Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) (2015 - Present)
  • Member, American Chemical Society (ACS) (2017 - Present)
  • Member, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (2019 - Present)

Professional Education


  • Research Specialist, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rare Lung Disease (2021)
  • Postdoctoral, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, New York, Brain Tumor Nanotechnology (2020)
  • Postdoctoral, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, Drug Delivery (2017)
  • PhD, Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications (EMT), Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Canada, Bionanotechnology (2017)
  • PhD, Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, India, Chemistry (2005)
  • B.Sc, Loyola College, Chennai, India, Chemistry (1996)

Stanford Advisors


All Publications


  • Anti-invasive efficacy and survival benefit of the YAP-TEAD inhibitor Verteporfin in preclinical glioblastoma models. Neuro-oncology Barrette, A. M., Ronk, H., Joshi, T., Mussa, Z., Mehrotra, M., Bouras, A., Nudelman, G., Jesu Raj, J. G., Bozec, D., Lam, W., Houldsworth, J., Yong, R., Zaslavsky, E., Hadjipanayis, C. G., Birtwistle, M. R., Tsankova, N. M. 2021

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma (GBM) remains a largely incurable disease as current therapy fails to target the invasive nature of GBM growth in disease progression and recurrence. Here we use the FDA-approved drug and small molecule Hippo inhibitor Verteporfin to target YAP-TEAD activity, known to mediate convergent aspects of tumor invasion/metastasis, and assess the drug's efficacy and survival benefit in GBM models.METHODS: Up to eight low-passage patient-derived GBM cell lines with distinct genomic drivers, including three primary/recurrent pairs, were treated with Verteporfin or vehicle to assess in-vitro effects on proliferation, migration, YAP-TEAD activity, and transcriptomics. Patient-derived orthotopic xenograft models (PDX) were used to assess Verteporfin's brain penetrance and effects on tumor burden and survival.RESULTS: Verteporfin treatment disturbed YAP/TAZ-TEAD activity; disrupted transcriptome signatures related to invasion, epithelial-to-mesenchymal, and proneural-to-mesenchymal transition, phenocopying TEAD1-knockout effects; and impaired tumor migration/invasion dynamics across primary and recurrent GBM lines. In an aggressive orthotopic PDX GBM model, short-term Verteporfin treatment consistently diminished core and infiltrative tumor burden, which was associated with decreased tumor expression of Ki67, nuclear YAP, TEAD1, and TEAD-associated targets EGFR, CDH2 and ITGB1. Finally, long-term Verteporfin treatment appeared non-toxic and conferred survival benefit compared to vehicle in two PDX models: as monotherapy in primary (de-novo) GBM and in combination with Temozolomide chemoradiation in recurrent GBM, where VP treatment associated with increased MGMT methylation.CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate combined anti-invasive and anti-proliferative efficacy for Verteporfin with survival benefit in preclinical GBM models, indicating potential therapeutic value of this already FDA-approved drug if repurposed for glioblastoma patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/neuonc/noab244

    View details for PubMedID 34657158

  • AKALUC BIOLUMINESCENCE OFFERS SUPERIOR SENSITIVITY TO TRACK IN VIVO GBM EXPANSION Bozec, D., Sattiraju, A., Bouras, A., Raj, J., Rivera, D., Huang, Y., Alves, C., Tejero, R., Zou, H., Hadjipanayis, C., Friedel, R. H. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2020: 232
  • Hyperthermia treatment advances for brain tumors INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HYPERTHERMIA Skandalakis, G. P., Rivera, D. R., Rizea, C. D., Bouras, A., Jesu Raj, J., Bozec, D., Hadjipanayis, C. G. 2020; 37 (2): 3-19

    Abstract

    Hyperthermia therapy (HT) of cancer is a well-known treatment approach. With the advent of new technologies, HT approaches are now important for the treatment of brain tumors. We review current clinical applications of HT in neuro-oncology and ongoing preclinical research aiming to advance HT approaches to clinical practice. Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) is currently the most widely utilized thermal ablation approach in clinical practice mainly for the treatment of recurrent or deep-seated tumors in the brain. Magnetic hyperthermia therapy (MHT), which relies on the use of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and alternating magnetic fields (AMFs), is a new quite promising HT treatment approach for brain tumors. Initial MHT clinical studies in combination with fractionated radiation therapy (RT) in patients have been completed in Europe with encouraging results. Another combination treatment with HT that warrants further investigation is immunotherapy. HT approaches for brain tumors will continue to a play an important role in neuro-oncology.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/02656736.2020.1772512

    View details for Web of Science ID 000549058600002

    View details for PubMedID 32672123

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7756245

  • High Sensitivity and Specificity Detection of Protoporphyrin IX Fluorescence in Glioblastoma by Means of Simultaneous 2-photon Microscopy and Stimulated Raman Histology Hadjipanayis, C. G., Bouras, A., Raj, J., Bozec, D., Rivera, D. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2019: 73-74
  • 5-aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy for the treatment of high-grade gliomas JOURNAL OF NEURO-ONCOLOGY Mahmoudi, K., Garvey, K. L., Bouras, A., Cramer, G., Stepp, H., Raj, J., Bozec, D., Busch, T. M., Hadjipanayis, C. G. 2019; 141 (3): 595-607

    Abstract

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a two-step treatment involving the administration of a photosensitive agent followed by its activation at a specific light wavelength for targeting of tumor cells.A comprehensive review of the literature was performed to analyze the indications for PDT, mechanisms of action, use of different photosensitizers, the immunomodulatory effects of PDT, and both preclinical and clinical studies for use in high-grade gliomas (HGGs).PDT has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of premalignant and malignant diseases, such as actinic keratoses, Barrett's esophagus, esophageal cancers, and endobronchial non-small cell lung cancers, as well as for the treatment of choroidal neovascularization. In neuro-oncology, clinical trials are currently underway to demonstrate PDT efficacy against a number of malignancies that include HGGs and other brain tumors. Both photosensitizers and photosensitizing precursors have been used for PDT. 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA), an intermediate in the heme synthesis pathway, is a photosensitizing precursor with FDA approval for PDT of actinic keratosis and as an intraoperative imaging agent for fluorescence-guided visualization of malignant tissue during glioma surgery. New trials are underway to utilize 5-ALA as a therapeutic agent for PDT of the intraoperative resection cavity and interstitial PDT for inoperable HGGs.PDT remains a promising therapeutic approach that requires further study in HGGs. Use of 5-ALA PDT permits selective tumor targeting due to the intracellular metabolism of 5-ALA. The immunomodulatory effects of PDT further strengthen its use for treatment of HGGs and requires a better understanding. The combination of PDT with adjuvant therapies for HGGs will need to be studied in randomized, controlled studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11060-019-03103-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000458256700014

    View details for PubMedID 30659522

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6538286

  • MAGNETIC HYPERTHERMIA THERAPY OF EXPERIMENTAL GLIOBLASTOMA IN COMBINATION WITH CHEMORADIATION Bouras, A., Mahmoudi, K., Bozec, D., Raj, J., Ivkov, R., Hadjipanayis, C. OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC. 2018: 99-100
  • Near-infrared triggered generation of reactive oxygen species from upconverting nanoparticles decorated with an organoiridium complex JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY B Raj, J., Quintanilla, M., Vetrone, F. 2016; 4 (18): 3113-3120

    Abstract

    Recently, research efforts have been focused on developing near-infrared perturbable nanoparticles to sensitize photostimulable molecules for the production of reactive oxygen species. Research in this direction is looking to broaden the use of photodynamic therapy, an indispensable clinical tool for cancer therapeutics, which relies on the photoexcitation of a suitable photosensitizer, to convert light into reactive oxygen species that are toxic to cells. To date most commercially available photosensitizers are excited with high energy light (UV or visible) presenting disadvantages that limit the clinical use of this technique to cancers that are on or near the surface of the skin. Here, we develop a hybrid platform capable of near-infrared triggered generation of reactive oxygen species. This hybrid nanostructure is based on LiYF4:Tm3+,Yb3+ nanoparticles, which are capable of producing strong UV emissions, following excitation at 980 nm, through a multiphoton process known as upconversion. When appropriately surface functionalized with an organoiridium complex, excitation at 980 nm produces a strong UV emission, which is absorbed by the organoiridium molecules on the surface, in turn generating reactive oxygen species. Moreover, the effect of the organoiridium concentration on the surface of the upconverting nanoparticles as well as the nature of the sensitization process is discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c5tb02555a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000375718800013

    View details for PubMedID 32263049

  • Sensitive Detection of ssDNA Using an LRET-Based Upconverting Nanohybrid Material ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES Raj, J., Quintanilla, M., Mahmoud, K. A., Ng, A., Vetrone, F., Zourob, M. 2015; 7 (33): 18257-18265

    Abstract

    Water-dispersible, optical hybrid nanoparticles are preferred materials for DNA biosensing due to their biocompatibility. Upconverting nanoparticles are highly desirable optical probes in sensors and bioimaging owing to their sharp emission intensity in the visible region. We herein report a highly sensitive ss-DNA detection based on an energy transfer system that uses a nanohybrid material synthesized by doping NaYF4:Tm(3+)/Yb(3+) upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) on silica coated polystyrene-co-acrylic acid (PSA) nanoparticles (PSA/SiO2) as the donor, and gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) decorated with Ir(III) complex as the acceptor. UCNPs tagged on PSA/SiO2 and the cyclometalated Ir(III)/AuNP conjugates were then linked through the ss-DNA sequence. Sequential addition of the target DNA to the probe molecular beacon complex resulted in the separation of the optical nanohybrid material and the quencher, leading to a measurable increase in the blue fluorescence emission intensity. Our results have shown a linear relationship between the fluorescence intensity and target DNA concentration down to the picomolar.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsami.5b02986

    View details for Web of Science ID 000360322000010

    View details for PubMedID 26280649

  • P-31{H-1}NMR and carbonyl force constants of unsymmetrical bidentate phosphine complexes of group (VI) metal carbonyls JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR STRUCTURE Raj, J., Pathak, D., Kapoor, P. N. 2015; 1087: 41-45
  • Metal-organophosphine complexes: structure, bonding, and applications REVIEWS IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY Raj, J. 2015; 35 (1): 25-56
  • Multi-Nuclear NMR Investigation of Nickel(II), Palladium(II), Platinum(II) and Ruthenium(II) Complexes of an Asymmetrical Ditertiary Phosphine JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY-DAEHAN HWAHAK HOE JEE Raj, J., Pathak, D., Kapoor, P. N. 2013; 57 (6): 726-730
  • Syntheses and characterisation of chloro(h3-allyl) dicarbonylmolybdenum(II) complexes of chiral and achiral ditertiaryphosphines CENTRAL EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CHEMISTRY Raj, J., Pathak, D. D., Kapoor, P. N. 2012; 10 (1): 165-171
  • An efficient and convenient method for the synthesis of dialkoxymethanes using kaolinite as a catalyst SYNTHETIC COMMUNICATIONS Pathak, D. D., Gerald, J. J. 2003; 33 (9): 1557-1561