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Thomas Kodadek, PhD

Chairman, Department of Cancer Biology
Department of Chemistry
Florida Campus
Laboratory Website
(561) 228-2461

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Chairman, Department of Cancer Biology
Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

The Kodadek laboratory works in the general area of chemical biology with an emphasis on translational research.  The laboratory employs a broad spectrum of techniques that span organic chemistry to molecular genetics.  Several projects focus on novel methods to monitor and manipulate the immune system.  One goal of these efforts is to discover effective and early diagnostic tests for a variety of disease states, including cancers, autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative conditions.  Another is to identify compounds that act as “antigen surrogates” in that they have the ability to recognize the antigen-binding sites of antibodies and T cell receptors.  These compounds are being developed as potential therapeutic agents to block autoimmune responses selectively without interfering with the healthy functioning of the immune system.  Another major project area is to develop better libraries and more efficient screening technologies for the discovery of protein ligands and bioactive compounds.  For example, new classes of oligomeric, bio-inspired compounds are being created and new methods that will allow the rapid screening of tens of millions of compounds at a time are being developed.

Finally, the Kodadek laboratory is interested in understanding the biology of many of the systems that are being targeted pharmacologically.  For example, one project aims to understand the biochemical mechanisms underlying orexin signaling, which triggers wakefulness in mammals.  Another seeks to better understand the role of the proteasome in transcriptional regulation.

Diseases that are under investigation include Alzheimer's disease, Neuromyelitis Optica, Multiple Sclerosis, Pancreatic Cancer, Narcolepsy, Chronic Lymphoid Leukemia and various other cancers.


B.S., Chemistry, University of Miami
Ph.D., Chemistry, Stanford University

Professional Experience

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Miami (Fla.) 1977-1981
PhD in Organic Chemistry, Stanford University, 1981-1985
Post-doctoral in Biochemistry, UCSF, 1985-1987

Awards & Professional Activities

NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2006-2011)
Fellow of the AAAS (elected 1999)
Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow (1985-1987)
American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Research Award (1989-1991)
Co-Editor of Jan. 2000, Feb. 2005 Issues of Current Opinion In Chemical Biology
Vice Chair (2002) and Chair (2004), Gordon Conference Chem. and Biol. of Peptides
Member (2000-2004) and Chair (2002-2004) of the NIH BNP Study Section
Member, Nucleic Acids Study Section, American Cancer Society (1995-98)
Member, DOE special study section for materials science research (1994)
Member of the American Chemical Society, AAAS, Royal Society of Chemistry
Steering Committee Member, NIH Chemistry Assistant Professor Mentoring Workshops
Member, Scientific Advisory Board of Stratagene Inc., La Jolla, CA
Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Receptors, LLC, Chaska, MN
Member, Scientific Advisory Board of Ra Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, MA
Member, Scientific Advisory Board of Opko Health, Miami, FL
Co-Chair, NHLBI Committee for Strategic Planning in Emerging Technologies (2006)
Board Member, U.S. HUPO Coordinating Committee (2007)
Member, NIH committee on the Future of the Roadmap (2006)
Member, Special Study Section for NIH Director’s Innovator Awards (2007-8)

Editorial Boards

Chief of the Editorial Board Molecular BioSystems (Royal Society of Chemistry) Chemistry & Biology (1/98-Present) Associate Editor, Chemistry & Biology (6/99-5/03) Chemtracts-Organic Chemistry (1/97-7/01

Selected References

Reddy, M.M., Wilson, R., Wilson, J., Connell, S., Gocke, A., Hynan, L., German, D. and Kodadek, T. (2011) Identification of candidate IgG biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease via combinatorial library screening Cell 144, 132-142.

Kodadek T, Cai D, (2010) "Chemistry and biology of orexin signaling." Mol Biosyst. 6(8):1366-75

Astle, JM, Simpson LS, Huang Y. Reddy, MM, Wilson, R, Connell S, Wilson J, Kodadek T., (2010)  "Seamless bead to microarray screening:  rapid identification of teh highest affinity protein ligands from large combinatorial librairies."  Chem Bio 17(1):38-45.

Lee, J., Reddy, M.M. and Kodadek, T. (2010)  "Discovery of an orexin receptor positive potentiator."  Chem Sci. 1, 48-54.

Lee, J., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Lim, H.-S. and Kodadek, T. (2010) “Potent and selective photo-inactivation of proteins with peptoid-ruthenium conjugates” Nature Chem. Biol. 6, 258-260.

Kodadek, T. (2010) “Rethinking screening” Nature Chem. Biol. 6, 162-165.

Gocke, A. R., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Archer, C.T., Lee, J. and Kodadek, T. (2009) “Isolation of antagonists of antigen-specific autoimmune T cell proliferation” Chem. & Biol. 16, 1133-1139.

 Archer, C.T., Burdine, L., Liu, B., Ferdous, A., Johnston, S.A. and Kodadek, T. (2008) Physical and functional interaction of mono-ubiquitylated transactivators with the proteasome" J. Biol. Chem. 283, 21789-21798.

Udugamasooriya, D.G., Dineen, S.P., Brekken, R.A. and Kodadek, T. (2008) “A peptoid “antibody surrogate” that antagonizes VEGF Receptor 2 activity” J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 130, 5744-52.


Highlight of Cell article on Diagnostic Technology