Maneesh Jain, PhD
Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Ph.D. Biotechnology, IMTECH, Chandigarh (JNU), INDIA, 2002
M.Sc. Biochemistry, Devi Ahilya University, Indore, INDIA, 1996
B.Sc. Botany (Hons), Punjab University, Chandigarh, INDIA, 1994
Honors and Awards
2013 Member, Planning Committee 4th Tumor Microenvironment Research Network Junior Investigator Meeting
2012 Recipient of UNMC New Investigator Award for 2011.
2007 Recipient of the Outstanding Performance Stipend, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
2005 Recipient of the Outstanding Performance Stipend, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
1998 CSIR Senior Research Fellowship to conduct research at IMTECH, Chandigarh from 1996 to 2001
1996 Qualified Graduate Aptitude Test Examination in Engineering (GATE) conducted by Indian Institute of Technology, with a percentile score of 91.99
1996 Qualified National Eligibility Test (NET) for Lectureship and Junior Research Fellowship, conducted jointly by University Grant Commission (UGC) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India
1996 CSIR Junior Research Fellowship to conduct research at IMTECH, Chandigarh from 1996 to 1998
Research interest: Jain received his Masters in Biochemistry in 1996 from Devi Ahilya University, Indore and received his Ph.D in Biotechnology in 2002 from the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh India. Subsequently he completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 2007 in Cancer Biology and later joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as a faculty member. The overall objective of his research is to improve the delivery and distribution of therapeutic agents for solid tumors, particularly pancreatic cancer. Jain’s team is studying the role of signaling pathways involved in the complex cellular crosstalk in the tumor microenvironment with a goal to selectively modulate the obstructive effects of stroma. His laboratory is also interested evaluating in biomarkers for early diagnosis, and developing targeted therapeutic approaches (radioimmunotherapy, immunotherapy) that exploit differential overexpression of mucins in pancreatic cancer.
Development of diagnostics and therapeutics against cancer and allied diseases.
My interest has been to develop antibody-based strategies for targeted therapy and diagnosis of diseases, particularly cancer. Our research involves development of genetically engineered antibody fragments for improved radioimmunotherapy of solid tumors. We are trying to optimize radioimmunotherapy of solid tumors by modifying the molecular design of antibody fragments and introducing sequences that will enhance the uptake and/or retention of radiolabeled antibodies in the tumor tissues without altering their distribution in non-target tissues. Recently, we demonstrated the utility of cell penetrating peptides in improving the tumor retention antibody fragments.
The other area of our research involves development of serum assays for the early diagnosis of lethal pancreatic cancer. We are trying several approaches to develop sensitive mucin-based serum assays utilizing the antibodies that we have generated. In collaboration with several groups we are trying to develop a multimarker nanoparticle-based assay for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. We are also trying to use the antibodies for disrupting the signaling pathways mediated by their targets for therapeutic intervention and engineering the antibodies for human use. Additionally, we are trying to use the antibodies and antibody fragments for the delivery nanoparticle-encapsulated drugs to various cancers. The following projects are currently in progress:
- Early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. The project involves development of a mucin-based serum assays(s) for the early detection of pancreatic cancer using various approaches.
- Therapy against prostate and other cancer using radiolabeled antibody constructs. We are interested in developing a multi-antigen (EGFRvIII, MUC4 and TAG72) targeted radioimmunotherapy using a cocktail of antibody fragments.
- Studying the involvement of altered signaling pathways in cancer and exploiting the information cancer therapy. We are trying to understand the role(s) of RUNX family transcription factors in the pathogenesis of pancreatic cancer. Specific focus is on the identification of target gene(s) regulated by RUNX3 and their involvement in the development and progression of pancreatic cancer.
- Studying the involvement of altered EGFR signaling in the development of pancreatic cancer. We are studying the role of mutant EGFR receptors, particularly EGFRvIII, in the pancreatic cancer pathogenesis. These studies will form the basis of developing new therapeutic strategies using anti-EGFRvIII-specific antibodies for targeting pancreatic cancer.