T. J. Thomas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Dept. of Medicine, UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Ph.D., Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, 1976
The major focus of the Thomas Laboratory
is to develop novel DNA delivery vehicles for
gene therapy. The current focus is on breast
cancer, although the technological developments
in this area can be utilized for other forms
of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmunity.
Gene therapy demands the facile transport of
oligonucleotides and plasmid DNA through the
cell membrane; however, DNA transport occurs
through an inefficient process, the mechanism
of which is largely unknown. Our approach is
to develop agents that can condense DNA to
nanoparticles in order to facilitate the transport
of DNA. During the development of DNA condensation
agents, we are also advancing the development
of bionanotechnology as a means of targeted
The second focus of our research is to develop gene targeted
therapeutic approaches using oligonucleotides. Research
in progress utilizes anti-gene and antisense oligonucleotides
for breast cancer, targeting the HER-2, c-myc, and cyclin
D1 genes that are overexpressed in subsets of breast tumors. Cell
culture and animal models of breast cancer have been used in our
- Vijayanathan, V., Thomas.
T., and Thomas, T.J.(2002) DNA nanoparticles and
development of DNA delivery vehicles for gene therapy. Biochemistry
41, 14085 14094.
- Vijayanathan, V., Thomas, T., Sigal, L.H., and Thomas, T.J.(2002) Direct measurement of the association constant of
HER2/neu antisense oligonucleotide to its target RNA sequence
using a molecular beacon. Antisense Nucleic Acid Drug Dev.
- Thomas, T., Balabhadrapathruni, S., Gallo,
M.A., and Thomas, T.J.(2002) Development of polyamine
analogs as cancer therapeutic agents. Oncology Res.
- Ramirez, F.J., Thomas, T.J., Antony, T., Ruiz-Chica,
J., and Thomas, T. (2002) Effects of aminooxy analogues
of biogenic polyamines on aggregation and stability
of calf thymus DNA. Biopolymers 65, 148-157.
M., Thomas, T., Shirahata, A., Pillai, C.K.S., and
Thomas, T.J.(2002) Polyamine structural effects on the induction
and stabilization of liquid crystalline DNA: Potential
applications to DNA packaging, gene therapy and polyamine
therapeutics. Nucleic Acids Res. 30, 3722-3731.
J.S., Thomas, T.J., Klinge, C.M., Gallo, M.A., and
Thomas, T. (2001) Regulation of cell cycle and cyclins by 16α-hydroxyestrone
in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. J. Mol. Endocrinol. 27, 293-307.
V., Thomas, T., Shirahata, A., and Thomas, T.J.(2001)
DNA condensation by polyamines: a laser light scattering
study of structural effects. Biochemistry 40, 13644-13651.
T., Thomas, T., Sigal, L.H., Shirahata, A., and Thomas, T.J.(2001) A molecular beacon strategy for the thermodynamic
characterization of triplex DNA: triplex formation
at the promoter region of cyclin D1. Biochemistry 40, 9387-9395.
N., Vijayanathan, V., Thomas, T.J., Gallo, M.A.,
and Thomas, T. (2001) Increase in the stability and helical
content of estrogen receptor α in the
presence of the estrogen response element: analysis
by circular dichroism spectroscopy. Biochemistry 40, 6646-6652.
N., Thomas, T.J., Lewis, J.S., Klinge, C.M., Shirahata,
A., Gelinas, C., and Thomas, T. (2001) Regulation
of estrogenic and nuclear factor B functions
by polyamines and their role in polyamine analog-induced
apoptosis of breast cancer cells. Oncogene 20, 1715-1729.