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J. Prakash (Jai)

Adjunct Professor

About Me

My passion is to develop novel targeted (nano)therapies against fibrosis and fibrosis-driven tumors by integrating novel technologies with advanced biology.

After obtaining Masters in Pharmacology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, I joined University of Groningen to pursue my PhD. I worked on the development of targeted therapies against kidney fibrosis and successfully obtained PhD with cum laude in 2006.

Thereafter, I joined BiOrion Technologies BV with a joint researcher position at the University of Groningen. During this period, I developed several products in line of liver fibrosis and cancer, which are currently in the development phases. Besides that, I co-supervised two PhD students on the topic “hepatic stellate cell targeting of biological and kinase inhibitors to treat liver fibrosis”. In parallel, I set up a new line of research on tumor stroma targeting to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer.

To gain new knowledge and experience in tumor stroma field, in early 2011 I joined the group of Prof. Arne Östman at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm by receiving two prestigious grants Swedish Cancer Foundation grant and Marie Curie Career Integration Grant. In short time, I became Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology-Pathology of Karolinska Institutet. I also received a Young Researcher Swedish Research Council grant to develop new targeted nanotherapeutics against cancer.

In late 2012, I was appointed as Tenure-track Assistant Professor at Targeted Therapeutics section of Biomaterials, Science and Technology, located at the MIRA Institute of Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine in the University of Twente. I obtained several grants from Dutch Kidney Foundation, Phospholipid Research Centre Heidelberg, MIRA, STW and KWF.

Besides that, I am associated to the group of Prof. Östman at the Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

In 2016, I has founded a UT spin-off company ScarTec Therapeutics BV., which aims to develop novel therapeutic technologies for inhibiting scar formation.

Expertise

Neoplasms
Kidney
Therapeutics
Fibrosis
Liver
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Hepatic Stellate Cells
Phosphotransferases

Ancillary Activities

  • Karolinska Institutet Stockholm
    Associated Scientist,
  • ScarTec Therapeutics BV
    Management of UT spin off

Research

The research goal of the Prakash lab is to design and develop new cell-specific targeting strategies to address fibrosis and fibrosis-driven cancer. Fibrosis or scarring is described as the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) in an organ, which may lead to dysfunction of the organ and eventually death. In recent years, the contribution of fibrosis in cancer has received enormous attention due to its contribution in inducing tumor progression and metastasis. In addition, fibrotic stromal tissue hampers drug delivery to the tumors, thereby reducing therapeutic efficacy of anticancer agents.

Myofibroblasts are key cell type in organ fibrosis and tumor stroma. By means of targeting to myofibroblasts, the Prakash lab is developing novel therapeutics and diagnostics (Theranostics) for organ fibrosis and cancer. Besides myofibroblasts, macrophages are another key target cells in the tumor microenvironment. The following are the major areas in which his team is actively working on.

  • Understanding the difference between myofibroblasts’ phenotype in organ fibrosis and cancer
  • Discovering new targets in myofibroblasts in organ fibrosis and tumor stroma
  • Designing of targeting ligands e.g. peptides to therapy and drug delivery
  • Targeted delivery of nanoparticles including liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles
  • Developing 3D spheroid models to mimic tumor microenvironment for studying nanomedicine
  • Preclinical studies for targeted nanomedicine in fibrosis and tumor stroma mouse models (therapeutic efficacy and imaging)

Publications

Recent
Deshmukh, M., Nakagawa, S., Higashi, T., Vincek, A., Venkatesh, A., De Galarreta, M. R., ... Hoshida, Y. (2018). Cell type-specific pharmacological kinase inhibition for cancer chemoprevention. Nanomedicine : nanotechnology, biology and medicine, 14(2), 317-325. DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2017.11.004
Prakash, J. (2017). IPC No. C07K 14/ 705 A I. INTEGRIN BINDING PEPTIDES AND USES THEREOF (Patent No. WO2017069627.)
Bansal, R., Nakagawa, S., Yazdani, S., van Baarlen, J., Venkatesh, A., Koh, A. P., ... Prakash, J. (2017). Integrin alpha 11 in the regulation of the myofibroblast phenotype: implications for fibrotic diseases. Experimental and Molecular Medicine, 49(11), e396. DOI: 10.1038/emm.2017.213
Baues, M., Dasgupta, A., Ehling, J., Prakash, J., Boor, P., Tacke, F., ... Lammers, T. (2017). Fibrosis imaging: Current concepts and future directions. Advanced drug delivery reviews, 121, 9-26. DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2017.10.013
Strell, C., Norberg, K. J., Mezheyeuski, A., Schnittert, J., Kuninty, P. R., Moro, C. F., ... Östman, A. (2017). Stroma-regulated HMGA2 is an independent prognostic marker in PDAC and AAC. British journal of cancer, 117(1), 65-77. DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2017.140
Hu, Q., Prakash, J., Rijcken, C. J. F., Hennink, W. E., & Storm, G. (2016). High systemic availability of core-crosslinked polymeric micelles after subcutaneous administration. International journal of pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing, 514(1), 112-120. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2016.09.030
Hu, Q., Rijcken, C. J. F., Gaal, E., Brundel, P., Kostkova, H., Etrych, T., ... Lammers, T. G. G. M. (2016). Tailoring the physicochemical properties of core-crosslinked polymeric micelles for pharmaceutical applications. Journal of controlled release, 244(part B), 314-325. DOI: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.07.012
Bansal, R., Nagorniewicz, B. P., & Prakash, J. (2016). Clinical Advancements in the Targeted Therapies against Liver Fibrosis. Mediators of inflammation, 2016(7629724), -. [7629724]. DOI: 10.1155/2016/7629724

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link

In the press

-   Tubantia Newspaper,   “UT sets new steps in the treatment of pancreatic cancer”, 10 Nov 2017. https://www.tubantia.nl/regio/ut-zet-flinke-stappen-in-behandeling-alvleesklierkanker~a2caecdc/

-    U-Today, Science and Technology magazine  “Novel treatment to kill cancer by targeting stroma” Oct, 2017. https://www.utoday.nl/science/64599/unique-treatment-from-twente-effectively-kills-cancer

-    “KNCV Golden Master award 2017” to Marcel Heinrich (PhD student under my supervision), for his master project in my group on "Lipids against Cancer". https://www.c2w.nl/verenigingen-8751/lipide-tegen-kanker/item19184

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Science and Technology
Horst Complex (building no. 20), room ZH254
De Horst 2
7522LW  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Science and Technology
Horst Complex  ZH254
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands