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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

Beckham TH, Elojeimy S, Cheng JC, Turner LS, Hoffman SR, Norris JS, Liu X. (2010) Targeting sphingolipid metabolism in head and neck cancer: rational therapeutic potentials. Expert Opin Ther Targets 14(5):529-39. PMID: 20334489

Sauane M, Su ZZ, Dash R, Liu X, Norris JS, Sarkar D, Lee SG, Allegood JC, Dent P, Spiegel S, Fisher PB. (2010) Ceramide plays a prominent role in MDA-7/IL-24-induced cancer-specific apoptosisJ Cell Physiol 222(3):546-55. PMID: 19937735

Mahdy AE, Cheng JC, Li J, Elojeimy S, Meacham WD, Turner LS, Bai A, Gault CR, McPherson AS, Garcia N, Beckham TH, Saad A, Bielawska A, Bielawski J, Hannun YA, Keane TE, Taha MI, Hammouda HM, Norris JS, Liu X. (2009) Acid ceramidase upregulation in prostate cancer cells confers resistance to radiation: AC inhibition, a potential radiosensitizer. Mol Ther 17(3):430-8. PMID: 19107118

Liu X, Cheng JC, Turner LS, Elojeimy S, Beckham TH, Bielawska A, Keane TE, Hannun YA, Norris JS. (2009) Acid ceramidase upregulation in prostate cancer: role in tumor development and implications for therapy. Expert Opin Ther Targets 13(12):1449-58. Review. PMID: 19874262

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