Ranjala Ratnayake

Ranjala Ratnayake, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Department: Medicinal Chemistry
Business Phone: (352) 627-9220
Business Email: rratnayake@ufl.edu

About Ranjala Ratnayake

Ranjala Ratnayake, Ph.D., was appointed a research assistant professor in the department of medicinal chemistry at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in February 2017. Ratnayake previously served as an assistant scientist in the department since 2014, and completed her postdoctoral training at UF from 2009-11, under the supervision of Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D., a professor and chair of medicinal chemistry and the Debbie and Sylvia DeSantis Chair in Natural Products Drug Discovery and Development. As an experienced researcher in natural product chemistry, analytical techniques and mass spectrometry, as well as chemical library screening, she leads efforts to find new drug therapies and identify new drug cancer treatments at the UF College of Pharmacy’s Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery and Development, or CNPD3. In 2016, she was awarded a National Cancer Institute Research Specialist Award to develop complex natural products libraries and multidimensional screening platforms to support drug discovery efforts at UF.

In addition to her postdoctoral fellowship at UF, Ratnayake completed an initial postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute and the Institute for Molecular Biosciences in Australia. She graduated in 2007 with her doctoral degree in organic chemistry from the University of Queensland in Australia. She earned a master of philosophy and bachelor of science degree from The Open University in her native country of Sri Lanka.

Research Profile

Drug discovery and development & natural product chemistry

Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID)

0000-0002-5980-2070

Publications

2021
Function-Oriented and Modular (+/-)-cis-Pseudoguaianolide Synthesis: Discovery of New Nrf2 Activators and NF-κB Inhibitors.
Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 27(17):5564-5571 [DOI] 10.1002/chem.202100038. [PMID] 33502811.
2021
Fungal Epithiodiketopiperazines Carrying α,β-Polysulfide Bridges from Penicillium steckii YE, and Their Chemical Interconversion.
Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology. 22(2):416-422 [DOI] 10.1002/cbic.202000403. [PMID] 32816319.
2021
Gatorbulin-1, a distinct cyclodepsipeptide chemotype, targets a seventh tubulin pharmacological site.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 118(9) [DOI] 10.1073/pnas.2021847118. [PMID] 33619102.
2020
Dolastatin 15 from a Marine Cyanobacterium Suppresses HIF-1α Mediated Cancer Cell Viability and Vascularization.
Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology. 21(16):2356-2366 [DOI] 10.1002/cbic.202000180. [PMID] 32237262.
2020
High-throughput gene screen reveals modulators of nuclear shape.
Molecular biology of the cell. 31(13):1392-1402 [DOI] 10.1091/mbc.E19-09-0520. [PMID] 32320319.
2020
Largazole is a Brain-Penetrant Class I HDAC Inhibitor with Extended Applicability to Glioblastoma and CNS Diseases.
ACS chemical neuroscience. 11(13):1937-1943 [DOI] 10.1021/acschemneuro.0c00093. [PMID] 32559056.
2020
Preventing Morphine-Seeking Behavior through the Re-Engineering of Vincamine’s Biological Activity.
Journal of medicinal chemistry. 63(10):5119-5138 [DOI] 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b01924. [PMID] 31913038.
2020
Seaweed natural products modify the host inflammatory response via Nrf2 signaling and alter colon microbiota composition and gene expression.
Free radical biology & medicine. 146:306-323 [DOI] 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2019.09.013. [PMID] 31536771.
2020
Vicinal difluorination as a C=C surrogate: an analog of piperine with enhanced solubility, photostability, and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity.
Beilstein journal of organic chemistry. 16:2663-2670 [DOI] 10.3762/bjoc.16.216. [PMID] 33178356.
2020
Yohimbine as a Starting Point to Access Diverse Natural Product-Like Agents with Re-programmed Activities against Cancer-Relevant GPCR Targets.
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 28(14) [DOI] 10.1016/j.bmc.2020.115546. [PMID] 32616180.
2019
Development of apratoxin S10 (Apra S10) as an anti-pancreatic cancer agent and its preliminary evaluation in an orthotopic patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model.
Investigational new drugs. 37(2):364-374 [DOI] 10.1007/s10637-018-0647-0. [PMID] 30073464.
2019
Total Synthesis of Endolides A and B
Synlett. 30(20):2279-2284 [DOI] 10.1055/s-0037-1610736.
2018
Apratyramide, a Marine-Derived Peptidic Stimulator of VEGF-A and Other Growth Factors with Potential Application in Wound Healing.
ACS chemical biology. 13(1):91-99 [DOI] 10.1021/acschembio.7b00827. [PMID] 29205032.
2018
Total Synthesis of Asperphenins A and B.
Organic letters. 20(19):6170-6173 [DOI] 10.1021/acs.orglett.8b02652. [PMID] 30232896.
2017
A Tryptoline Ring-Distortion Strategy Leads to Complex and Diverse Biologically Active Molecules from the Indole Alkaloid Yohimbine.
Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 23(18):4327-4335 [DOI] 10.1002/chem.201604795. [PMID] 27900785.
2017
Synthesis and biological evaluation of largazole zinc-binding group analogs.
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 25(12):3077-3086 [DOI] 10.1016/j.bmc.2017.03.071. [PMID] 28416100.
2016
Caldoramide, a Modified Pentapeptide from the Marine Cyanobacterium Caldora penicillata.
Journal of natural products. 79(7):1867-71 [DOI] 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.6b00203. [PMID] 27380142.
2016
Discovery, Total Synthesis and Key Structural Elements for the Immunosuppressive Activity of Cocosolide, a Symmetrical Glycosylated Macrolide Dimer from Marine Cyanobacteria.
Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 22(24):8158-66 [DOI] 10.1002/chem.201600674. [PMID] 27139508.
2016
Multidimensional Screening Platform for Simultaneously Targeting Oncogenic KRAS and Hypoxia-Inducible Factors Pathways in Colorectal Cancer.
ACS chemical biology. 11(5):1322-31 [DOI] 10.1021/acschembio.5b00860. [PMID] 26938486.
2016
Tasiamide F, a potent inhibitor of cathepsins D and E from a marine cyanobacterium.
Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 24(15):3276-82 [DOI] 10.1016/j.bmc.2016.04.062. [PMID] 27211244.
2014
Grassypeptolides as natural inhibitors of dipeptidyl peptidase 8 and T-cell activation.
Chembiochem : a European journal of chemical biology. 15(6):799-804 [DOI] 10.1002/cbic.201300762. [PMID] 24591193.
2013
Cultivated sea lettuce is a multiorgan protector from oxidative and inflammatory stress by enhancing the endogenous antioxidant defense system.
Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.). 6(9):989-99 [DOI] 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0014. [PMID] 24005795.
2013
Englerin A stimulates PKCθ to inhibit insulin signaling and to simultaneously activate HSF1: pharmacologically induced synthetic lethality.
Cancer cell. 23(2):228-37 [DOI] 10.1016/j.ccr.2012.12.007. [PMID] 23352416.
2012
Chlorinated englerins with selective inhibition of renal cancer cell growth.
Journal of natural products. 75(3):459-63 [DOI] 10.1021/np200905u. [PMID] 22280462.
2011
Grassypeptolides F and G, cyanobacterial peptides from Lyngbya majuscula.
Journal of natural products. 74(8):1686-91 [DOI] 10.1021/np2005083. [PMID] 21806011.
2010
Grassypeptolides A-C, cytotoxic bis-thiazoline containing marine cyclodepsipeptides.
The Journal of organic chemistry. 75(23):8012-23 [DOI] 10.1021/jo1013564. [PMID] 21047144.
2010
Intramolecular modulation of serine protease inhibitor activity in a marine cyanobacterium with antifeedant properties.
Marine drugs. 8(6):1803-16 [DOI] 10.3390/md8061803. [PMID] 20631871.
2009
Englerin A, a selective inhibitor of renal cancer cell growth, from Phyllanthus engleri.
Organic letters. 11(1):57-60 [DOI] 10.1021/ol802339w. [PMID] 19061394.
2007
Kibdelones: novel anticancer polyketides from a rare Australian actinomycete.
Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany). 13(5):1610-9 [PMID] 17091523.
View on: PubMed
2005
Aspergillazines A-E: novel heterocyclic dipeptides from an Australian strain of Aspergillus unilateralis.
Organic & biomolecular chemistry. 3(1):123-9 [PMID] 15602607.
View on: PubMed
Vicinal difluorination as a C=C surrogate: an analog of piperine with enhanced solubility, photostability, and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activity
. [DOI] 10.3762/bxiv.2020.93.v1.

Grants

Jul 2018 ACTIVE
Alkaloid Ring Distortion: A Platform for New Cancer Therapies
Role: Co-Investigator
Funding: AMER CANCER SOC
Sep 2016 ACTIVE
Development of Complex Natural Product Libraries and Multidimensional Anticancer Screening Platforms
Role: Principal Investigator
Funding: NATL INST OF HLTH NCI
Mar 2006 ACTIVE
Davis Cancer Researach Equipment
Role: Project Manager
Funding: UF FOU

Patents

Issued August 2017
Seaweed Extracts, Unsaturated Aldehydes, and Methods of Treatment
#9,730,970

Education

Ph.D.
2007 · University of Queensland
M.Phil.
2005 · The Open University of Sri Lanka
B.Sc.
2001 · The Open University of Sri Lanka

Contact Details

Phones:
Business:
(352) 627-9220
Emails:
Business:
rratnayake@ufl.edu