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Rana Rais

Rana Rais

Primary Department Affiliation: Primary: Neurology-Medicine; Secondary: Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences
Degree: Ph.D., University of Maryland
Rank: Associate Professor
Phone: 410-502-0497
Fax: 410-614-0659
School of Medicine Address: Room 273, John G. Rangos, Sr., Building, 855 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD  21205
Website:  Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery 

Drug Metabolism, Pharmacokinetics, Drug Delivery, Prodrugs, Preclinical Drug Development.

Dr. Rais serves as a Director of the drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics (DMPK) and bioanalysis laboratory within Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery (JHDD) program. Dr. Rais is a pharmaceutical scientist with substantial experience in biopharmaceutics, drug permeability, drug transport, drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, and drug delivery including prodrug design and characterization. Her lab has expertise in conducting assays essential for preclinical drug development including in vitro chemical and metabolic stability, metabolite identification, aqueous solubility, protein binding, permeability assessments, and transporter assays. Her lab also has experience in conducting in vivo pharmacokinetic (PK) studies in multiple species (mouse, rat, swine, dog, primate) and developing bioanalytical methods for novel chemical entities (LC/MS/MS) in plasma and tissue matrices. In addition, her lab has utilizes novel drug delivery approaches specifically intranasal delivery and prodrug approaches for successfully enhancing bioavailability and brain delivery of poorly soluble as well as poorly permeable molecules. She has collaborated with multiple faculty at Johns Hopkins and impacted drug discovery projects in Oncology, NeuroAIDS, Neuropathic pain, Inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. She has co-authored over 80 publications, and is a cofounder of two newcos i.e. Dracen Pharmaceuticals and Adarga Pharmaceuticals.


Representative Publications:  

  • Oh, M.H., Sun, I.H., Zhao, L., Leone, R.D., Sun, I.M., Xu, W., Collins, S.L., Tam, A.J., Blosser, R.L., Patel, C.H., Englert, J.M., Arwood, M.L., Wen, J., Chan-Li, Y., Tenora, L., Majer, P., Rais, R., Slusher, B.S., Horton, M.R., Powell, J.D.  Targeting glutamine metabolism enhances tumor-specific immunity by modulating suppressive myeloid cells. J Clin Invest. 2020 Jul 1;130(7):3865-3884. Pub Med Reference   

  • Šála, M., Hollinger, K.R., Thomas, A.G., Dash, R.P., Tallon, C., Veeravalli, V., Lovell, L., Kögler, M., Hřebabecký, H., Procházková, E., Nešuta, O., Donoghue, A., Lam, J., Rais, R., Rojas, C., Slusher, B.S., Nencka, R. Novel Human Neutral Sphingomyelinase 2 Inhibitors as Potential Therapeutics for Alzheimer's Disease. J Med Chem. 2020 Jun 11;63(11):6028-6056. Pub Med Reference  

  • Leone, R.D., Zhao, L., Englert, J.M., Sun, I.M., Oh, M.H., Sun, I.H., Arwood, M.L., Bettencourt, I.A., Patel, C.H., Wen, J., Tam, A., Blosser, R.L., Prchalova, E., Alt, J., Rais, R., Slusher, B.S., Powell, J.D. Glutamine blockade induces divergent metabolic programs to overcome tumor immune evasion. Science 2019 Nov 22;366(6468):1013-1021. Pub Med Reference   

  • Dash, R.P., Tichý, T., Veeravalli, V., Lam, J., Alt, J., Wu, Y., Tenora, L., Majer, P., Slusher, B.S., Rais, R. Enhanced Oral Bioavailability of 2-(Phosphonomethyl)-pentanedioic Acid (2-PMPA) from its (5-Methyl-2-oxo-1,3-dioxol-4-yl)methyl (ODOL)-Based Prodrugs. Mol Pharm. 2019 Oct 7;16(10):4292-4301. Pub Med Reference  

  • Tenora, L., Alt, J., Dash, R.P., Gadiano, A.J., Novotná, K., Veeravalli, V., Lam, J., Kirkpatrick, Q.R., Lemberg, K.M., Majer, P., Rais, R., Slusher, B.S. Tumor-Targeted Delivery of 6-Diazo-5-oxo-l-norleucine (DON) Using Substituted Acetylated Lysine Prodrugs. J Med Chem. 2019 Apr 11;62(7):3524-3538. Pub Med Reference  

  • Zimmermann, S.C., Tichý, T., Vávra, J., Dash, R.P., Slusher, C.E., Gadiano, A.J., Wu, Y., Jančařík, A., Tenora, L., Monincová, L., Prchalová, E., Riggins, G.J., Majer, P., Slusher, B.S., Rais, R. N-Substituted Prodrugs of Mebendazole Provide Improved Aqueous Solubility and Oral Bioavailability in Mice and Dogs. J Med Chem. 2018 May 10;61(9):3918-3929. Pub Med Reference 

  • Ghosh, A., Li, L., Xu, L., Dash, R.P., Gupta, N., Lam, J., Jin, Q., Akshintala, V., Pahapale, G., Liu, W., Sarkar, A., Rais, R., Gracias, D.H., Selaru, F.M. Gastrointestinal-resident, shape-changing microdevices extend drug release in vivo. Sci Adv. 2020 Oct 28;6(44):eabb4133. Pub Med Reference 

  • Nedelcovych, M., Dash, R.P., Tenora, L., Zimmermann, S.C., Gadiano, A.J., Garrett, C., Alt, J., Hollinger, K.R., Pommier, E., Jančařík, A., Rojas, C., Thomas, A.G., Wu, Y., Wozniak, K., Majer, P., Slusher, B.S., Rais, R. Enhanced Brain Delivery of 2-(Phosphonomethyl)pentanedioic Acid Following Intranasal Administration of Its γ-Substituted Ester Prodrugs. Mol Pharm. 2017 Oct 2;14(10):3248-3257. Pub Med Reference

Other graduate program in which Dr. Rais participates:

  • None