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Kumar Pichumani, PhD

Associate Research Professor of Neurosurgery, Institute for Academic Medicine
Associate Research Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist
Weill Cornell Medical College

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Kumar Pichumani, PhD, is a research scientist at the Neurosurgery Research Laboratory and Associate Research Member at Houston Methodist Research Institute. Dr. Pichumani is an NMR physicist and has worked in NMR spectroscopy since 1990. He developed new methods using first principles of NMR spin relaxation to increase both resolution and sensitivity so that complex biomacromolecules of larger molecular mass can be studied by NMR Spectroscopy. These research publications were cited by two Nobel Laureates in NMR spectroscopy.

Description of Research

Dr. Pichumani's most recent research involves investigating in-vivo cancer metabolism using non- radioactive 13C enriched nutrients as infusion substrates (glucose, acetate, fatty acids), studying the fate of these substrates via high-resolution 13C NMR spectroscopy of surgically resected tumor tissues extracts. In a recent article published in CELL, he demonstrated that acetate acts as an alternate energy source for cancer cells in human glioblastoma patients and mouse models. He studied in India, Sweden and the US, gaining a diverse background spanning physics, mathematics, electronics, physical chemistry, NMR, Cancer Metabolism and biophysics.

Areas Of Expertise

Cancer metabolism NMR spectroscopy Molecular imaging
Education & Training

PhD, Indian Institute of Science Bangalore
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Indiana University Bloomington
BSc, Madurai Kamaraj University
MSc, Madurai Kamaraj University
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stockholm University

Measurement of 13C turnover into glutamate and glutamine pools in brain tumor patients
Pichumani, K, Mashimo, T, Vemireddy, V, Ijare, OB, Mickey, BE, Malloy, CR, Marin-Valencia, I, Baskin, DS, Bachoo, RM & Maher, EA 2017, FEBS Letters, vol 591, no. 21, pp. 3548-3554. DOI: 10.1002/1873-3468.12867

Elucidating the structural organization of a novel low-density lipoprotein nanoparticle reconstituted with docosahexaenoic acid
Mulik, RS, Zheng, H, Pichumani, K, Ratnakar, J, Jiang, Q-X & Corbin, IR 2017, Chemistry and Physics of Lipids, vol 204, pp. 65-75. DOI: 10.1016/j.chemphyslip.2017.03.007

Hepatic gluconeogenesis influences (13)C enrichment in lactate in human brain tumors during metabolism of [1,2-(13)C]acetate
Pichumani, K, Mashimo, T, Vemireddy, V, Kovacs, Z, Ratnakar, J, Mickey, B, Malloy, CR, DeBerardinis, RJ, Bachoo, RM & Maher, EA 2016, Neurochemistry International, vol 97, pp. 133-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuint.2016.03.015

Novel application of complimentary imaging techniques to examine in vivo glucose metabolism in the kidney
Hato, T, Friedman, AN, Mang, HE, Plotkin, Z, Dube, S, Hutchins, GD, Territo, PR, McCarthy, BP, Riley, AA, Pichumani, K, Malloy, CR, Harris, RA, Dagher, PC & Sutton, TA 2016, American journal of physiology. Renal physiology, pp. ajprenal.00535.2015. DOI: 10.1152/ajprenal.00535.2015

Conditions for 13C NMR detection of 2-hydroxyglutarate in tissue extracts from isocitrate dehydrogenase-mutated gliomas
Pichumani, K, Mashimo, T, Baek, HM, Ratnakar, J, Mickey, B, DeBerardinis, RJ, Maher, EA, Bachoo, RM, Malloy, CR & Kovacs, Z 2015, Analytical Biochemistry, vol 481, pp. 4-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.ab.2015.04.017

Effects of hydrogen bonding on amide-proton chemical shift anisotropy in a proline-containing model peptide
Pichumani, K, George, G, Hebbar, S, Chatterjee, B & Raghothama, S 2015, Chemical Physics Letters, vol 627, 32894, pp. 126-129. DOI: 10.1016/j.cplett.2015.03.048

The ratio of acetate-to-glucose oxidation in astrocytes from a single 13C NMR spectrum of cerebral cortex
Marin-Valencia, I, Hooshyar, MA, Pichumani, K, Sherry, AD & Malloy, CR 2015, Journal of Neurochemistry, vol 132, no. 1, pp. 99-109. DOI: 10.1111/jnc.12948

Acetate is a bioenergetic substrate for human glioblastoma and brain metastases
Mashimo, T, Pichumani, K, Vemireddy, V, Hatanpaa, KJ, Singh, DK, Sirasanagandla, S, Nannepaga, S, Piccirillo, SG, Kovacs, Z, Foong, C, Huang, Z, Barnett, S, Mickey, BE, Deberardinis, RJ, Tu, BP, Maher, EA & Bachoo, RM 2014, Cell, vol 159, no. 7, pp. 1603-1614. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.11.025

A comparative study of short- and long-TE 1H MRS at 3 T for in vivo detection of 2-hydroxyglutarate in brain tumors
Choi, C, Ganji, S, Hulsey, K, Madan, A, Kovacs, Z, Dimitrov, I, Zhang, S, Pichumani, K, Mendelsohn, D, Mickey, B, Malloy, C, Bachoo, R, Deberardinis, R & Maher, E 2013, NMR in Biomedicine, vol 26, no. 10, pp. 1242-1250. DOI: 10.1002/nbm.2943

Determination of 15N chemical shift anisotropy from a membrane-bound protein by NMR spectroscopy
Pandey, MK, Vivekanandan, S, Ahuja, S, Pichumani, K, Im, SC, Waskell, L & Ramamoorthy, A 2012, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, vol 116, no. 24, pp. 7181-7189. DOI: 10.1021/jp3049229

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy with longitudinal multispin orders
Velan, SS, Pichumani, K, Murray, D, Raylman, RR, Scott, T, Manivannan, A & Halliburton, L 2008, Current Analytical Chemistry, vol 4, no. 1, pp. 40-54. DOI: 10.2174/157341108783339106

Determination of the anomeric configuration in carbohydrates by longitudinal cross-correlated relaxation studies: Application to mono- And disaccharides
Pichumani, K, Zou, X, Chandra, T & Brown, KL 2007, Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry, vol 45, no. 9, pp. 734-738. DOI: 10.1002/mrc.2038

Cross-correlated relaxation between H1' chemical shift anisotropy and H1' - H2' dipolar relaxation mechanisms in ribonucleosides: Application to the characterization of their anomeric configuration
Pichumani, K, Chandra, T, Zou, X & Brown, KL 2006, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, vol 110, no. 1, pp. 5-8. DOI: 10.1021/jp055774m

Covariation of backbone motion throughout a small protein domain
Mayer, KL, Earley, MR, Gupta, S, Pichumani, K, Regan, L & Stone, MJ 2003, Nature Structural Biology, vol 10, no. 11, pp. 962-965. DOI: 10.1038/nsb991

The role of backbone conformational heat capacity in protein stability: Temperature dependent dynamics of the B1 domain of Streptococcal protein G
Seewald, MJ, Pichumani, K, Stowell, C, Tibbals, BV, Regan, L & Stone, MJ 2000, Protein Science, vol 9, no. 6, pp. 1177-1193.