Dr. Masad J. Damha

Masad DamhaEs profesor y director del Departamento de Química de la Universidad de McGill, Canadá. Creció en Managua, Nicaragua, donde cursó sus primeros estudios en el Instituto Pedagógico de Managua (La Salle). Seguidamente emigró a Montreal (Canadá) para realizar sus estudios de licenciatura en la Universidad de McGill, y donde obtendría el grado de doctor en química años más tarde.En 1987 obtuvo plaza de profesor adjunto en la Universidad de Toronto (Erindale College). Allí permaneció hasta 1992, cuando regresó como profesor a su Alma mater, McGill, donde continúa llevando a cabo su actividad docente e investigadora.

Su investigación se centra en el diseño y empleo de ácidos nucleicos (ADN y ARN) como alternativa a los fármacos tradicionales, resultando en numerosas publicaciones, patentes y colaboraciones con la industria farmacéutica. Basado en esta tecnología (ADN y ARN), fue cofundador de la empresa Anagenis en 1999; centrada en el desarrollo de ácidos nucleicos modificados químicamente con finalidad terapéutica.

El profesor Masad J. Damha ha dirigido 35 tesis doctorales, ha sido presidente de la asociación internacional Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (2012-2014) y ha organizado diversos congresos nacionales e internacionales (International Roundtable on Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids, Montreal 2012; Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society Meeting, Montreal 2016, etc…).

Además, ha obtenido numerosos reconocimientos por sus investigaciones como el premio Merck-Frosst Award, el premio Bernard Belleau Award de la Sociedad Canadiense de Química, el premio Fessenden de la Universidad de McGill y la medalla Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal del gobierno canadiense.

Sus investigaciones y áreas de conocimiento son multidisciplinares. Se desarrolla principalmente, en la interface de la Química Orgánica y la Biología Molecular. En el grupo de investigación que tiene el placer de dirigir, desarrolla el empleo de derivados de ácidos nucleicos (ADN, ARN) como mejores alternativas a los fármacos tradicionales en la lucha contra diversas enfermedades, entre ellas el cáncer.

Biography

Dr. Masad J. Damha is James McGill Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry at McGill University. After growing up in Managua, Nicaragua, he moved to Montreal, Canada for his post-secondary education and received his BSc and PhD degrees from McGill, the latter under the supervision of Prof. Kelvin Ogilvie.

He then accepted a position as assistant professor at the University of Toronto's Erindale College from 1987–1992, at which point he returned to McGill University where he has been teaching ever since. Ongoing research program on Chemically Modified Nucleic Acids in Dr. Damha’s laboratory have resulted in numerous publications and patents, and the establishment of several ongoing and industrial research collaborations. In 1999, he co-founded Anagenis, Inc. – a start-up company with proprietary arabinonucleic acid (ANA, FANA) technologies.

Dr. Damha recently served as President of the Oligonucleotide Therapeutic Society (2012-14). He has hosted and/or organized of a number of conferences such as the International Roundtable on Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids (Montreal, 2012), and Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society Meeting (Montreal, 2016).

He is the recipient of the Merck-Frosst Award for Therapeutic Research and the Bernard Belleau Award (Canadian Society for Chemistry), the Fessenden Professorship in Science Innovation (McGill), and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (The Governor General of Canada).

Dentro de sus publicaciones más recientes destacan:

  • E. Moroz, S. Hyeon Lee, K. Yamada, F. Halloy, S. Martínez-Montero, H. Jahns, J. Hall, M.J. Damha, B. Castagner and J.-C. Leroux (2016) Carrier-free gene silencing by amphiphilic nucleic acid conjugates in differentiated intestinal cells, Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids. In Press.
  • H. Abou Assi, R.W. Harkness V, N. Martín-Pintado, C.J. Wilds, R. Campos-Olivas, A.K. Mittermaier, C. González, and M.J. Damha (2016) Stabilization of i-motif structures by 2'-β-fluorination of DNA , Nucleic Acids Research. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw402.
  • Kulkarni, M.J. Damha, R. Schinazi, H. Mo, B. Doehle, S. Sagan and M. Gotte (2016) A complex network of interactions between S282 and G283 of HCV NS5B and the template strand affect susceptibility to sofosbuvir and ribavirin, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 60(4): 2018-2027.
  • M. Habibian, S. Martinez-Montero, G. Portella, Z. Chua, D.S. Bohle, M. Orozco, and M.J. Damha (2015) Seven-membered ring nucleoside analogues: stereoselective synthesis and studies on their conformational properties, Organic Letters, 17 (21): 5416-5419.
  • N. Tago, A. Katolik, N.E. Clark, E.J. Montemayor, K. Seio, M. Sekine, P.J. Hart, and M.J. Damha (2015) Design, synthesis and properties of phosphoramidate 2',5'-linked branched RNA: Towards the rational design of inhibitors of the RNA Lariat Debranching Enzyme, Journal of Organic Chemistry, 80 (20): 10108–10118
  • K. Yamada, A.S. Wahba, J. Bernatchez, T. Ilina, S. Martinez-Montero, M. Habibian, G.F. Deleavey, M. Gotte, M.A. Parniak, and M.J. Damha (2015) Nucleotide Sugar Pucker Preference Mitigates Excision by HIV-1 RT,ACS Chemical Biology, 10 (9): 2024-2033.
  • S. Martinez-Montero, G.F. Deleavey, N. Martin-Pintado, J. Fakhoury, C. Gonzalez, and M.J. Damha (2015) Locked 2'-deoxy-2',4'-difluororibo modified nucleic acids: thermal stability, structural studies, and siRNA activity, ACS Chemical Biology, 10 (9): 2016-2023.
  • S. Martinez-Montero, G. Deleavey, A. Dierker-Viik, P. Lindovska, T. Ilina, G. Portella, M. Orozco, M.A. Parniak, C. Gonzalez, and M.J. Damha (2015) Synthesis and properties of 2'-deoxy-2',4'-difluoroarabinose modified nucleic acids (2',4'-diFANA), Journal of Organic Chemistry, 80 (6): 3083-3091.
  • H. Abou Assi, S. Martinez-Montero, D.M. Dixit, Z. Chua, D.S. Bohle, and M.J. Damha (2015) Synthesis, structure, and conformational analysis of nucleoside analogues comprising six-membered 1,3-oxathiane sugar rings, European Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2005 (9): 1945-1953.
  • J. Lietard, M.R. Hassler, and M.J. Damha (2014) An orthogonal photolabile linker for the complete "on-support" synthesis/fast deprotection/hybridization of RNA, Chemical Communications, 50: 15063-15066.
  • J. Lietard, N. Kretschy, M. Sack, A.S. Wahba, M.M. Somoza, and M.J. Damha (2014) Assessing the fabrication quality of in situ-synthesized DNA and RNA microarrays by LC-MS, Chemical Communications, 50: 12903-12906.
  • M. Yahyaee-Anzahaee, J. Fakhoury, P. Uyen Le, K. Petrecca, and M.J. Damha (2014) Arabinonucleic acids: 2'-stereoisomeric modulators of siRNA activity, Nucleic Acids Therapeutics, 24: 336-343.
  • E.J. Montemayor, A. Katolik, A.B. Taylor, J. Scheurmann, D.J. Combs, R. Johnsson, S.P. Holloway, S.W. Stevens†, M.J. Damha, and P.J. Har (2014) Structural basis of lariat RNA recognition by the intron debranching enzyme Dbr1, Nucleic Acids Research, 42(16): 10845-10855. ("Breakthrough Article").
  • S.M. Garrey, A. Katolik, M. Prekeris, X. Li, K. York, S. Bernards, S. Fields, R. Zhao, M.J. Damha, and J.R. Hesselberth (2014) A homolog of lariat debranching enzyme modulates turnover of branched RNA, RNA, 20: 1337-1348.
  • S. Martinez-Montero, G.F. Deleavey, N. Martin-Pintado, M. Thomson, C. Gonzalez, and M.J. Damha (2014) Rigid 2',4'-difluorinated nucleosides: Synthesis, conformational analysis, and incorporation by an RNA polymerase, Journal of Organic Chemistry, 79: 5627-5635.
  • R.A. Johnsson, J.J. Bogojeski, and M.J. Damha (2014) An evaluation of selective deprotection conditions for the synthesis of RNA on a light-labile solid support, Bioorganic Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 24: 2146-2149.
  • Katolik, R. Johnsson, E.J Montemayor, P.J. Hart, and M.J. Damha(2014) Regiospecific solid-phase synthesis of branched oligoribonucleotides that mimic intronic lariat RNA intermediates, Journal of Organic Chemistry, 79: 963-975.
  • Dudley, M. Sater, P.U. Le, G. Trinh, M.S. Sadr, J. Bergeron, G.F. Deleavey, B. Bedell, M.J. Damha and K. Petrecca (2013) DRR regulates Akt activation to drive brain cancer invasion, Oncogene, (Oct 21, 2013; doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.436).