Researcher Profile

Researcher Profile

Dhimant Desai, PhD

Dhimant Desai, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Scientific Program:Experimental Therapeutics

Research Interests

Dr. Dhimant Desai’s research interest is to study the structural activity relationship of organic chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents against cancers of colon, lung, melanoma and leukemia. He specializes in micro- and macro-scale organic and bio-organic syntheses of carbocyclic nucleosides, carcinogens, chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents including organoselenium compounds, cytodifferentiating agents and nitric oxide inhibitors.

The focus of Dr. Desai's research is on the synthesis of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines and their metabolites and adducts. It further extends his research in animal bioassays (studies in mice, rats, hamsters); isotopic and radiochemical preparations; animal tissue distribution studies; and in vitro studies with synthetic standards, including 14C, 2H and 3H-labeled compounds.

Dr. Desai has focused on the prevention and treatment of colon cancer by selenium-containing COX-2 inhibitors. In another recently funded project, Dr. Desai has investigated PK/PD studies of PAN-antiviral agent in the treatment of HCMV infections. He is also involved in the research on gut microbiota and metabolomics studies with bile acid analogs in the treatment of non-fatty liver disease, COPD and asthma.

  • Neoplasms
  • Lung
  • Carcinogenesis
  • 4-(N-methyl-N-nitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone
  • Selenium
  • Tobacco
  • Carcinogens
  • Nitrosamines
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Therapeutics
  • DNA Adducts
  • DNA

Recent Publications


Tan, SF, Dunton, W, Liu, X, Fox, TE, Morad, SAF, Desai, D, Doi, K, Conaway, MR, Amin, S, Claxton, D, Wang, HG, Kester, M, Cabot, MC, Feith, DJ & Loughran, TP 2019, 'Acid ceramidase promotes drug resistance in acute myeloid leukemia through NF-κB-dependent P-glycoprotein upregulation', Journal of Lipid Research, vol. 60, no. 6, pp. 1078-1086.
Ding, Y, Zhang, B, Payne, JL, Song, C, Ge, Z, Gowda, C, Iyer, S, Dhanyamraju, PK, Dorsam, G, Reeves, ME, Desai, D, Huang, S, Payne, KJ, Yue, F & Dovat, S 2019, 'Ikaros tumor suppressor function includes induction of active enhancers and super-enhancers along with pioneering activity', Leukemia.
Desai, D, Lauver, M, Ostman, A, Cruz, L, Ferguson, K, Jin, G, Roper, B, Brosius, D, Lukacher, A, Amin, S & Buchkovich, N 2019, 'Inhibition of diverse opportunistic viruses by structurally optimized retrograde trafficking inhibitors' Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 27, no. 9, pp. 1795-1803.


Dyba, M, Da Silva, B, Coia, H, Hou, Y, Noguchi, S, Pan, J, Berry, D, Creswell, K, Krzeminski, J, Desai, D, Amin, S, Yang, D & Chung, FL 2018, 'Monoclonal Antibodies for the Detection of a Specific Cyclic DNA Adduct Derived from ω-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids', Chemical Research in Toxicology, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 772-783.


Weng, MW, Lee, HW, Choi, B, Wang, HT, Hu, Y, Mehta, M, Desai, D, Amin, S, Zheng, Y & Tang, MS 2017, 'AFB1 hepatocarcinogenesis is via lipid peroxidation that inhibits DNA repair, sensitizes mutation susceptibility and induces aldehyde-DNA adducts at p53 mutational hotspot codon 249', Oncotarget, vol. 8, no. 11, pp. 18213-18226.
Smith, KJ, Boyer, JA, Muku, GE, Murray, IA, Gowda, K, Desai, D, Amin, S, Glick, AB & Perdew, GH 2017, 'Ah receptor activation potentiates neutrophil chemoattractant (C-X-C Motif) ligand 5 expression in keratinocytes and skin', Toxicological Sciences, vol. 160, no. 1, pp. 83-94.
Maru, S, Jin, G, Desai, D, Amin, S, Shwetank, Lauver, MD & Lukacher, A 2017, 'Inhibition of retrograde transport limits polyomavirus infection in vivo', mSphere, vol. 2, no. 6, e00494-17.
Cruz, L, Streck, NT, Ferguson, K, Desai, T, Desai, D, Amin, S & Buchkovich, N 2017, 'Potent inhibition of human cytomegalovirus by modulation of cellular SNARE syntaxin 5', Journal of virology, vol. 91, no. 1, e01637-16.
Hengst, J, Dick, TE, Sharma, A, Doi, K, Hegde, S, Tan, SF, Geffert, L, Fox, TE, Sharma, AK, Desai, D, Amin, S, Kester, M, Loughran, TP, Paulson, R, Claxton, D, Wang, H-G & Yun, J 2017, 'SKI-178: A multitargeted inhibitor of sphingosine kinase and microtubule dynamics demonstrating therapeutic efficacy in acute myeloid leukemia models' Cancer Translational Medicine, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 109-121.


Tagaram, HRS, Desai, D, Li, G, Liu, D, Rountree, CB, Gowda, K, Berg, A, Amin, S, Staveley-O’carroll, KF & Kimchi, ET 2016, 'A selenium containing inhibitor for the treatment of hepatocellular cancer', Pharmaceuticals, vol. 9, no. 2, 18.
Tan, SF, Liu, X, Fox, TE, Barth, BM, Sharma, A, Turner, SD, Awwad, A, Dewey, A, Doi, K, Spitzer, B, Shah, MV, Morad, SAF, Desai, D, Amin, S, Zhu, J, Liao, JJ, Yun, J, Kester, M, Claxton, D, Wang, H-G, Cabot, MC, Schuchman, EH, Levine, RL, Feith, DJ & Loughran, TP 2016, 'Acid ceramidase is upregulated in AML and represents a novel therapeutic target', Oncotarget, vol. 7, no. 50, pp. 83208-83222.
Siddesha, JM, Nakada, EM, Mihavics, BR, Hoffman, SM, Rattu, GK, Chamberlain, N, Cahoon, JM, Lahue, KG, Daphtary, N, Aliyeva, M, Chapman, DG, Desai, D, Poynter, ME & Anathy, V 2016, 'Effect of a chemical chaperone, tauroursodeoxycholic acid, on HDM-induced allergic airway disease', American Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, vol. 310, no. 11, pp. L1243-L1259.
Chen, W, Padilla, MT, Xu, X, Desai, D, Krzeminski, J, Amin, S & Lin, Y 2016, 'Quercetin inhibits multiple pathways involved in interleukin 6 secretion from human lung fibroblasts and activity in bronchial epithelial cell transformation induced by benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide', Molecular Carcinogenesis, vol. 55, no. 11, pp. 1858-1866.
Leng, S, Thomas, CL, Snider, AM, Picchi, MA, Chen, W, Willis, DG, Carr, TG, Krzeminski, J, Desai, D, Amin, S, Lin, Y, Jacobson, MR & Belinsky, SA 2016, 'Radon exposure, IL-6 promoter variants, and lung squamous cell carcinoma in former uranium miners', Environmental health perspectives, vol. 124, no. 4, pp. 445-451.
Morad, SAF, Davis, TS, MacDougall, MR, Tan, SF, Feith, DJ, Desai, D, Amin, S, Kester, M, Loughran, TP & Cabot, MC 2017, 'Role of P-glycoprotein inhibitors in ceramide-based therapeutics for treatment of cancer', Biochemical Pharmacology, vol. 130, pp. 21-33.
Genda, J, Negron, EA, Lotfipour, M, Balabhadra, S, Desai, D, Craft, D & Katzman, M 2016, 'Severe Babesia microti Infection in an Immunocompetent Host in Pennsylvania', Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports, vol. 4, no. 3.


Van Den Bogaard, EH, Podolsky, MA, Smits, JP, Cui, X, John, C, Gowda, K, Desai, D, Amin, S, Schalkwijk, J, Perdew, GH & Glick, AB 2015, 'Genetic and pharmacological analysis identifies a physiological role for the AHR in epidermal differentiation', Journal of Investigative Dermatology, vol. 135, no. 5, pp. 1320-1328.
Leng, S, Wu, G, Collins, LB, Thomas, CL, Tellez, CS, Jauregui, AR, Picchi, MA, Zhang, X, Juri, DE, Desai, D, Amin, S, Crowell, RE, Stidley, CA, Liu, Y, Swenberg, JA, Lin, Y, Wathelet, MG, Gilliland, FD & Belinsky, SA 2015, 'Implication of a chromosome 15q15.2 locus in regulating UBR1 and predisposing smokers to MGMT methylation in lung' Cancer Research, vol. 75, no. 15, pp. 3108-3117.
Jiang, C, Xie, C, Li, F, Zhang, L, Nichols, RG, Krausz, KW, Cai, J, Qi, Y, Fang, ZZ, Takahashi, S, Tanaka, N, Desai, D, Amin, S, Albert, I, Patterson, AD & Gonzalez, FJ 2015, 'Intestinal farnesoid X receptor signaling promotes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease', Journal of Clinical Investigation, vol. 125, no. 1, pp. 386-402.
Jiang, C, Xie, C, Lv, Y, Li, J, Krausz, KW, Shi, J, Brocker, CN, Desai, D, Amin, S, Bisson, WH, Liu, Y, Gavrilova, O, Patterson, AD & Gonzalez, FJ 2015, 'Intestine-selective farnesoid X receptor inhibition improves obesity-related metabolic dysfunction', Nature communications, vol. 6, 10166.
Song, C, Gowda, C, Pan, X, Ding, Y, Tong, Y, Tan, B, Wang, H, Muthusami, S, Ge, Z, Sachdev, M, Amin, S, Desai, D, Gowda, K, Gowda, R, Robertson, G, Schjerven, H, Muschen, M, Payne, KJ & Dovat, S 2015, 'Targeting casein kinase II restores Ikaros tumor suppressor activity and demonstrates therapeutic efficacy in high-risk leukemia', Blood, vol. 126, no. 15, pp. 1813-1822.
Kale, VP, Hengst, J, Desai, D, Amin, S & Yun, J 2015, 'The regulatory roles of ROCK and MRCK kinases in the plasticity of cancer cell migration', Cancer Letters, vol. 361, no. 2, pp. 185-196.

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)