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Faculty Profile

Gomika UdugamasooriyaGomika Udugamasooriya

Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Office: 
University of Houston College of Pharmacy
Health 2, Room 7033
4349 Martin Luther King Boulevard
Houston, TX 77204-5037

Contact: gomika@uh.edu - Office: 713-743-6357 - Fax: 713-743-1884

Research:

  • Novel peptoids and peptidomimetics identification, optimization, and biological validation.
  • Combinatorial chemistry and unique on-bead high throughput (HTS) cell screening technology developments.
  • Cancer diagnostic and theranostic tool developments.
  • Anti-cancer drug-lead developments.
  • Cancer stem cell biomarker identification and treatment validation.
  • Early biomarker-ligand pair identification for cancer detection and treatment.
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow at UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX USA (2006-2009). Advisor: Professor Thomas J. Kodadek
  • Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA (2006). Advisor: Professor Mark R. Spaller
  • B.Sc. in Chemistry Special, Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (1999). Advisor: Professor Dilip De Silva

Publications

  • Shukla, S.P, Cho, KB., Rustagi, V., Gao, X., Fu, X., Zhang, S.X., Guo, B., Udugamasooriya, D.G., "Molecular masks" for ACE2 to effectively and safely block SARS-CoV-2 virus entry, Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug; 22(16): 8963.
  • Kedika S.R., Shukla, S.P., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Design of a dual ERK5 kinase activation and autophosphorylation inhibitor to block cancer stem cell activity, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2020, 30(23), 127552.
  • Raymond, A.C., Gao, B., Girard, L., Minna, J.D., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Unbiased peptoid combinatorial cell screen identifies plectin protein as a potential biomarker for lung cancer stem cells, Scientific Reports, 2019(9), 14954.
  • Rustagi, V, and Udugamasooriya, D.G., A facile on-bead method for fully symmetric tetra-substituted DOTA derivatizations using peptoid moieties, Biopolymers 2018, 110(4), 1-11.
  • Kedika S.R., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Converting a weaker ATP-binding site inhibitor into a potent hetero-bivalent ligand by tethering to a unique peptide sequence derived from the same kinase, Org Biomol Chem. 2018 11;16(35):6443-6449.
  • Shukla, S.P., Udugamasooriya, D.G., A mini-library system to investigate non-essential residues of lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) binding peptide–peptoid hybrid PPS1 Med. Chem. Commun., 2017, 8, 2208-2215.
  • Shukla, S.P., Manarang, J.C., Udugamasooriya, D.G., A unique mid-sequence linker used to multimerize the lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) binding peptide-peptoid hybrid PPS1, Eur. J. Med. Chem., 2017, 19;137:1-10.
  • Singh. J., Shukla, S.P., Desai, T.J., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Identification of the minimum pharmacophore of lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) binding peptide-peptoid hybrid PPS1D1 Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2016, 24(18):4470-7.
  • Desai, T.J, Toombs, J.E., Minna, J.D., Brekken, R.A., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Identification of lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) as the target of unbiasedly selected cancer specific peptide-peptoid hybrid PPS1, Oncotarget, 2016, 7(21), 30678-30690.
  • Matharage, J.M., Minna, J.D., Brekken, R.A., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Unbiased Selection of Peptide-Peptoid Hybrids Specific for Lung Cancer Compared to Normal Lung Epithelial Cells, ACS Chem. Biol., 2015, 10(12), 2891-9.
  • Napolitano, R., Soesbe, T.C., De León‐Rodríguez, L.M., Sherry, A.D., Udugamasooriya, D.G., On bead combinatorial synthesis and imaging of CEST‐MRI agents to identify factors that influence water exchange, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2011, 133, 13023-30.
  • De León‐Rodríguez, L. M., Lubag, A., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Sun, X., Kodadek, T., Sherry, A.D., MRI detection of VEGFR2 in vivo using a low molecular weight peptoid-(Gd)8-dendron for targeting, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132(37), 12829-31.
  • Lee, J., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Lim, H.S., Kodadek, T., Potent and Selective Photo-inactivation of Proteins with Peptoid-Ruthenium Conjugates, Nature Chemical Biology, 2010, 6, 258-260.
  • Muders, M.H., Wang, L., Dutta, S.K., Wang, E., Ikeda, Y., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Memic, A., Rupasinghe, C., Baretton, G., Datta, D., Simons, M., Spaller, M.R., Mukhopadhyay, D., GIPC/Synectin as a New Target in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment, Clinical Cancer Research, 2009, 15(12), 4095-103.
  • Udugamasooriya, D.G., Dineen, S.P., Brekken, R.A., Kodadek T., A Peptoid "Antibody Surrogate" That Antagonizes VEGF-VEGF Receptor 2 Interaction, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 5744-5752.

Awards & Honors

  • 50-in-5 Scholar: University of Houston, Houston, TX, 2018-19.
  • Faculty Excellence in Research Award: College of Pharmacy, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 2017.
  • NIH SPORE Lung Cancer Excellence Career Development Award: UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, 2010.
  • UT-Metroplex Science Award: Dallas, TX - 2008.

Patents

  • Udugamasooriya, D.G., Minna, J.D., Raymond A. R., Composition and methods of targeting cancer stem cells (WO2018053472A1).
  • Udugamasooriya, D.G., Brekken, R.A., Cancer specific lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) targeted peptidomimetics as universal cancer therapeutics (US20180369189Al).
  • Udugamasooriya, D.G., Guo, B., Shukla, S.P., Cho, K.B., Zhou, S., Novel peptoid compounds that bind to cellular receptor ACE2 and prevent virus entry into cells (US63053032).
  • Udugamasooriya, D.G., Shukla, S.P., Zhang, H., Vimentin targeted peptoids for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer (US63229227).
  • Kodadek, T., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Brekken, R.A., High affinity VEGF-Receptor antagonists (US8334239).
  • Kodadek, T., Gocke, A., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Peptoid ligands for isolation and treatment of autoimmune T Cells (US20100303835).
  • Guo, B., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Shukla, S.P., Cho, K.B., Zhou, S., Inhibitors of IL-15 and their use in treating autoimmune/inflammatory disorders (UHOU.P0031US.P1).
  • Guo, B., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Liu, X., Shukla, S.P., Cho, K.B., Zhou, S., Compounds for drug delivery across blood-brain barrier (UHID 2020-050).