AIMRC Seminar: Design of Novel Fibroblast Growth Factor(s) for Potential Biomedical Applications

Suresh Thallapuranam, a professor who holds the Mildred-Cooper Chair of Bioinformatics and Biochemistry and is director of the AIMRC Bioenergetics Core.
University Relations

Suresh Thallapuranam, a professor who holds the Mildred-Cooper Chair of Bioinformatics and Biochemistry and is director of the AIMRC Bioenergetics Core.

The Arkansas Integrative Metabolic Research Center will host professor Suresh Thallapuranam, who holds the Mildred-Cooper Chair of Bioinformatics and Biochemistry and is director of the AIMRC Bioenergetics Core, at 12:55 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in ENGR 209.

Thallapuranam will discuss fibroblast growth factors, and specifically his development of a hyper-stable protease resistant version of FGF1, which shows promising wound healing applications and appears to trigger metabolic activity, presenting itself as a viable therapeutic against chronic diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.

Thallapuranam's group demonstrated for the first time that that heparin/heparan sulfate-induced oligomerization is not critical for the cell proliferation activity of FGF1 and successfully developed a hyper-stable, protease resistant FGF1 (called superFGF1) that exhibits cell proliferation activity in a heparin independent manner. SuperFGF1 shows promising wound healing applications and appears to trigger metabolic activity, presenting itself as a viable therapeutic against chronic diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis. These research findings will be discussed in Thallapuranam's presentation.

Thallapuranam earned his B.S. degree as a double major in chemistry and mathematics from Osmania University, Hyderabad, completing his undergraduate research in theoretical biophysics under the tutelage of professor G.N. Ramachandran of the Ramachandran plot fame. He earned a joint Ph.D. degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Osmania University and completed his post-doc at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, before joining the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the U of A.

Thallapuranam is a biochemist with significant interest in design of novel fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-based rational design of therapeutic principles for chronic wound care, anti-diabetes, anti-obesity and osteoporosis. His research is supported by several federal grants (NIH/DOE/NSF/USDA). In addition to currently serving as the director of the NIH sponsored AIMRC Bioenergetics core, he also serves as the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (in DRI). He has published 10 U.S. patents and 175 peer-reviewed research papers in high-impact journals.

He is the recipient of several teaching, research and service awards including the Honors College Distinguished Faculty award, the Honors College Faculty Gold medal, the Collis Geren Outstanding Interdisciplinary Graduate Faculty award, the ARSC Master Teacher award, the Golden Tusk Award and the prestigious Nadine Baum Award for outstanding teaching. He has also been elected as a member of the National Academy of Inventors and is a member of the U of A Teaching Academy. Thallapuranam also regularly serves on grant proposal review panels of federal agencies such as NIH, NSF and DOE. He is also the associate editor of the Frontiers of Molecular Biophysics journal and serves on the editorial board of several journals including the prestigious Journal of Biological Chemistry.

This seminar will also be available via Zoom.

This event is supported by the NIGMS of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20GM139768. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Contacts

Macey Graham, communications graduate assistant
Division for Research and Innovation
479-575-5901, mag039@uark.edu

Andy Albertson, senior director of communications
Research and Economic Development
479-575-6111, aalbert@uark.edu

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