Alan Prem Kumar
Department of Pharmacology
Cancer Science Institute 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, we 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, we have 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. My 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.
Diabetes and cancer are common diseases among adults worldwide. New research shows that both hyperinsulinaemia and hyperglycemia, characteristics of type 2 diabetes, are major risk factors for a number of cancer – promotes tumor development. My area of research focuses on exploring the role of nuclear receptors, such as PPARs (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors), ERα, HNF4α, and DEAD-box RNA helicases in the prevention and treatment of cancer and diabetes.