Manohar Ratnam

Manohar Ratnam



Manohar Ratnam


840.1 HWCRC 4100 John R. Detroit, MI 48201

Office Address

840.1 HWCRC
4100 John R.
Detroit, MI 48201 



Research Interests

  • Detailed studies of new molecular mechanisms that drive the hormone-dependent growth of breast and prostate cancers; establishing new mechanism-based paradigms for treatment.
  • Development of new folate receptor targeted therapies for acute myelogenous leukemia.
  • Developing folate receptor based early detection strategies for ovarian cancer. 

Research Description

In recent years, we have discovered non-classical mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of genes by the nuclear receptor superfamily, including various steroid receptors and the retinoic acid receptor. The new findings have found broad implications in global gene regulation mechanisms and in the mechanism-based treatment of different cancers including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and myelogenous leukemias. Our recent studies have shed new light on mechanisms underlying the progression of breast and prostate cancers and have identified possible ways of improving upon current therapies. In the foreseeable future, my laboratory's broad research interests will continue to expand into the molecular endocrinology of nuclear receptors while continuing to pursue our previous advanced studies of folate receptor-targeted therapies for acute myelogenous leukemia and folate receptor based early detection strategies for ovarian cancer.  

Selected publications

Patki M, Gadgeel S, Huang Y, McFall T, Shields AF, Matherly LH, Bepler G, Ratnam M. Glucocorticoid receptor status is a principal determinant of variability in the sensitivity of non-small-cell lung cancer cells to pemetrexed. J Thorac Oncol. 2014;9:519-26.

Shen M, Zhang Z, Ratnam M, Dou QP. The interplay of AMP-activated protein kinase and androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells. J Cell Physiol. 2014;229:688-95.

Wibowo AS, Singh M, Reeder KM, Carter JJ, Kovach AR, Meng W, Ratnam M, Zhang F, Dann CE 3rd. Structures of human folate receptors reveal biological trafficking states and diversity in folate and antifolate recognition. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:15180-8.

Jetson R, Malik N, Luniwal A, Chari V, Ratnam M, Erhardt P. Practical synthesis of a chromene analog for use as a retinoic acid receptor alpha antagonist lead compound. Eur J Med Chem. 2013;63:104-8.

Patki M, Chari V, Sivakumaran S, Gonit M, Trumbly R, Ratnam M. The ETS domain transcription factor ELK1 directs a critical component of growth signaling by the androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells. J Biol Chem. 2013;288:11047-65. 


B.Sc. in Chemistry and Biology (1976): University of Mysore, India.
M.Sc. in Biosciences, University of Mysore, India.
PhD in Biochemistry (1983): Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.
Post-Doc in the Receptor Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute, San Diego, California.
Research Associate in Biochemistry, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio. 

Courses Taught

CB7220 Molecular Biology of Cancer Development
CB7240 Principles of Cancer Therapy
CB7300 Special Topics F31 Grant Writing Course (Course Director)
CB7300 Special Topics Breast Cancer
CB7890 Seminar (Course Co-Director) 

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