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Zoran Rankovic, PhD

Zoran Rankovic, PhD

  • Director, CBT Chemistry Centers

Departments

Education

PhD – Leeds University, United Kingdom
BSc – University of Belgrade, Serbia

Research Interests

  • Medicinal Chemistry: design and development of small molecule probes to interrogate novel therapeutic targets and biological pathways for the treatment of pediatric cancers.
  • Targeted Protein Degradation: synthesis and biological evaluation of PROTACs and Molecular Glues. 
  • CNS Drug Design: Brain exposure assessment and optimization of chemical probes for CNS targets.

Selected Publications

Jaeki Min, Anand Mayasundari, Fatemeh Keramatnia, Barbara Jonchere, Seung Wook Yang, Jamie A. Jarusiewicz, Marisa Actis, Sourav Das, Brandon M. Young, Peter J. Slavish, Lei Yang, Yong Li, Xiang Fu, Shalandus H. Garrett, Mi-Kyung Yun, Zhenmei Li, Stanley Nithianantham, Sergio C. Chai, Taosheng Chen, Anang A. Shelat, Richard E. Lee, Gisele Nishiguchi, Stephen W. White, Martine F. Roussel, Patrick Ryan Potts, Marcus Fischer, Zoran Rankovic. Phenyl-Glutarimides: Alternative Cereblon Binders for the Design of PROTACs with Improved Chemical Stability and Degradation Efficiency. Angewandte Chem. Int. Ed. 2021. DOI: 10.1002/anie.202108848.

Gisele A. Nishiguchi, Fatemeh Keramatnia, Jaeki Min, Jeanine Price, Divyabharathi Chepyala, Brandon Young, Kevin McGowan, Jake Slavish, Anand Mayasundari, Jamie Jarusiewicz, Marisa Actis, Lei Yang, Yong Li, Xiang Fu, Shalandus H. Garrett, Sourav Das, Yunchao Chang, Barbara Jonchere, James B. Papizan, Kiran Kodali, Junmin Peng, Shondra M. Pruett-Miller, Martine F. Roussel, Charles Mullighan, Marcus Fischer, Zoran Rankovic. Identification of Potent, Selective, and Orally Bioavailable Small-Molecule GSPT1/2 Degraders from a Focused Library of Cereblon Modulators. J. Med. Chemistry. 2021, 26, 1060-1069.

Yunchao Chang, Jaeki Min, Jamie A. Jarusiewicz, Marisa Actis, Shanshan Yu, Anand Mayasundari, Lei Yang, Divyabharathi Chepyala, Lisa Alcock, Kathryn G. Roberts, Stanley Nithianantham, Dylan Maxwell, Lauren Rowland, Randolph Larsen, Aman Seth, Hiroaki Goto, Toshihiko Imamura, Koshi Akahane, Baranda S. Hansen, Kanisha Kavdia, Vishwajeeth Pagala, Anthony High, Shondra M. Pruett-Miller, Junmin Peng, Elisabeth Paietta, Mark R. Litzow, Chunxu Qu, Jun J. Yang,  Marcus Fischer, Zoran Rankovic, Charles G. Mullighan. Degradation of Janus kinases in CRLF2-rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Blood, 2021DOI: 10.1182/blood.2020006846. 

Brandon M. Young, Paolo Rossi, P. Jake Slavish, Yixin Cui, Munia Sowaileh, Jitendra Das, Charalampos G. Kalodimos, and Zoran Rankovic. Synthesis of Isotopically Labeled, Spin-Isolated Tyrosine and Phenylalanine for Protein NMR Applications. Org. Lett. 2021, 23, 6288–6292. 

Chen He, Ke Xu, Xiaoyan Zhu, Paige S. Dunphy, Brian Gudenas, Wenwei Lin, Nathaniel Twarog, Laura D. Hover, Chang-Hyuk Kwon, Lawryn H. Kasper, Junyuan Zhang, Xiaoyu Li, James Dalton, Barbara Jonchere, Kimberly S. Mercer, Duane G. Currier, William Caufield, Yingzhe Wang, Jia Xie, Alberto Broniscer, Cynthia Wetmore, Santhosh A. Upadhyaya, Ibrahim Qaddoumi, Paul Klimo, Frederick Boop, Amar Gajjar, Jinghui Zhang, Brent A. Orr, Giles W. Robinson, Michelle Monje, Burgess B. Freeman III, Martine F. Roussel, Paul A. Northcott, Taosheng Chen, Zoran Rankovic, Gang Wu, Jason Chiang, Christopher L. Tinkle, Anang A. Shelat and Suzanne J. Baker. Patient-derived models recapitulate heterogeneity of molecular signatures and drug response in pediatric high-grade glioma. Nat. Commun. 2021, 12, 4089. 

Santanu Hati, Marisa Zallocchi, Robert Hazlitt, Yuju Li, Sarath Vijayakumar, Jaeki Min, Zoran Rankovic, Sándor Lovas, Jian Zuo. AZD5438-PROTAC: A selective CDK2 degrader that protects against cisplatin- and noise-induced hearing loss. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2021, 226, 113849. 

Gisele Nishiguchi, Sourav Das, Jason Ochoada, Heather Long, Richard E. Lee, Zoran Rankovic, and Anang A.Shelat. Evaluating and evolving a screening library in academia: the St Jude approach. Drug Disc. Today, 2021, 26, 1060-1069. 

Qiong Wu, Wenwei Lin, Zhen-Mei Li, Zoran Rankovic, Stephen W.White, Taosheng Chen, JunYang. A protocol for high-throughput screening of histone lysine demethylase 4 inhibitors using TR-FRET assay. iScience, 2021, 24, 101996. 

Seung Wook Yang, Xin Huang, Wenwei Lin, Jaeki Min, Darcie J. Miller, Anand Mayasundari, Patrick Rodrigues, Elizabeth C. Griffith, Clifford T. Gee, Wei Li, Richard E. Lee, Zoran Rankovic, Taosheng Chen, and Patrick Ryan Potts. Structural basis for substrate recognition and chemical inhibition of oncogenic MAGE ubiquitin ligases. Nat. Commun. 2020, 11, 4931. 

Freeman B, Lei Y, Rankovic Z. Evaluation and optimization of brain exposure in early drug discovery. Eu J Med Chem 182, 2019.

Ling T, Maier J, Das S, Budhraja A, Bassett R, Potts MB, Shelat A, Rankovic Z, Opferman J, Rivas F. Identification of substituted 5-membered heterocyclic compounds as potential anti-leukemic agents. Eur J Med Chem 164:391-398, 2019.

Teitz T, Bonga J, Fang J, Diao S, Iconaru L, Yang L, Currier D, Chen T, Min J, Rankovic Z, Zuo J. Development of Second-Generation CDK2 Inhibitors for the Prevention of Cisplatin-Induced Hearing Loss. J Med Chem 61:7700-7709, 2018.

Rankovic Z. CNS Physicochemical Property Space Shaped by a Diverse Set of Molecules with Experimentally Determined Exposure in the Mouse Brain. J Med Chem 60:5943-5954, 2017. (Faculty of 1000 Recommended)

Rankovic Z, Brust TF, Bohn LM. Biased agonism: An emerging paradigm in GPCR drug discovery. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 26:241-250, 2016. (Among the journal top 10 most cited articles - since 2014)

Rankovic Z. CNS drug design: balancing physicochemical properties for optimal brain exposure. J Med Chem  58:2585-2608, 2015. (Among top 10 most downloaded articles from the journal over a 12-month period; Recognised by J Med Chem as a “Highly cited perspective of 2015”; Faculty of 1000 Recommended)

Ray P, Wright J, Adam J, Boucharens S, Black D, Brown A, Epemolu O, Fletcher D, Haunso A, Huggett M, Laats S, Lyons A, Mestres J, de Man J, Morphy R, Rankovic Z, Sherborne B, Sherry L, van Straten N, Westwood P, Zaman G. Fragment Based Discovery of 6-Substituted Isoquinolin-1-amine Based ROCK-I Inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 21:97-101, 2011.

Jamieson C, Basten S, Campbell RA, Cumming IA, Gillen KJ, Gillespie J, Kazemier B, Kiczun M, Lamont Y, Lyons AJ, Maclean JKF, Moir EM, Morrow JA, Papakosta M, Rankovic Z, Smith L. Structure Based Evolution of a Novel Series of Positive Modulators of the AMPA Receptor. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 21:805-811, 2011.

Haahr A, Rankovic Z, Hartley RC. A one-pot procedure for methylenating carbonyl compounds using the Nysted reagent and titanocene dichloride. Tetrahedron Letters  52:3020-3022, 2011.

Grove S, Jamieson C, Morrow J, Rankovic Z. AMPA receptor modulators. J Med Chem 53:7271-7279, 2010.

Jamieson C, Basten S, Campbell RA, Cumming IA, Gillen KJ, Gillespie J, Kazemier B, Kiczun M, Lamont Y, Lyons AJ, Maclean JKF, Moir EM, Morrow JA, Papakosta M, Rankovic Z, Smith L. A Novel Series of Positive Modulators of the AMPA Receptor: Structure Based Lead Optimization. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:6072-6075, 2010.

Jamieson C, Basten S, Campbell RA, Cumming IA, Gillen KJ, Gillespie J, Kazemier B, Kiczun M, Lamont Y, Lyons AJ, Maclean JKF, Moir EM, Morrow JA, Papakosta M, Rankovic Z, Smith L. A Novel Series of Positive Modulators of the AMPA Receptor: Discovery & Structure Based Hit to Lead Studies. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:5753-5756, 2010.

Rankovic Z, Cai J, Kerr J, Fradera X, Robinson J, Mistry A, Hamilton E, McGarry G, Caulfield W, Cumming I, Dempster M, Waller J, Scullion P, Martin I, Mitchell A, Long C, Uitdehaag J, van Zeeland M, et al. Optimisation of 2-cyano-6-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)-pyrimidine inhibitors of cathepsin K: Increasing selectivity over hERG. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:6237-6241, 2010.

Rankovic Z, Cai J, Baugh M, Black D, Long C, Bennett DJ, Dempster M, Fradera X, Gillespie J, Andrews F, Boucharens S, Bruin J, Cameron KS, Cumming I, Hamilton W, Jones PS, Kaptein A, Kinghorn E, Maidment M, Martin I, Mitchell A, Robinson J, Scullion P, Uitdehaag JCM, Vink P, Westwood P, van Zeeland M, van Berkom L, Bastiani M, Meulemans T. 6-Phenyl-1H-imidazo[4,5-c]pyridine-4-carbonitrile as cathepsin S inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:4350-4354, 2010.

Rankovic Z, Cai J, Bennett DJ, Dempster M, Fradera X, Gillespie J, Cumming I, Finlay W, Baugh M, Boucharens S, Bruin J, Cameron KS, Hamilton W, Kerr J, Kinghorn E, McGarry G, Robinson J, Scullion P, Uitdehaag JCM, van Zeeland M, Potin D, Saniere L, Fouquet A, Chevallier F, Deronzier H, Dorleans C, Nicolai E. 2-Phenyl-9H-purine-6-carbonitrile derivatives as selective cathepsin S inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:4447-4450, 2010.

Rankovic Z. Drug discovery at the beginning of a new decade – It can only get better…!? Drug Discovery 6:9, 2010.

Reid M, Carlyle I, Caulfield WL, Cusick F, Epemolu O, Gilfillan R, Goodwin R, Jaap D, O’Donnell E, Presland J, Rankovic Z, Spinks D, Spinks G, Thomson A, Thomson F, Strain J, Wishart G. The Discovery and SAR of Indoline-3-carboxamides – A New Series of 5-HT6 Antagonists. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:3713-3716, 2010.

Rankovic Z, Cai J, Kerr J, Fradera X, Robinson J, Mistry A, Hamilton E, McGarry G, Andrews F, Caulfield W, Cumming I, Dempster M, Waller J, Scullion P, Martin I, Mitchell A, Long C, Baugh M, Westwood P, Kinghorn E, Bruin J, Hamilton W, Uitdehaag J, van Zeeland M, et al. Design and optimisation of a series of novel 2-cyano-pyrimidines as cathepsin K inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:1524-1527, 2010.

Rankovic Z, Cai J, Fradera X, Dempster M, Mistry A, Mitchell A, Long L, Hamilton E, King A, Jamieson C, Gillespie J, Cumming I, Uitdehaag J, van-Zeeland M, et al. Dioxo-triazines as a novel series of cathepsin K inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 20:1488-1490, 2010.

Rankovic Z, Morphy R. Designing Multiple Ligands – Medicinal Chemistry Strategies and Challenges. Current Pharmaceutical Design 15:587-600, 2009.

Malkov AV, Westwater MM, A Gutnov, Ramírez-López P, Friscourt F, Kadlčíková A, Hodačová J, Rankovic Z, Kotora M, Kočovský P. New pyridine N-oxides as chiral organocatalysts in the asymmetric allylation of aromatic aldehydes. Tetrahedron 64:11335-11348, 2008.

Morphy R, Rankovic Z. Fragments, network biology and designing multiple ligads. Drug Discovery Today 12:156-160, 2007.

Rankovic Z, Jamieson C, Moir EM, Wishart G. Medicinal chemistry of hERG optimizations: Highlights and hang-ups. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 49(17):5029-5046, 2006.

Morphy R, Rankovic Z. The physicochemical challenges of designing multiple ligands. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 49(16):4961-4970, 2006.

Morphy R, Rankovic Z. Designed multiple ligands – An emerging paradigm in Drug Discovery. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 48(21):6523-6543, 2005.

Cai J, Jamieson C, Moir J, Rankovic Z. Cathepsin K inhibitors. Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents 15:33-48, 2005.

Last update: October 2021