Alan Prem Kumar
Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Dr. Alan Prem Kumar earned his Ph.D. from University of North Texas, USA. From his Ph.D. work, he discovered a novel regulatory protein, PyrR for the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway in Pseudomonas. Because pyrimidine biosynthesis is an essential step in the progression of secondary Pseudomonas infections, PyrR presents an attractive anti-pseudomonal drug target. Dr. Kumar then pursued Postdoctoral training in Cancer Research at Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, California, USA. He was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship for his work on the role of nuclear receptors in the transcriptional regulation of human myeloperoxidase, a leukocyte enzyme implicated as causative agent in atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Kumar relocated back to Singapore to join the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore as an independent Principal Investigator to continue on his expertise on nuclear receptor and cancer biology. His current research interest includes the role of nuclear receptors involved in the regulation of target genes and to elucidate mechanism and associated signal pathways. Another area of interest is to have a greater understanding of these nuclear receptors –aimed at developing newer selective PPAR gamma modulators, drugs with more potent activity and less toxicity. Towards this end, Dr. Kumar identified a series of 21 structurally new PPAR gamma activators by computer-aided drug design using a combination of ligand-based and structure-based approaches. In collaboration with GenoMed, Inc, USA, he has recently identified a new tyrosine kinase involved in the progression of ovarian, breast, and prostate cancers. Inhibitors were developed against this kinase using computer-aided drug design. In-silico filters were used to eliminate drug compounds with undesirable absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicological (ADMET) properties. His goal is to use these drugs to demonstrate its effectiveness in a variety of cancer cell lines, mouse xenograft, with intent to a pilot clinical trial here in Singapore. Over the years, Dr. Kumar and his laboratory have forged relationships with scientists in cancer research and with cancer advocacy groups in Singapore.
My primary research focuses in the areas of signaling by nuclear receptors and oncogenes as well as the development of molecular therapeutics and biomarkers of drug action in human breast cancer. We recently identified a novel oncogene that regulates a key pathway controlling cell proliferation, migration and drug resistance in breast, prostate, gastric, and colon cancers. Current research also focuses on developing therapeutic strategies to target this marker with the ultimate aim of conducting translational studies in patients.