• I am originally from Hyderabad, a city located in southern part of India. After a BS degree in pharmacy I came to the US for graduate education at Auburn University. I obtained a PhD in medicinal chemistry from the Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University.

    After my PhD, I came to UAB in pursuit of a post-doctoral fellowship. After completing my post-doctoral work, I accepted a research faculty position at UAB.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2023 Next-generation retinoid X receptor agonists increase ATRA signaling in organotypic epithelium cultures and have distinct effects on receptor dynamicsJournal of Biological Chemistry.  299. 2023
    2022 Conformationally Defined Rexinoids for the Prevention of Inflammation and Nonmelanoma Skin CancersJournal of Medicinal Chemistry.  65:14409-14423. 2022
    2022 Advances in molecular pathogenesis of hidradenitis suppurativa: Dysregulated keratins and ECM signalingSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology.  128:120-129. 2022
    2022 Metabolic activation of tachysterol3 to biologically active hydroxyderivatives that act on VDR, AhR, LXRs, and PPARγ receptors 2022
    2022 Ex Vivo Culture Models of Hidradenitis Suppurativa for Defining Molecular Pathogenesis and Treatment Efficacy of Novel DrugsInflammation.  45:1388-1401. 2022
    2022 Chemical synthesis, biological activities and action on nuclear receptors of 20S(OH)D3, 20S,25(OH)2D3, 20S,23S(OH)2D3 and 20S,23R(OH)2D3Bioorganic Chemistry.  121. 2022
    2021 Vitamin D and lumisterol derivatives can act on liver X receptors (LXRs)Scientific Reports.  11. 2021
    2021 Detection of Serotonin, Melatonin, and Their Metabolites in Honey 2021
    2021 Novel second-generation rexinoid induces growth arrest and reduces cancer cell stemness in human neuroblastoma patient-derived xenograftsJournal of Pediatric Surgery.  56:1165-1173. 2021
    2021 Stability of the Retinoid X Receptor-α Homodimer in the Presence and Absence of Rexinoid and Coactivator PeptideBiochemistry.  60:1165-1177. 2021
    2021 9-cis-UAB30, a novel rexinoid agonist, decreases tumorigenicity and cancer cell stemness of human neuroblastoma patient-derived xenograftsTranslational Oncology.  14. 2021
    2020 A small molecule, UAB126, reverses diet-induced obesity and its associated metabolic disordersDiabetes.  69:2003-2016. 2020
    2020 Detection of 7-dehydrocholesterol and vitamin D3 derivatives in honeyMolecules.  25. 2020
    2020 Novel retinoic acid derivative induces differentiation and growth arrest in neuroblastomaJournal of Pediatric Surgery.  55:1072-1080. 2020
    2019 UAB30, A Novel Rexinoid Agonist, Decreases Stemness In Group 3 Medulloblastoma Human Cell Line XenograftsTranslational Oncology.  12:1364-1374. 2019
    2018 UAB30, a novel RXR agonist, decreases tumorigenesis and leptomeningeal disease in group 3 medulloblastoma patient-derived xenograftsJournal of Neuro-Oncology.  140:209-224. 2018
    2018 A novel retinoid X receptor agonist, UAB30, inhibits rhabdomyosarcoma cells in vitroJournal of Surgical Research.  228:54-62. 2018
    2018 The retinoid X receptor agonist, 9-cis UAB30, inhibits cutaneous T-cell lymphoma proliferation through the SKP2-p27kip1 axisJournal of Dermatological Science.  90:343-356. 2018
    2016 Translation of a tissue-selective rexinoid, UAB30, to the clinic for breast cancer preventionCurrent Topics in Medicinal Chemistry.  16. 2016
    2016 Preclinical evaluation of UAB30 in pediatric renal and hepatic malignanciesMolecular Cancer Therapeutics.  15:911-921. 2016
    2016 Retinoid X receptor agonists upregulate genes responsible for the biosynthesis of all-trans-retinoic acid in human epidermisPLoS One.  11. 2016
    2015 Conformationally Defined Rexinoids and Their Efficacy in the Prevention of Mammary CancersJournal of Medicinal Chemistry.  58:7763-7774. 2015
    2015 Preclinical evaluation of a novel RXR agonist for the treatment of neuroblastomaMolecular Cancer Therapeutics.  14:1559-1569. 2015
    2014 Global molecular changes in rat livers treated with RXR agonists: a comparison using transcriptomics and proteomics 2014
    2014 Methyl substitution of a rexinoid agonist improves potency and reveals site of lipid toxicityJournal of Medicinal Chemistry.  57:5370-5380. 2014
    2014 Methyl-substituted conformationally constrained rexinoid agonists for the retinoid X receptors demonstrate improved efficacy for cancer therapy and preventionBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry.  22:178-185. 2014
    2012 The impact of novel retinoids in combination with platinum chemotherapy on ovarian cancer stem cellsGynecologic Oncology.  125:226-230. 2012
    2012 The use of retinoids in ovarian cancer: A review of the literatureInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer.  22:191-198. 2012
    2009 Effects of methyl derivatives of the rexinoid UAB30 on methyinitrosourea (MNU) induced mammary cancers and on various indicators of toxicity.Cancer Research.  69:138S-138S. 2009
    2006 Efficacy of new retinoids in the prevention of mammary cancers and correlations with short-term biomarkersCarcinogenesis.  27:1232-1239. 2006
    2005 Conformationally defined retinoic acid analogs: Synthesis and structure-activity relationships for ring-substituted analogs of 9cUAB30.ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.  229:U140-U141. 2005
    2003 9cUAB30, an RXR specific retinoid, and/or tamoxifen in the prevention of methylnitrosourea-induced mammary cancersCancer Letters.  201:17-24. 2003
    2003 Synthesis and mammary cancer chemopreventive activity of a new conformationally defined retinoic acid analog, UAB76.ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.  226:U43-U43. 2003
    2003 Conformationally defined retinoic acid analogues. 5. Large-scale synthesis and mammary cancer chemopreventive activity for (2E,4E,6Z,8E)-8-(3′,4′-dihydro-1′(2′H) -naphthalen-1′-ylidene)-3,7-dimethyl-2,4,6-octatrienoic acid (9cUAB30)Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.  46:3766-3769. 2003
    2003 Pyrrolidinobenzoic acid inhibitors of influenza virus neuraminidase: Modifications of essential pyrrolidinone ring substituentsBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry.  11:2739-2749. 2003
    2002 New improved synthesis and breast cancer chemo-prevention for UAB30 a conformationally defined retinoic acid analogACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.  223:B132-B133. 2002
    1999 Design of benzoic acid inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase containing a cyclic substitution for the N-acetyl grouping (vol 9, pg 1901, 1999)Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters.  9:3259-3259. 1999
    1999 Erratum: Design of benzoic acid inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase containing a cyclic substitution for the N-acetyl grouping (Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. (1999) 9 (1901) PII: S0960894X99003182)Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters.  9:3259. 1999
    1999 Novel aromatic inhibitors of influenza virus neuraminidase make selective interactions with conserved residues and water molecules in the active siteJournal of Molecular Biology.  293:1107-1119. 1999
    1999 Hydrophobic benzoic acids as inhibitors of influenza neuraminidaseBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry.  7:2487-2497. 1999
    1999 Synthesis and biological activity of conformationally defined retinoic acid analogs.ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.  218:U925-U926. 1999
    1999 Design of benzoic acid inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase containing a cyclic substitution for the N-acetyl groupingBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters.  9:1901-1906. 1999
    1999 Potent inhibition of influenza sialidase by a benzoic acid containing a 2-pyrrolidinone substituentJournal of Medicinal Chemistry.  42:2332-2343. 1999
    1998 Potent aromatic inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase.ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.  216:U273-U273. 1998
    1998 Determination of ergovaline in tall fescue by a specific monoclonal antibodyFood and Agricultural Immunology.  10:339-347. 1998
    1997 Structure-based benzoic acid inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase.ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.  214:251-MEDI. 1997
    1997 New aromatic inhibitors of influenza neuraminidase.ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts.  213:275-MEDI. 1997

    Research Overview

  • My primary training is in medicinal and organic chemistry with main focus on drug design and development. I have over 15 years of experience in organic synthesis and drug design. I have strong interest in the design and synthesis of different classes of compounds including retinoids, rexinoids, heterocyclic compounds and natural products. For the past 10 years, I have been involved in the design and development of novel rexinoids, retinoids, and their mechanistic studies. In the design of the new ligands, we employ different tools including macromolecular crystallography, Isothermal calorimetry (ITC), and Hydrogen-Deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDMS). These studies have resulted in the understanding of the key interactions between ligand, protein, and coactivator peptides.

    My lab is instrumental in the development of some of the highly potent rexinoids, which target the retinoid X receptors (RXRs) selectively. Many of the rexinoids that I have developed were studied extensively for their anti-cancer activity in in-vivo animal models. These rexinoids act as chemopreventive agents and are highly effective in prevention of breast cancer. These agents are also orally bioavailable with attractive side effect profile and will prevent both ER-positive AND more aggressive ER-negative breast cancers. These rexinoids target initial phases of carcinogenesis and prevent progression of the premalignant cells to invasive disease, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. One of the rexinoid (UAB30) is currently undergoing phase I clinical evaluation. In addition some of the rexinoids that are developed in my lab are also effective in prevention and treatment of skin cancer and neuroblastoma. I have also designed and synthesized potential new drugs to treat viral infections such as influenza, anti-cancer agents that target DNA (alkylating agents) and nuclear receptors. Recently I have expanded my research interests into finding cure for the metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cancers that are fueled by obesity.
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Auburn University 1996
  • Full Name

  • Venkatram Atigadda