Umesh R. Desai, Ph.D.
Chairman
Professor
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
Faculty/Staff picture
  •   Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, Suite 212
  • School of Pharmacy - Dept of Medicinal Chemistry
    BioTech One, Suite 205
    800 E. Leigh St.
    P.O. Box 980540
    Richmond, VA 23298-0540
  •  (804) 828-7575
    (804) 827-3664

Area of Focus

  • Rational Design of Cardiovascular Drugs
  • Allosteric Activators of Antithrombin
  • Computational Studies on Heparin - Protein Interaction
  • Rational Design of Macromolecular Scaffolds as Inhibitors of Viral Infection
  • Allosteric Inhibitors of Coagulation Factors (IIa, Xa, IXa, XIa, VIIa)
  • Structure of Low Molecular Weight Heparins

Education

  • B.S., Chemistry (M. S. University of Baroda, India, 1983)
  • M.S., Organic Chemistry (Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, 1985)
  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry (Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, 1991)

Post-Graduate Training

  • Fellowship - Postdoctoral Training (University of Iowa – Iowa City, 1993)
  • Fellowship - Postdoctoral Trainint (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 1994)

Professional Experience

  • (1998 - 2004) Assistant Profesor of Medicinal Chemsitry, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • (2004 - 2007) Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • (2007 - Present) Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • (2009 - 2014) Interim Director of Institute for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery,
  • (2014 - Present) Director of Institute for Structural Biology, Drug Discovery and Development,

Publications

PubMed Search
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Books/Book Chapters

  • ‘Glycosaminoglycans – Chemistry and Biology’, a volume of Methods in Molecular Biology, Springer, NY (2014). Editor: Kuberan Balagurunathan, Hiroshi Nakato and Umesh R. Desai
  • Sankaranarayanan, N. V.; Sarkar, A.; Desai, U. R.; Mosier, P. D.* Designing ‘high-affinity, high-specificity’ glycosaminoglycan sequences through computerized modeling. Methods in Molecular Biology 2015, 1229, 289-314. (PMID: 25325961)
  • Al-Horani, R. A.; Karuturi, R.; Verespy, S. III; Desai, U. R.* Synthesis of glycosaminoglycan mimetics through sulfation of polyphenols. Methods in Molecular Biology 2015, 1229, 49-67. (PMID: 25325944)
  • Boothello, R. S.; Al-Horani, R. A.; Desai, U. R.* Glycosaminoglycan–protein interaction studies using fluorescence spectroscopy. Methods in Molecular Biology 2015, 1229, 335-353. (PMID: 25325964)
  • Liang, A.;* Desai, U. R. Studying glycosaminoglycan–protein interactions using capillary electrophoresis. Methods in Molecular Biology 2015, 1229, 355-375. (PMID: 25325965)

Patents

  • Desai, U. R.; Gunnarsson, G. T. Sulfated bis-cyclic agents. United States Patent, US 7,402,594 issued July 22, 2008.
  • Desai, U. R.; King, J. T. Method for finger-printing heparins. United States Patent, US 8,262,881 issued September 11, 2012.
  • Desai, U. R.; Henry, B. L.; Liang, A.; Thakkar, J. N.; Mangrum, J. B.; Torres Filho, I.; Spiess, B. D.; Saluja, B.; Sakagami, M. Cinnamic acid-based oligomers and uses thereof. United States Patent Application Publication, # US 8,491,872 issued July 23, 2013.
  • Desai, U. R.; Henry, B. L.; Liang, A.; Thakkar, J. N.; Mangrum, J. B.; Torres Filho, I.; Spiess, B. D.; Saluja, B.; Sakagami, M. Cinnamic acid-based oligomers and uses thereof – Divisional 1. United States Patent, US 8,613,909 issued December 24, 2013.
  • Desai, U. R.; Henry, B. L.; Liang, A.; Thakkar, J. N.; Mangrum, J. B.; Torres Filho, I.; Spiess, B. D.; Saluja, B.; Sakagami, M. Cinnamic acid-based oligomers and uses thereof – Divisional II Application. United States Patent Application Publication, US 8,993,620 issued March 31, 2015.

Recent Publications

  • Sistla, J. C.; Morla, S.; Alabbas, A. K.; Kalathur, R. C.; Sharon, C.; Patel, B. B.; Desai, U. R.* Polymeric fluorescent heparin as a one-step FRET substrate of human heparanase. Carbohydrate Polymers 2019, 205, 385–391. (PMID: 30446119).
  • Afosah, D. K.; Verespy III, S.; Al-Horani, R. A.; Boothello, R. S.; Karuturi, R.; Desai, U. R.* A small group of sulfated benzofurans induces steady-state submaximal inhibition of thrombin. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2018, 28, 1101–1105. (PMID: 29459207)
  • Chaudhari, U. V.; Deota, P. T.;* Kanhed, A. M.; Yadav, M. R.; Afosah, D.; Desai, U. R. Synthesis and biological evaluation of novel neutral 2-substituted benzamidobenzene derivatives as human factor Xa inhibitors. Pharmacologia 2018, 9, 94–113.
  • Kaltenbach, D. D.; Jaishankar, D.; Hao, M.; Beer, J. C.; Volin, M.; Desai, U. R.; Tiwari, V.* Sulfotransferase and heparanase: Remodeling engines in promoting virus infection and disease development. Frontiers in Pharmacology 2018, 9, 1315.
  • Sepuru, K. M.; Nagarajan, B.; Desai, U. R.; Rajarathnam, K.* Structural basis, stoichiometry and thermodynamics of chemokines KC/mCXCL1 and MIP2/mCXCL2 binding to glycosaminoglycan heparin. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2018, 293, 17817–17828. (PMID: 30257866).
  • Rahaman Navaz Gangji, R.; Sankaranarayanan, NV.; Elste, J.; Al-Horani, R. A.; Afosah, D. K.; Joshi, R.; Tiwari, V.; Desai, U. R.* Inhibition of herpes simplex virus-1 entry into human cells by nonsaccharide glycosaminoglycan mimetics. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2018, 9, 797–802. (PMID: 30128070)
  • Tran, D.-T; Zhang, T.; Stutsman, R.; Desai, U. R.; Might, M.; Kuberan, B.* Visual analytics framework for analysis of RNA expression: application towards glycosaminoglycan genes. Bioinformatics 2018, 34, 2510-2512. (PMID: 29506198)
  • Abdel Aziz, M. H.; Desai, U. R.* Novel heparin mimetics reveal cooperativity between exosite 2 and sodium-binding site of thrombin. Thrombosis Research 2018, 165, 61–67. (PMID: 29573721)
  • Joseph, P. R. B.; Sawant, K. V.; Iwahara, J.; Garofalo, R. P.; Desai, U. R.; Rajarathnam, K.* Lysines and arginines play non-redundant roles in mediating chemokine-glycosaminoglycan interactions. Scientific Reports 2018, 8, 12289. (PMID: 30115951)
  • Rahaman Navaz Gangji, R.; Sankaranarayanan, NV.; Elste, J.; Al-Horani, R. A.; Afosah, D. K.; Joshi, R.; Tiwari, V.; Desai, U. R.* Inhibition of herpes simplex virus-1 entry into human cells by nonsaccharide glycosaminoglycan mimetics. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2018, 9, 797–802. (PMID: 30128070)
  • Sankaranarayanan, NV.; Nagarajan, B.; Desai, U. R.* So you think computational approaches for understanding glycosaminoglycan–protein interactions are too dry and too rigid? Think again! Current Opinion in Structural Biology 2018, 50, 91–100. (PMID: 29328962)
  • Kummarapurugu, A. B.; Afosah, D. K.; Sankaranarayanan, NV.; Zheng, S.; Kennedy, T.; Rubin, B. K.; Voynow, J. A.*; Desai, U. R.* Molecular principles for heparin oligosaccharide-based inhibition of neutrophil elastase in cystic fibrosis. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2018, 293, 12480–12490. (PMID: 29903912)