Jack Tuszynski Research Group


Department of Oncology
University of Alberta

Cross Cancer Institute
11560 University Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1Z2
Tel: 780.432.8906

Allard Chair & Professor Experimental Oncology, Department of Oncology, Computational Biophysics
University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

Dr. Tuszynski is a Fellow of the National Institute for Nanotechnology of Canada. He is an Allard Chair and Professor in Experimental Oncology in the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta’s Cross Cancer Institute and a Professor in the Department of Physics. Professor Jack Tuszynski received his M.Sc. with distinction in Physics from the University of Poznan (Poland) in 1980. He received his PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Calgary in 1983. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Calgary’s Chemistry Department in 1983. He was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics of the Memorial University of Newfoundland from 1983 to 1988, and at the University of Alberta’s Physics Department from 1988 to 1990. He became an Associate Professor from 1990 to 1993 and a Full Professor in 1993. He joined the Division of Experimental Oncology at the Cross Cancer Institute as the Allard Chair in 2005. He is on the editorial board of a number of international journals including the Journal of Biological Physics, Journal of Biophysics and Structural Biology (JBSB), Quantum Biosystems, Research Letters in Physics, Water: a Multidisciplinary Research Journal and Interdisciplinary Sciences-Computational Life Sciences. He is an Associate Editor of The Frontiers Collection, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg. He had visiting professorships in Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Israel and China. He has published over 320 peer-reviewed papers, over 50 conference proceedings, 10 book chapters and 10 books; delivered over 400 scientific talks (including 150+ invited talks) on five continents. His research has been supported by numerous research grants from Canadian, US and European funding agencies. In 2005 he was appointed to the prestigious Allard Research Chair in Oncology at the University of Alberta. The $3 million Chair is supported by the Alberta Cancer Foundation and the Allard Foundation.

Dr. Jack Tuszynski heads a multi-disciplinary team creating “designer drugs” for cancer chemotherapy using computational biophysics methods. To make advances in this new promising field of biophysical modeling, Jack Tuszynski drew on his physics background to create computer software programs that screen proteins against chemical compounds to find the perfect match based on the lock and key principle. The goal of Tuszynski’s computational biophysics work is to create optimized drugs that would target cancerous cells with minimal side-effects to the healthy cells. Dr. Tuszynski’s research interests are strongly linked to the protein tubulin and the microtubules assembled from it. These have been studied using methods ranging from simple stochastic models to detailed molecular dynamics computer simulations, as well as through laboratory manipulations of living cells. Due to its prominent role played in eukaryotic cell division, tubulin is an important target for anti-cancer cytotoxic treatments. His on-going research aim is to identify variants of known compounds showing greater tubulin isotype-specific effects. These compounds could potentially lead to more efficacious chemotherapy treatments with lower side effects. The group has also examined microtubule’s biochemical, electrical, structural, and mechanical properties; proteins that bind to microtubules (MAPs); and the motor proteins in cells that travel along microtubules and actin filaments. Over the past few years, one of the main research interests in the Tuszynski lab has been the creation of 3D models of p53 and its mutants as well as a search for activators of its mutants. Several papers on this work have already been published in peer-review journals. His group is also developing physiologically-based models and simulations for pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic applications. Currently, he has been focused in his work on the discovery and optimization of novel chemotherapy agents and methods of their administration.

Relevant Publications

1. L. P. Jordheim, K. H. Barakat, L. Heinrich-Balard, E.-L. Matera, E. Cros-Perrial, K. Bouledrak, R. El Sabeh, R. Perez- Pineiro, D. S. Wishart, R. Cohen, J. A. Tuszynski and C. Dumontet, Small molecule inhibitors of ERCC1-XPF protein-protein interaction synergize alkylating agents in cancer cells, Molecular Pharmacology 84(1):12-24(2013) IF=4.883

2. J. Y. Mane, V. Semenchenko, R. Perez-Pineiro, D. Wishart, and J. A. Tuszynski, Experimental and computational study of the interaction of novel colchicinoids with a recombinant human αI/βI-tubulin heterodimer Chemical Biology & Drug Design 82(1):60-70 (2013) IF=2.527

3. L. Alisaraie, Y-X. Fu and J.A. Tuszynski, Dynamics Changes of Heme Environment in Soluble Guanylate Cyclase and Complexation of NO-Independent Drug Agents with H-NOX Domain, Chemical Biology and Drug Design 81(3):359-81 (2013) IF=2.527

4. A. Kuban-Jankowska, J.A. Tuszynski, P. Winter, M. Gorska, N. Knap, and M. Wozniak, Activation of hydrogen peroxide to peroxytetradecanoic acid is responsible for potent inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatase CD45, PLoS One 7(12):e52495 (2012) IF=4.411

5. K. H. Barakat, L. P. Jordheim, R. Perez-Pineiro, D. Wishart, C. Dumontet and J.A. Tuszynski, Virtual screening and biological evaluation of inhibitors targeting the XPA-ERCC1 interaction, PLoS ONE 7(12):e51329 (2012) IF=4.411

6. Md. Ashrafuzzaman, C.-Y. Tseng, M. Duszyk and J. A. Tuszynski, Chemotherapy drugs form ion pores in membranes due to physical interactions with lipids, Chemical Biology and Drug Design 80(6):992-1002 (2012) IF=2.527

7. M. Gajewski, L. Alisaraie and J.A. Tuszynski, Peloruside, laulimalide and noscapine interactions with Beta tubulin, Pharmaceutical Research 29(11):2985-93 (2012) IF=4.456

8. J. A. Tuszynski, T. J. A. Craddock, J. Y. Mane, K. Barakat, C-Y Tseng, M. Gajewski, P. Winter, L. Alisaraie, J. Patterson, E. Carpenter, W. Wang, M. K. Deyholos, L. Li, X. Sun, Y. Zhang, and G. K-S Wong, Modeling the Yew Tree Tubulin and a Comparison of Its Interaction with Paclitaxel to Human Tubulin, Pharmaceutical Research 29(11):2985-2993 (2012) IF=4.456

9. W. Cui, K. Wang, J. Ruan, Q. Zhi, Y. Feng, Y. Shao and J. A. Tuszynski, The Molecular Mechanism of Action of the CR6261-Azichromycin Combination Found through Computational Analysis. PLoS ONE 7(5):e37790 (2012) IF=4.411

10. D. Breitkreutz, L. Hlatky, E. A. Rietman, and J. A. Tuszynski, Molecular Signaling Network Complexity Is Correlated with Cancer Patient Survivability, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 109(23):9209-12 (2012) IF=9.77

11. T. J. A. Craddock, M. St. George, H. Freedman, K. H. Barakat, S. Damaraju and J. A. Tuszynski, Computational Predictions of Volatile Anesthetic Interactions with the Microtubule Cytoskeleton: Implications for Side Effects of General Anesthesia, PLoSOne 7(6):e37251 (2012) IF=4.411

12. K. Barakat, M. Gajewski and J.A. Tuszynski, DNA polymerase beta (pol ß) inhibitors: a comprehensive overview, Drug Discovery Today 17(16):913-920 (2012) IF=6.422

13. S.K. Sharma, M. Wuest, J. Y. Mane, J.A. Tuszynski, V. Baracos, M. Suresh and F. Wuest, Synthesis and evaluation of fluorobenzoylated di- and tripeptides as novel cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry 20(7):2221-6 (2012) IF=2.661

14. K. Wang, W. Cui,, G. Hu, J. Gao, Z. Wu, X. Qiu, J. Ruan, Y. Feng, Z. Qi, Y. Shao and J.A. Tuszynski, Computable features required to evaluate the efficacy of drugs and a universal algorithm to find optimally effective drug in a drug complex, PLoSOne 7(3):e33809 (2012) IF=4.411

15. M. Ashrafuzzaman and J.A. Tuszynski, Ion pore formation in lipid bilayers and related energetic considerations, Current Medicinal Chemistry 19(11):1619-1634 (2012) IF=4.63

16. D. E. Friesen, K. H. Barakat, V. Semenchenko, R. PerezPineiro, B. W. Fenske, J. Mane, D. S. Wishart, and J. A. Tuszynski, Discovery of small molecule inhibitors that interact with tubulin, Chemical Biology and Drug Design 79(5):639-52 (2012) IF= 2.527

17.T.J.A. Craddock, J.A. Tuszynski, D. Chopra, N. Casey, L.E. Goldstein, S.R. Hameroff and R. Tanzi The Zinc Dyshomeostasis Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s Disease. PLoS One 7(3):e33552 (2012) IF=4.411

18.T.J.A. Craddock, S.R. Hameroff and J.A. Tuszynski, Cytoskeletal signaling: Is molecular memory encoded in microtubule lattices by CaMKII phosphorylation, PloS Computational Biology 8(3):e1002421 (2012) IF=5.759

19.K. Barakat, M. Gajewski and J.A. Tuszynski, DNA repair inhibitors: The next major step to improve cancer chemotherapy, Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 12(12):1367-90 (2012) IF=4.112

20.K. Barakat, B.B. Issaack, M. Stepanova and J.A. Tuszynski, Effects of temperature on the p53-DNA binding interactions and their dynamical behavior: Comparing the wild-type to the R248Q mutant, PLoS One 6(11):e27651 (2011) IF=4.411

21.H. Freedman,T. Luchko, R.F. Luduena and J.A. Tuszynski, Molecular Dynamics Modeling of C-terminal Tail Interactions with the Microtubule Surface, Proteins: Structure, Function, Bioinformatics 79(10):2968–2982 (2011) IF=2.813

22. L. Alisaraie and J.A. Tuszynski Determination of Noscapine’s Localization and Interaction with the Tubulin-α/β Hetero-dimer, Chemical Biology & Drug Design, 78(4):535–546 (2011) IF=2.527

23.P. Hinow, V. Rezania, M. Lopus, M.A. Jordan and J.A. Tuszynski, Modeling the effects of drug binding on the dynamic instability of microtubules, Physical Biology 8:056004 (2011) IF=3.109

24.A. Samarbakhsh and J. A. Tuszynski, Vibrational dynamics of bio- and nano-filaments in viscous solution subjected to ultrasound: implications for microtubules, European Biophysics Journal 40(8):937-46 (2011) IF=2.387

25.C-Y Tseng, Md Ashrafuzzaman, J. Y. Mane, J. Kapty, J. R. Mercer, and J. A. Tuszynski, Entropic fragment based approach to aptamer design, Chemical Biology and Drug Design 78(1):1-13 (2011). IF=2.527

26. B.J. Al-Hourani, S. K. Sharma, J. Mane, J.A. Tuszynski, V. Baracos, T. Kniess, M. Suresh, J. Pietzsch and F. Wuest, Synthesis and evaluation of 1,5-diaryl-substituted tetrazoles as novel selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 21:1823-1826 (2011) IF=2.661

27. P.S. Agutter and J.A. Tuszynski, Analytic Theories of Allometric Scaling, Journal of Experimental Biology 214(Pt7):1055-62 (2011) IF=3.104

28. C-Y Tseng, J. Y. Mane, P. Winter, L. Johnson, T. Huzil, E. Izbicka, R. F. Luduena and J. A. Tuszynski, Quantitative analysis of the effect of tubulin isotype expression on sensitivity of cancer cell lines to a set of novel colchicine derivatives, Molecular Cancer 9:131 (2010) IF=3.78

29. M. Bennett, K. Barakat, T. Huzil, D. L. Sackett, J.A. Tuszynski and D. C. Schriemer, Discovery and Characterization of the Laulimalide-Microtubule Binding Mode by Mass Shift Perturbation Mapping, Chemistry and Biology 17:725–734 (2010) IF=5.976

30.J. T, Huzil, P. Winter, L. Johnson, A. L. Weis, T. Bakos, A. Banerjee, R. F. Luduena, S. Damaraju and J. A. Tuszynski,Modification of colchicine cytotoxicity and selectivity through the rational design of novel derivatives, Chemical Biology and Drug Design 75(6):541-50 (2010) IF=2.527

31.T. Luchko, S. Gusarov, D. Roe, C. Simmerling, D. Case, J.A. Tuszynski, and A. Kovalenko, Three-dimensional molecular theory of solvation coupled with molecular dynamics in Amber, Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation 6(3):607–624 (2010) IF=5.138

32.H. Freedman, L. P. Huynh, L. Le, T. E. Cheatham III, J. A. Tuszynski, and T. N. Truong, Explicitly-Solvated Ligand Contribution to Continuum Solvation Models for Binding Free Energies: Selectivity of Theophylline Binding to an RNA Aptamer, Journal of Physical Chemistry B 114(6):2227-37 (2010) IF=3.603

33. L. Demetrius and J.A. Tuszynski, Quantum metabolism and the allometric scaling of the metabolic rates, Journal of the Royal Society Interface 7:507-514 (2010) IF=4.259

34. D. Bartusik, B. Tomanek, E. Lattová, H. Perreault, J. Tuszynski, and G. Fallone, Derivatives of thiocolchicine and its applications to CEM cells treatment using 19F magnetic resonance ex vivo, Bioorganic Chemistry 38(1):1-6 (2010) IF=2.978

35.M. Bennett, J. K. Chik, G. W. Slysz, T. Luchko, J.A. Tuszynski, D. L. Sackett, and D. C. Schriemer, Structural MS analysis of the lpha beta-tubulin dimer supports a revised model of microtubule assembly, Biochemistry 48(22):4858-70 (2009) IF=3.226

a. Correction to Structural Mass Spectrometry of the αβ-Tubulin Dimer Supports a Revised Model of Microtubule Assembly, Biochemistry 48(40):9704 (2009)

36. H. Freedman, T. Huzil, T. Luchko, R. Luduena, and J.A. Tuszynski, Identification and Characterization of an Intermediate Taxol Binding Site Within Microtubule Nanopores and a Mechanism for Tubulin Isotype Binding Selectivity, Journal of Chemical Informatics and Modeling 49(2):424-36 (2009) IF=3.822

37. J. Torin Huzil, John. K. Chik, Gordon W. Slysz, Holly Freedman, Jack Tuszynski, Richard E. Taylor, Dan L. Sackett, David C. Schriemer, Discovery of the peloruside binding site on microtubules and a unique mechanism of microtubule stabilization, Journal of Molecular Biology 378(5):1016-1030 (2008) IF=4.008

38. C. J. Foley, H. Freedman, S. L. Choo, C. Onyskiw, N. Y. Fu, V. C. Yu, J. A. Tuszynski, J. L. Pratt and S. Baksh, Dynamics of RASSF1A/MOAP-1 Association with Death Receptors, Molecular and Cellular Biology 28(14):4520- 4535 (2008) IF=6.188

39. M. V. Sataric, L. Budinski-Petkovic, I. Loncarevic and J. A. Tuszynski, Intrinsic Electric Fields as a Possible Control Mechanism of Bidirectional Microtubule-Based Transport, Cell Biophysics and Biochemistry 52(2) 113-124 (2008) IF=4.312

40. V. Rezania, O. Azarenko, M. A. Jordan , H. Bolterauer, R. F. Ludueña , J. T. Huzil and J. A. Tuszynski, Microtubule Assembly of Isotypically Purified Tubulin and Its Mixtures, Biophysical Journal 95:1993-2008 (2008) IF=4.39


Department of Oncology
University of Alberta

Cross Cancer Institute
11560 University Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1Z2
Tel: 780.432.8906

Team Members

Ahmed Ayoub
Cassandra Churchill
Douglas Friesen
Kamlesh Sahu, PhD
Mark Healey
Mclean Edwards, PhD
Niloofar Nayebi
Peter Ghaly
Philip Winter
Rabab Ahmed, PhD
Sara Omar