The Center for Translational Cancer Research

Ulhas P. Naik, Ph.D.

Professor, Director, Delaware Cardiovascular Research Center

Cardiovascular and Cancer Biology Laboratory
Department of Biological Sciences
256 Wolf Hall
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716

Phone Number: 
(302) 831-0434
Fax: 
(302) 831-2281

Ph.D., University of Bombay, India, 1988
M.S., University of Bombay, India, 1977
B.S., University of Bombay, India, 1975

 

Research Interests:

The focus of research in Dr. Naik’s laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Cell-cell interactions and cell-extracellular matrix interactions play key roles in these diseases. Dr. Naik’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of these interactions under physiological and pathophysiological conditions, such as thrombosis, myocardial infraction, stroke, and cancer cell metastasis.

Platelets are anucleated cells circulating in the blood. They initiate the process of blood clotting under both physiological hemostasis and pathological thrombosis. Dr. Naik has cloned a novel gene, CIB, that has been shown to play a key role in this process. Efforts are currently being directed towards understanding how CIB regulates the function of platelets. In this regard, Dr. Naik’s lab, in collaboration with Dr. Brian Bahnson from the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, has solved the crystal structure of CIB. Efforts are now aimed to identify potential therapeutic agents that might be useful in blocking unwanted platelet clumping which may be useful in combating cardiovascular diseases such as thrombosis, myocardial infarction, and stroke.

Another research area of interest in Dr. Naik’s lab is focused on understanding the process of tumor-induced angiogenesis. Dr. Naik has recently cloned a novel cell adhesion molecule, JAM-A, which is involved in platelet activation, leukocyte transmigration, and in the regulation of tight junction integrity. Recent findings from Dr. Naik’s laboratory have demonstrated that JAM-A is a key player in the process of bFGF-induced angiogenesis. Presently, Dr. Naik has successfully generated JAM-A knock-out mice, which are currently being characterized phenotypically. Such studies will help delineate the molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of angiogenesis by JAM-A.

Research efforts are also being focused in understanding the molecular mechanism of breast cancer cell metastasis. Dr. Naik’s laboratory is currently elucidating the role of JAM-A and CIB in the process of breast cancer cell migration and invasion leading to metastasis.

Before coming to Delaware in 1998, Dr. Naik was a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.