Janardan Kumar, Ph. D.

Teaching Faculty Biochemistry, AU-Chemistry/Biology

Biography

Prior to joining the PSU faculty, Janardan Kumar, a former Professor of microbiology and Chair of Natural Science department (2007-21) at Becker College (US) received his M.Sc. degree from the University of Allahabad and stood first in order of merit. After qualifying the JRF-National Entrance Test of CSIR, New Delhi, he earned his Ph.D. degree under supervision of Dr. C. M. Gupta Ph.D., at the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow affiliated to the Kanpur University in India.

Right after completion of his Ph.D. in 1992, he got an offer of Research Associate position from the internationally renowned laboratory of Prof. Michael Sheetz Ph.D., Chair department of Cell Biology at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina, USA. Prof. Sheetz, a Lasker award winner, is well known as the founder of motor protein kinesin and kinectin. From this laboratory, Dr. Kumar published his work, using monoclonal antibody (mAb) against native epitope of kinectin, as first authored paper in SCIENCE (1995)1. Recently, kinectin has been shown to be associated with cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Afterwards, Dr. Kumar was promoted to research Assistant Professor in the department of Cell Biology, where he developed his research interest to the field of glaucoma research where he earned Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Certificate in glaucoma with mentor Dr. David Epstein at Duke University Eye Center (DUEC) in 2001. His independent investigation in the field of eye research contributed to file two patents, one for glaucoma therapy and other for vitrectomy. Most strikingly, Dr. Kumar’s contribution on Rho kinase inhibitors2 led to thediscovery of two new drugs for glaucoma therapy3 such as Ripasudil in Japan and Netarsudil in the United States. Clearly, the Rho kinase inhibitors studies took more attention when Rho Kinase activation studies on ex-vivo perfusion system by Dr. Kumar was presented in ARVO (1999)4 that was an indicator of a causative factors associated with ocular hypertension, published in (2011).5  

              In most of the glaucoma laboratories, the self-made ex-vivo perfusion system is the main instrument to identify as the active molecules for glaucoma therapy. Dr. Kumar engineered a new Real Time Perfusion System while he served as Research Assistant Professor at Tufts University and presented in ARVO. Moreover, he has reviewed several manuscripts for international scientific journals, and served at International Medical Conferences as organizing committee member, keynote speaker, moderator and chaired the sessions organized in the US, China, Japan, UK, Spain, and the Netherlands.

     At Becker College, he served as full professor of microbiology for 11 years, and three years each to the faculty standard committee, and the curriculum committee He was actively engaged in the advancement of course curriculum of microbiology, chemistry and biotechnique courses. His long-term goal is to develop undergraduate research program on hybridoma technology to prepare a bank of monoclonal antibodies against native epitopes. He strongly believes that inclusion of hybridoma technology in the curriculum of PSU can provide better job opportunities to our students in the field of biotech industries and can generate a series of most effective therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and organ specific biomarkers for Stem cell differentiation.        

  1. Kumar J, Yu H, Sheetz MP. Kinectin, an essential anchor for kinesin-driven vesicle motility. Science. 1995; 267:1834-1837. (188 citations)
  2. Rao PV, Deng PF, Kumar J, Epstein DL. Modulation of aqueous humor outflow facility by the Rho-kinase specific inhibitor Y-27632. Invest Ophthalmol Vis. Sci.  2001; 42:1029-37. (473 citations)
  3. Tanna AP and Johnson M. Rho kinase Inhibitors as a Novel Treatment for Glaucoma and Ocular Hypertension. Ophthalmology. 2018; 125: 1741-1756.
  4. Kumar J, Rao PV, Rowlett LL, Borras T, Epstein DL. Rho-GTPase-mediated actin cytoskeletal reorganization in outflow pathway cells may modulate outflow function. IOVS 1999; 40: ARVO abstract 3534.
  5. Kumar J and Epstein DL. Rho GTPase-mediated cytoskeleton organization in Schlemm’s canal cells play a critical role in the regulation of aqueous humor outflow facility. J. Cell Biochem. 2011; 112: 600-606.