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Department of Microbiology and Immunology

James Norris, PhD

Norris PictureEmeritus Professor
Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1971

Contact Info
Tel: 843-792-7915
Fax: 843-792-4882

Dr. Norris received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 197l. He did postdoctoral work as an NIH and ACS Fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Jack Gorski at the University of Illinois in the Department of Physiology-Biophysics and Peter Kohler, in the Reproductive Research Branch, NICHD. In 1973, he began his academia career as Instructor, in the Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine.  In 1977 he moved to the Departments of Medicine and Physiology/Biophysics, at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where he rose through the ranks to Associate Professor.  Dr. Norris moved to the Medical University of South Carolina in 1988 as Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  In 1996 he became Vice Chairman of the Department of Microbiology/Immunology and was Chairman from 2000-2010.  He has been on the editorial boards for the International Hormonal Carcinogenesis Symposium 1991-93; Cellular Pharmacology (Editorial Board) 1996-98; Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (Editorial Advisory Board) 2001-present; and Gene Therapy & Molecular Biology (Editorial Board) 2007 – present.  Since 1998, he has been on the International Society of Cancer Gene Therapy Council, President of the International Society of Cancer Gene Therapy (2005-2006); Councilor for the American Society of Microbiology Chairs (2006-2008), and currently, belongs to AAAS; American Society of Cell Biology; British Association for Cancer Research; American Society for Microbiology; American Association for Cancer Research; British Society for Gene Therapy; Society for Basic Urological Research; American Society of Gene Therapy; International Society for Cancer Gene Therapy; American Urological Association (associate) and American Chemical Society.  He has served on numerous NIH/DOD/NCI review panels.

Research Interests

Our lab research efforts are focused on sphingolipids, pancreatic/prostate cancer, acid ceramidase, mitochondriotropic ceramides, lysomotropic acid ceramidase inhibitors. Dr. Norris is one of the founders of a small biotech company, SphingoGene, Inc.

Recent Publications | Additional Publications

Blocking Myristoylation of Src Inhibits Its Kinase Activity and Suppresses Prostate Cancer Progression.
Kim S, Alsaidan OA, Goodwin O, Li Q, Sulejmani E, Han Z, Bai A, Albers T, Beharry Z, Zheng YG, Norris JS, Szulc ZM, Bielawska A, Lebedyeva I, Pegan SD, Cai H.
Cancer Res. 2017 Dec 15;77(24):6950-6962. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-17-0981. Epub 2017 Oct 16.

Acid Ceramidase Deficiency is characterized by a unique plasma cytokine and ceramide profile that is altered by therapy.
Dworski S, Lu P, Khan A, Maranda B, Mitchell JJ, Parini R, Di Rocco M, Hugle B, Yoshimitsu M, Magnusson B, Makay B, Arslan N, Guelbert N, Ehlert K, Jarisch A, Gardner-Medwin J, Dagher R, Terreri MT, Lorenco CM, Barillas-Arias L, Tanpaiboon P, Solyom A, Norris JS, He X, Schuchman EH, Levade T, Medin JA.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 Feb;1863(2):386-394. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2016.11.031. Epub 2016 Dec 1.

Tissue biomarkers of drug efficacy: case studies using a MALDI-MSI workflow.
Jones EE, Gao P, Smith CD, Norris JS, Drake RR.
Bioanalysis. 2015;7(20):2611-9. doi: 10.4155/bio.15.174. Epub 2015 Oct 27.

Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor 2 Regulates the Migration, Proliferation, and Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells.
Price ST, Beckham TH, Cheng JC, Lu P, Liu X, Norris JS.
Int J Stem Cell Res Ther. 2015;2(2). pii: 014. Epub 2015 Dec 2.

Research Support

P01 CA203628 (PI: Ogretmen)                                                                                         4/1/2016-3/31/2021
Development of Novel Cancer Therapeutics by Targeting Sphingolipid Signaling
Voelkel-Johnson Project 1: Acid Ceramidase-S1P Metabolic Axis and Regulation of Tumor Resistance to Apoptosis
Role: Co-I


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