Daniel R. Premkumar, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor

Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh in 2008, Daniel R. Premkumar, PhD, was a senior scientist at a biotechnology company. He graduated from Madurai Kamaraj University in India where he earned his masters and doctorate degrees. Dr. Premkumar then completed his post-doctoral training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Dr. Premkumar has published more than 50 papers in refereed journals and has been awarded patents to characterize protein-protein interaction biosensors for cellular systems biology profiling. He is currently examining the efficacy of promising various receptor inhibitors, for inhibiting glioma proliferation in vitro, using genotypically diverse panel of malignant glioma cell lines to identify potential genotype-response associations.

Dr. Premkumar's publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Major research emphasis is directed towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition and signaling in malignant human glioma cell lines.

Professional Organization Membership

American Association for Cancer Research
American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Education & Training

  • BS, Biology, Madura College, 1982
  • MS, Animal Sciences, Madurai Kamaraj University, India, 1984
  • PhD, Entomology, Madurai Kamaraj University, India, 1990

Research Activities

Malignant gliomas are the most common and fatal central nervous system tumors affecting both adults and children. Dr. Premkumar has demonstrated that the combination of inhibitors targeting important “survival nodes” displayed synergistic therapeutic activity against pediatric and adult high-grade gliomas. Despite the remarkable initial response to this combination, resistance emerged. During this process, the resistant cells undergo a major transformation to how they consume and utilize the energy they need to sustain their survival, growth, and progression. Dr. Premkumar’s findings provide new insights into mechanisms of treatment resistance in gliomas and the potential for exploitable vulnerabilities associated with acquired resistance.