Nawab Ali - Associate Professor

Ali pic3
Phone: 501-569-8003 (Office)
Address: Biology Department I ETAS - 300N I University of Arkansas at Little Rock I 2801 South University Avenue I Little Rock AR 72204


UALR, Applied Science Department, College of Science and Mathematics

 Cluster Identification:
- Comparative Metabolomics Cluster
- Plant Productivity ‘Set-Points’ Cluster

Research Areas/Expertise:
- Antioxidants
- Bioengineering
- Biotechnology
- Bioinformatics
- Signal Transduction
- Plant/Animal Secondary Metaboloism/ Metabolomics/ Metabolic Engineering
- Phytochemicals & Human Health
- Plant/Animal Environmental Physiology
- Plant-Made Industrial/ Pharmaceutical Proteins
- Protein Processing & Trafficking
- Subcellular Fractionation

Research Summary | Selected Publications | Lab Members | Key Collaborators | Research Projects | Links

Research Summary:

My laboratory is primarily interested in understanding of molecular mechanisms of signal transudation by which cells communicate with and adapt to their surrounding environment. The long-term goal is to identify and characterize biological signaling molecules that interact at the cell surface membranes and those that govern intracellular processes. This involves a combination of molecular genetics, cell biological and biochemical methods using mammalian as well as plant cell models.

Academic interests include biochemistry and biotechnology, cell and molecular, and membrane biology. Research interests are directed towards understanding receptor mediated signal transduction as well as intracellular signaling mechanisms in relation to environmental changes or in disease states. These projects involve studies on the role of G-proteins and their receptors, second messengers such as inositol polyphosphates, cyclic nucleotides (cAMP, cGMP), protein kinases and phosphatases in regulation of cellular processes. Among inositol polyphosphate second messengers, we are particularly interested in higher inositol polyphosphates i.e. inositol polyphosphate pyrophosphates (IP7 and IP8) in relation to their metabolism, cellular levels under adverse conditions and their role in key cellular processes including apoptosis or programmed cell death in relation to carcinogenesis. Emphasis is placed on subcellular compartmentalization, vesicular membrane trafficking, protein-protein interactions, and cellular regulation of apoptosis, endo- and exocytosis, and maintenance of cell polarity in epithelial cells. My laboratory is also interested in bioinformatics studying global profiling of gene expression using microarray and proteomics approaches under altered environmental conditions. We are particularly interested in identification of functional motives and their phylogenetic adaptations by higher life forms. Biomedical engineering interests include development and characterization of biocompatible materials for medical implants and computational modeling of carcinogenesis.

Selected Publications:

Hassen S, Boman BM, Ali N, Parker M, Somerman C, Ali-Khan Catts ZJ, Ali AA, Fields JZ. Detection of DNA mismatch repair proteins in fresh human blood lymphocytes - towards a novel method for Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (Lynch Syndrome) screening. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 21; 30(1); 100, 2011.

Agarwal, R. Hassen, S., and Ali, N. Changes in Cellular Levels of Inositol Polyphosphates During Apoptosis.  Mol. Cell. Biochem. 345; 61-68, 2010.

Ali, N., MacLeod, S., Hine, J. and Chowdhury, P. “Cellular Signaling Mechanisms In Pancreatic Apoptosis”. Chapter 13, G.G. Chen, P.B.S. Lai (eds.), Apoptosis in Carcinogenesis and Chemotherapy, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-9597-9 13, C _ Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

Agarwal R., Mumtaz H., Ali N. Role of inositol polyphosphates in programmed cell death. Mol. Cell. Biochem. 328; 1-2, 155-65. 2009.

ALI, N., Duden, R., Bembenek, M.E. and Shears S.B.: The interaction of coatomer with inositol polyphosphates is conserved in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biochem. J., 310, 279‑284, 1995.

ALI, N., Craxton, A. and Shears, S. B.: Hepatic Ins(1,3,4,5)P4 3‑phosphatase is compartmentalized inside endoplasmic reticulum.  J. Biol. Chem. 268(9): 6161‑6167, 1993.

Lab Members:


Nawab Ali, PhD, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Associate Professor, College of Science and Mathematics; 501-569-8003

Samar Hassen
PhD student (Applied Sciences)

Zeiyad Al-Karakooly
PhD student (Applied Sciences)

Surya Kilaprty
PhD student (Applied Sciences)

Ezat Metal
PhD student (Applied Sciences)

Qudes Al-Anbaky
MS student (Applied Sciences)

Kanika Topiwala
Undergraduate student (Biology)


Key Collaborators

Research Projects

  • Signaling roles of inositol polyphosphate in cellular processes in animal as well as in plant cells
  • Biomedical Biotechnology, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry emphasizing intracellular signaling mechanisms
  • Programmed cell death (apoptosis) and carcinogenesis
  • Biological effects of microgravity and other extreme environment
  • DNA Mismatch repair proteins in Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) diagnosis