and Bladder Cancer Tissues as Biomarkers for early detection and as targets for therapy (PI: Shenoy)
  6. Dean’s special endowment funds (2013-14) Title: Differential role of TGFβ in tumor growth and bone remodeling in prostate cancer (PI: Shenoy)
  7. University of Georgia Vice Provost Summer Research Award (2013-14) Title: Targeting Pak1 for Prostate Cancer (PI)
  8. Wilson Pharmacy Foundation Seed Grant: Akt-mediated reciprocity between prostate cancer and microenvironment. (2009-2010)
  9. Wilson Pharmacy Foundation Seed Grant: Statins for prostate cancer (2010-2011)
  10. Wilson Pharmacy Foundation Seed Grant (2011-2012): TGFβ signaling in Bladder cancer
  11. Translational Research Initiative Grant (Departmental) (2011-2012) Title: Is GSK-3 the gridlock in Akt-targeted prostate cancer therapy?
  12. UGA-COP Dean’s Special Endowment Funds: Mechanisms Regulating Myofibroblast differentiation and Pulmonary Fibrosis (2012-2013)
  13. Translational Research Initiative Grant (Departmental) (2012-2013) Title: Effects of cabazitaxel and dasatinib on prostate cancer micrometastasis (PI: DeRemer; Co-PI: Shenoy)
  14. University of Georgia Vice Provost Summer Research Award (2014-15) Title: Targeting Pak1 for Prostate Cancer (PI: Shenoy)
  15. Wilson Pharmacy Foundation Grant (2015-16) Title: Mechanisms regulating Acute lung injury (PI: Shenoy)
  16. UGA-GRU Inter-Institutional Collaborative Intra-mural Grant (2015-Dec 2016)
    Role: Co-PI (Multiple PI award with Dr. Darren Browning, Biochemistry Department, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA)

Research in News

  1. UROTODAY Online “Beyond the Abstract” TGFβ1 induces apoptosis in invasive prostate cancer and bladder cancer cells via Akt-independent, p38 MAPK and JNK/SAPK-mediated activation of caspases.
  2. Research article “P21 Activated Kinase-1 (Pak1) Promotes Prostate Tumor Growth and Microinvasion via Inhibition of TGFβ Expression and Enhanced Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 Secretion” published in the “Journal of Biochemical Chemistry” is featured in News by the “Atlanta Business Chronicle”, UGA Today, UGA Columns and Athens-Clarke News etc.
  3. Research article “Akt1 Mediates α-Smooth Muscle Actin Expression and Myofibroblast Differentiation via Myocardin and Serum Response Factor” published in the “Journal of Biochemical Chemistry” is featured in UGA News”
  4. Research article “The Akt inhibitor, triciribine, ameliorates chronic hypoxia-induced vascular pruning and TGFβ-induced pulmonary fibrosis” published in the “British journal of pharmacology” is featured in UGA News” and international media (Science Daily, Eurekalert, Technology, Times of India, Britain News, lung disease news, pulmonary hypertension news, medlinx etc.)
  5. Our most recent research has developed a novel nanotechnology inspired drug targeting P21 activated kinase-1 resulting in the inhibition of prostate cancer epithelial to mesenchymal transition, tumor growth and metastasis. This finding was published in at least 25 news media sites and discussed in several blogs. These can be access from the following link:

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