Krishna Kumar

Krishna Kumar

Robinson Professor of Chemistry
Member, Cancer Center, Tufts Medical Center
Adjunct Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Pearson Chemical Laboratory
62 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA


Skaggs Research Fellow, Scripps Research Institute & Skaggs Institute for Chem. Biology, 1996-98
PhD, Brown University, Providence RI, 1996
BSc (Hons.), St. Stephen's College, Delhi, India, 1991

Research Interests

Bioorganic Chemistry and Chemical Biology.  Prof. Kumar and his group are involved in areas of research that lie at the interface of chemistry and biology. The main goal of the research is to use chemical and biological methods to create novel and functional molecules that allows us to understand the mechanism of, and/or control biological processes. His group uses the traditional techniques of organic chemistry, such as synthesis and spectroscopy, of biological chemistry, such as recombinant DNA technology, protein purification and enzyme kinetics, and of biophysics, including investigation of protein structure in membranes. Current projects in his laboratory focus on: De novo protein design and evolution; Combating bacterial resistance to antibiotics;  Understanding the origin of the intron-exon gene structure of modern day enzymes; Catalysis by small molecules and peptides; and Design of membrane protein architectures for specialized functions.

Selected Publications and Presentations

"De Novo Design of Protein Mimics of B-DNA" D. Yüksel, P. R. Bianco, and K. Kumar Mol. Biosyst. 201612, 169-177.

"Designing Convergent Chemistry Curricula" L. K. Charkoudian, N. S. Sampson, K. Kumar, J. A. Kritzer Nat. Chem. Biol. 201612, 382-386.

"Novel Probes Establish MrgprX1 Variants as Loss and Gain of Function Receptors"
D. Heller, J. R. Doyle, V. S. Raman, K. Kumar, M. Beinborn and A. S. Kopin J. Pharm. Exp. Ther. 2016356, 276-283.

"Sialidases as Regulators of Bioengineered Cellular Surfaces" C. Y. Zamora, M. J. Ryan, M. d'Alarcao and K. Kumar Glycobiology 20157, 784-791.

"Total Synthesis of Trifluorobutyryl-modified, Protected Sialyl LewisX by a Convergent [2+2] Approach" G. Akçay, J. Y. Ramphal, M. d'Alarcao and K. Kumar Tetrahedron Lett. 201556, 109-114.

"A Two-Step Strategy to Enhance Activity of Low Potency Peptides" J. R. Doyle, B. N. Harwood, S. T. Krishnaji, V. M. Krishnamurthy, W.-E. Lin, J.-P. Fortin, K. Kumar and A. S. Kopin, PLoS One 20149, e110502.

"An Air- and Water-Stable Iodonium Salt Promoter for Facile Thioglycoside Activation" A.-H. Chu, A. Minciunescu, V. Montanari, K. Kumar and C. Bennett Org. Lett. 201416, 1780-1782.

"Development of a Membrane Anchored Chemerin Receptor Agonist as a Novel
Modulator of Allergic Airway Inflammation and Neuropathic Pain" J. R. Doyle, S. T. Krishnaji, G. Zhu, Z.-Z. Xu, D. Heller, R.-R. Ji, B. D. Levy, K. Kumar and A. S. Kopin J. Biol. Chem. 2014289, 13385-13396.

"Co-localization of the Ganglioside GM1 and Cholesterol Detected by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry" M. M. Lozano, Z. Liu, E. Sunnick, A. Janshoff, K. Kumar and S. G. Boxer J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013135, 5620-5630.

"Fluorogenic Sialic Acid Glycosides for Quantification of Sialidase Activity Upon Unnatural Substrates" C. Y. Zamora, M. d'Alarcao and K. Kumar Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 201323, 3406-3410.

"Fluorination in the Design of Membrane Protein Assemblies" V. M. Krishnamurthy and K. Kumar Methods Mol. Biol. 20131063, 227-243.

"Ligand-Induced Protein Mobility in Complexes of Carbonic Anhydrase II and
Benzenesulfonamides with Oligoglycine Chains" V. M. Krishnamurthy, V. S. Raman, R. Mowery, M. Hentz, J. D. Baleja, B. F. Shaw and K. Kumar PLoS One 20138, e57629.


"Cross-Strand Interactions of Fluorinated Amino Acids in β-Hairpin Constructs" G. A. Clark, J. D. Baleja and K. Kumar J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012134, 17912-17921.


"A Model System for Cell Adhesion Mediated by Weak Carbohydrate-Carbohydrate Interactions" B. Lorenz, L. Á. de Cienfuegos, M. Oelkers, E. Kriemen, C. Brand, M. Stephan, E. Sunnick, D. Yüksel, V. Kalsani, K. Kumar, D. Werz and A. Janshoff, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2012134, 3326-3369.


"Chemical Biology Using Fluorinated Building Blocks", C. Zamora, L. Dafik and K. Kumar, in Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials, P. A. Gale and J. W. Steed, Eds., John Wiley & Sons 2012, Chichester, UK, pp. 1947-1964.


"β–Peptide Bundles with Flourous Cores", M. Molski, J. Goodman, C. Craig, H. Meng, K. Kumar and A. Schepartz, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 3658-3659.

"Modulation of Cellular Adhesion by Glycoengineering", L. Dafik, M. d'Alarcao, and K. Kumar, J. Med. Chem., 2010, 53, 4277-4284.

"Trifluoromethyl Derivatization of the Ganglioside, GM1", Z. Liu and K. Kumar, Synthesis, 2010, 1905-1908.

"Mimicking the Prehairpin Intermediate of gp41: A Screening Platform for Fusion Inhibitors Based on Coiled Coil Lipopeptides Assembled in Artificial Biomembranes", S. Schuy, N. Yoder, S. Hobe, K. Kumar, R. Vogel and A. Janshoff, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed., 2009, 48, 751-754.

"Fluorinated Lipid Constructs Permit Facile Passage of Molecular Cargo into Living Cells", L. Dafik, V. Kalsani, A. K. L. Leung and K. Kumar, J. Am. Chem. Soc.2009, 131, 12091-12093.

"Biosynthesis of Stable Coiled-Coils Containing (2S,4R)-5,5,5-Trifluoroleucine and (2S,4S)-5,5,5-Trifluoroleucine" J. K. Montclare, S. Son, G. Clark, K. Kumar and D. Tirrell, ChemBioChem, 2009, 10, 84-86.

"Lipopeptides Derived from HIV and SIV Mimicking the Prehairpin Intermediate of gp41 on Solid Supported Lipid Bilayers", S. Schuy, E. Schäfer, N. C. Yoder, K. Kumar, R. Vogel and A. Janshoff, J. Struct. Biol., 2009168, 125-136.