Premalatha Balachandran, Ph.D

Associate Research Scientist,

National Center For Natural Products Research

Research Institute of Pharmaceutical sciences,

School of Pharmacy,

University of Mississippi,

Mississippi, 38677,



Mail to:

Phone: 662-915-3463

Fax: 662-915-7062

Also visit me at: UM School of Pharmacy web page






F     Education

F     Research positions

F     Bibliographical Information

F     Scientific contributions

F     Awards/Activities

F     Research Experience

F     Research Expertise

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Ph.D in Medical Biochemistry from Department of Medical Biochemistry University of Madras, India.                  


M.Sc. in Medical Biochemistry from Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Madras, India


B.Sc. Chemistry, University of Madras, India






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Research positions


1994- 1997

Junior Research Fellow (University Grants Commission, India) at   

Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Madras, India.


Research Associate, Department of Biotechnology (R&D), Tamilnad Hospital Academic Trust, Chennai (Affiliated to University of Madras), India

1999 - 2000

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Animal Biotechnology, Madras Veterinary College, Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Chennai, India.

2000 -2002

Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Nebraska Medical Center, Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

2002 - 2005

Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Mississippi, National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Mississippi, USA.

2005-till date

Associate Research Scientist at University of Mississippi, National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Mississippi, USA.





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Bibliographical Information



Balachandran, P and Govindarajan R. Ayurvedic Drug Discovery. Solicited review in Expert Opinion on Drug Discovery (In Press).


Balachandran, P (2007). Advancements of Ayurveda in Cancer Management with Special Focus on Hepatocellular Carcinoma.- Solicited review in  Annals of Traditional Chinese medicine (In Press).


Balachandran, P., Pugh ND., Ma, G. and Pasco, DS (2006). Toll-like receptor 2-dependent activation of monocytes by Spirulina polysaccharide and its immune enhancing action in mice. Int. Immunopharmacol. 6, 1808-1814.


Pawar, R., Balachandran, P., Pasco, DS and Khan, IA (2006). Cytotoxicity studies of triterpenoids from Akebia trifoliata and Clematis ligustifolia. Acta Horticulturae, 720, 171-178.


Premalatha Balachandran, Feng Wei, Rui-chao Lin, Ikhlas A.Khan, David S. Pasco (2005). Structure-activity relationships of aristolochic acid analogues.  Toxicity in cultured renal epithelial cells. Kidney international 67, 1797-1805.


Nirmal Pugh, Premalatha Balachandran, Hemant Lata, Franck Dayan, Vaishali Joshi, Erdal Bedir, Toshiaki Makino, Rita Mores, Ikhlas Khan, David Pasco (2005). Melanin: Dietary mucosal immune modulators from Echinacea and other botanical supplements. International Immunopharmacology 5, 637-647.


Premalatha Balachandran and Rajgopal Govindarajan (2005). Cancer ­an ayurvedic perspective - review. Pharmacological Research 51, 19-30.


Rao, U.S., Baker, J.M. Pluznik, J.L. and Premalatha Balachandran (2004). Role of intracellular Ca2+ in the expression of amiloride-sensitive  sodium channel. Cell calcium 35, 21-28.


Premalatha Balachandran and Rajgopal Govindarajan (2003). Hepatic disorders in Scientific basis for  Ayurvedic Therapies, L.C. Mishra (Ed.) CRC Press LLC, Florida, 231-254.


Rao, U.S., Steimle, RE and Premalatha Balachandran (2003). Activation of large conductance sodium channels upon expression of amiloride-sensitive sodium channel in Sf9 insect cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277, 4900-4905.


Premalatha, B. (2000) Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nuts - a boon in alternative medicine - A review. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 38, 1177-1182.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P. (2000). Potency of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nut milk extract against aflatoxin B1 induced hepatocarcinogenesis: reflection on hepatic microsomal biotransformation  enzymes. Pharmacological Research, 42, 161 -166.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P. (2000). Stabilization of lysosomal membrane and  glycoprotein content by Semecarpus anacardium nut extract in aflatoxin B1 induced hepatocellular carcinoma. Phytotherapy Research, 14, 352 -355.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P.(2000). Modulating role of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nut milk extract on aflatoxin B1 biotransformation. Pharmacological Research, 41,19-24.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P.,  (1999). Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nut extract administration induces in vivo antioxidant defense system in aflatoxin B1 mediated hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 66, 131-139.


Navis Paul Sriganth, and Premalatha, B. (1999) Dietary curcumin with cisplatin  administration       modulates tumor marker enzymes indices in experimental fibrosarcoma. Pharmacological Research, 39,175-179.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P. (1999). Effect of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nut extract     against aflatoxin B1 induced hepatocellular carcinoma. Fitoterapia, 70, 484-492.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P. (1999). Modification of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nut   milk extract on Rat serum Alpha-fetoprotein  level in aflatoxin B1 mediated hepatic tumourigenesis. Fitoterapia, 70, 279-283.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P. (1999). Alteration in lipid metabolism during the development of aflatoxin B1 induced experimental hepatocellular carcinoma. Medical Science Research, 27, 779-782.


Premalatha, B. (1999). Microsomal Membrane modulating efficacy of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. Nut. Milk extract in experimental hepatocellular carcinoma. Indian Drugs, 36, 714-719.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P. (1998). Immunomodulatory activity of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nut milk extract in aflatoxin B1 induced hepatocellular carcinoma Pharmacy and Pharmacology Communications, 4, 507-510.


Premalatha, B. and Sachdanandam, P. (1998). Regulation of mineral status by Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nut milk extract in Aflatoxin B1 induced hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of Clinical  Biochemistry and Nutrition, 25, 63 -70.


Premalatha, B., Muthulakshmi, V., Vijayalakshmi  T. and  Sachdanandam, P. (1999). Anticancer  potency of the milk extract of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nuts against aflatoxin B1 mediated      Hepatocellular carcinoma bearing Wistar rats with reference to tumour marker enzymes. Phytotherapy Research, 13, 183 - 187.


Premalatha, B., Muthulakshmi, V., Vijayalakshmi  T. and  Sachdanandam, P. (1997).Semecarpus anacardium nut extract induced changes in Enzymic antioxidants studied in aflatoxin B1 caused hepatocellular carcinoma bearing Wistar rats.  Pharmaceutical Biology, 35,161-166.


Premalatha, B., Sujatha V. and  Sachdanandam, P. (1997). Modulating effect of Semecarpus anacardium Linn. nut extract on glucose metabolizing enzymes aflatoxin B1 induced experimental hepatocellular carcinoma. Pharmacological Research, 36, 187-192.


Premalatha, B., Muthulakshmi, V., Vijayalakshmi T. and Sachdanandam, P. (1997). Protective role of Serankottai Nei, a Siddha preparation, on cell membranes, in aflatoxin B1 induced hepatocellular carcinoma bearing rats. Indian Drugs, 34, 385-389.


Premalatha, B., Thangaraju, M. and Sachdanandam, P. (1995). Influence of cyclophosphamide and vitamin E administration on the rate of lipid peroxidation in experimental fibrosarcoma in rats. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 18, 79-87.



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Scientific contributions


Research during doctoral program:

v       Semecarpus  anacardium  nut extract 

v       Widely used as an indigenous drug by Indian Medical Practitioners for the treatment of various diseases especially cancer and other inflammatory diseases.

v       But biochemical basis of its anticancer activity was unknown.

v       Anticarcinogenic potency of Semecarpus anacardium nut milk extract was studied using hepatocellular carcinoma as a cancer model in rats.

v       Extensive analysis was done to study its effect against biochemical abnormalities during cancer.

v       The drug modulates the abnormalities of all biochemical pathways including carbohydrate, lipid, cytochrome P-450 mediated microsomal drug metabolism, cancer markers and   membrane proteins during cancer progression.

v       The dramatic reduction in alpha-fetoprotein level, a specific marker of hepatocellular carcinoma was observed on treatment.

v       Anticancer efficacy was further confirmed by histopathological studies.

v       Our studies established the therapeutic efficacy of Semecarpus anacardium nut extract on hepatocellular carcinoma on solid grounds and have extensive potential to extend for clinical applications.

v       Around 16 research articles published from above work in reputed journals.

v       The information about the structure, properties, clinical uses, and toxicity of Semecarpus anacardium nuts were compiled from the available literature since 1903 and published as a review article.  


Research in Molecular Biology during Post doctoral Programs:

v       Extremely rare bacterial species called Bacteroides succinogenes  was isolated from cattle rumen fluid.

v       Cellulase gene from cellulolytic bacteria was isolated and cloned into non cellulolytic predominant rumen bacteria.

v       The clones were active in both in vivo and in vitro.

v       Biochemical aspects of amiloride sensitive epithelial sodium channels (EnaC) and its role were analyzed  in pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis and hypertension.

v       Functional abnormalities of epithelial sodium channels expressed in Sf9 insect cells were tudied.

v   Mammalian expression vectors carrying cDNAs of EnaC fused with cDNAs of green fluorescent protein were constructed and expressed in various mammalian cell lines to understand the stability, trafficking and regulation of EnaC.


Research at National center for Natural Products center, University of Mississippi:

v       Various constituents of several of the popular herbal supplements available in the current US market were determined and standard measurements are developed as an estimate of the quality of these herbal products.

v       The ingredients within an herbal supplement that is responsible for accentuating the toxicity and diminishing the therapeutic efficacy are identified.

v       Correlation of the structure-toxicity studies have been evaluated.

v       Experiments are designed to eliminate toxic principles from a health supplement so as to reduce the overall dose in bringing the same amount efficacy.

v       New anti-inflammatory compound has been isolated and its in vitro activities are being estimated.

v       Suitable animal models have been developed to study in vivo immunostimulatory properties of active constituents of herbal extracts and immune parameters are identified.

v       Pilot clinical trials have been designed and conducted on Immune active preparations isolated in our laboratory.

v       The parameters modulated by these herbal drugs are identified and assays are being carried out for their quantitative determination.


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v       Serving in the reviewer panel of Journal of Natural Products, Planta medica, Life Sciences, Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology etc.

v       Gold Medalist at undergraduate examination.

v       Recipient of Merit Certificate from Royal Society of Chemistry (London).

v       Member of Society of Biological Chemists (India).

v       Member of American Society of Pharmacognosy.


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Research Experience


September, 2002 to till date

National Center for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi


v    Designing and performing clinical trials on immune stimulants and identifying  parameters modulated by these immune active substances.

v    Developing animal models (mice) to study immunostimulatory properties of herbs and their active principles.

v    Determination of Immune Cells trafficking and identification and their quantification using various antibodies by flow cytometry.

v    Cytokine quantification at protein level by ELISA and at mRNA level by RT-PCR.

v    Immune Cell isolation by enzymatic dissociation of various tissues from mouse and characterization.

v    Isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and peritoneal cells and analysis of their cytokine production.


v    Identification of novel anti-inflammatory compounds from botanicals.

v    Determination of mechanism of their anti-inflammatory action. (e.g. NFkB inhibition)

Cytotoxicity and apoptosis:

v    Whole cell viability assays in mammalian cell lines.

v    Screening of cytotoxic and apoptotic activities from herbal compounds/extracts/products.

v    Determination of structure activity relationship of pure compounds isolated from herbal drugs.

v         Purification of plant materials by chromatographic techniques.

v         Reporter gene assays.


November, 2000 to April, 2002


Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

v   Characterization of amiloride sensitive sodium channels expressed in Sf9 insect cells.

v   Channel properties analysis by patch clamp techniques.

v   Cloning and expression of Sodium channel subunits in mammalian cell lines.

v   Protein trafficking analysis by using GFP tagged protein.

v   Protein purification by gel filtration and affinity chromatography techiniques.

v   Protein separation and identification by Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and western blotting.

v   Determination of protein stability and degradation pathway.



May 1999- September 2000


Department of Animal biotechnology, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai.

v   Isolation of anaerobic bacteria from rumen fluid.

v   Isolation of cellulolytic gene from cellulolytic bacteria.

v   Cloning of cellulolytic gene into noncellulolytic bacteria.





Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Madras, Taramani campus, Chennai.

v   Development of animal models (rats) to study anticancer potential of Siddha drug.

v   Assays on enzymes involved in carbohydrate, protein, lipid metabolism.

v   Isolation of liver microsomes and enzyme activity determination of drug metabolizing enzymes.



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Research Expertise


Clinical experiments: Designing of clinical experiments, Dose and time response studies, Selection of suitable immune modulating parameters, Isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, Total-, PMN-, Monocyte Phagocytosis by flow cytometry, Natural killer cell cytotoxicity assay.

Animal handling (Mice and rats): Maintenance, dose and time response studies, monitoring animal behavior, food and water intake, administration of drugs by various routes, fine tissue removal (e.g. Peyerıs patches), collection of body fluids including peritoneal fluid, bone marrow processing.

Immunology: ELISA, immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, isolation of immune cells from various tissues by enzymatic dissociation, PBMC isolation from human blood, immune cell identification by antibody staining, quantification, determination of cellular trafficking.

Molecular biology: Isolation of DNA, RNA, cloning and mammalian cell transfection, protein expression in mammalian and insect cells, protein purification by various chromatographical methods viz., size exclusion, ion-exchange, affinity, PAGE, agarose gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, RT-PCR, RNAse protection assay.

Cell culture techniques: Mammalian and insect cell maintenance and transfection using various methods, cell based assays and multiplex assays for cytotoxicity and apoptosis, nuclear staining, gene reporter assays.

Biochemistry: General biochemical assays, enzyme assays, isolation of microsomes and assessment of microsomal enzymes activity.

Microbiology: Isolation of rare bacteria, maintenance, propagation.

Radiolabeling: Making DNA probes and RNase Protection assay.

Statistics: Studentıs t test, Repeated measures t test (paired, unpaired, one-tailed, two-tailed)




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Last revised date: 18th October 2007