Leslie Gunatilaka

Leslie Gunatilaka is Professor at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment and Director of the Natural Products Center. He is also Adjunct Professor of Department of Nutritional Sciences, and a member of the Arizona Cancer Center. He is a member of several professional societies, editorial boards, and pharmaceutical company advisory groups. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Italy, and the National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka. Dr. Gunatilaka has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and over 150 communications in natural product science to his credit. He is the recipient of the Sri Lankan Presidents’ gold medal for “creating a center of excellence in natural products research at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka” (1987), CaPCURE award for “dedication to ending prostate cancer as a risk for all men and their families” (2000), Research Faculty of the Year Award of the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (2003), the UA Asian American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award (2005), and the UA Leading Edge Researcher Award for Innovative Research (2012). He has delivered over 100 invited lectures worldwide and was the Chief Guest and Plenary Lecturer at the International Herbal Medicine Conference held in Sri Lanka (2005), and the Keynote Speaker and the Guest of Honor at Chemtech-2007, an International Conference organized by the Institute of Chemistry, Ceylon. His current research interests include discovery, identification of protein targets, and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of natural product-based drugs to treat cancer, neurodegenerative, and other diseases from plants, and plant- and lichen-associated microorganisms, maximization of chemistry diversity and production of microbial and plant secondary metabolites, and scientific investigation of medicinal plants and herbal supplements.

An Analog Of Withaferin A Activates The Mapk And Glutathione "Stress" Pathways And Inhibits Pancreatic Cancer Cell Proliferation. Source: Cancer Investigation
November 17th, 2011 PMID: 22085270 Leslie Gunatilaka
Withaferin A (WA) (1) and two analogs [4-epi-withaferin A (2) and 4,27-diacetyl-4-epi-withaferin A (3)] were evaluated for antitumor activity in pancreatic cancer cells. IC(50) for 1, 2, and 3 were 0.87, 0.45, and 0.29 ?M (BxPC-3); 1.28, 1.53, and 0.52 ?M (MIAPaCa-2); and 0.59, 2.25, and 0.56 ?M (PANC-1), respectively. We chose WA analog 3 for functional studies with confirmatory RT-PCR and Western blotting. ANOVA identified 33 (MIAPaCa-2), 54 (PANC-1), and 48 (BxPC-3) gene expression changes. Fisher exact test demonstrated MAPK and glutathione pathways to be overexpressed with WA analog 3. WA analog 3 elicits a dose- and time-dependent apoptosis, activates MAPK and glutathione ?stress? pathways, and inhibits proliferation.<br /><br />
Tricinonoic Acid And Tricindiol, Two New Irregular Sesquiterpenes From An Endophytic Strain Of Fusarium Tricinctum. Source: Natural Product Research
March 11th, 2010 PMID: 20221941 Leslie Gunatilaka
Two new rare irregular sesquiterpenes, tricinonoic acid (1) and tricindiol (2), and the known furanopyrrolidones, NG-391 (3) and NG-393 (4), have been isolated from an EtOAc extract of Fusarium tricinctum, a fungus endophytic in the root tissue of the Sonoran desert plant, Rumex hymenosepalus. The structures of 1 and 2 were elucidated on the basis of their high-resolution mass, 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopic data. A possible biosynthetic route to 1 and 2 from farnesyl diphosphate is proposed.<br /><br />
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