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Profile: Gomika Udugamasooriya

D. Gomika Udugamasooriya photo
Gomika Udugamasooriya, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Department of Pharmacological and Pharmaceutical Sciences
542F  Science and Research Building 2
Houston, TX 77204-5037
713-743-1229 (fax)


Post-Doctoral Fellow at UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA (2006-2009). Advisor: Prof. Thomas J. Kodadek

Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Department of Chemistry, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA (2006). Advisor: Prof. Mark R. Spaller

B.Sc. in Chemistry Special, Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka (1999). Advisor: Prof. Dilip De Silva

Research Interests

  • Combinatorial chemistry
  • Peptoids and peptidomimetics
  • Cancer therapy-diagnostic tool development
  • Cancer and cancer stem cell biology research


  • PCOL 6345 Drug design and discovery
  • PHAR 5302 Medicinal Chemistry I
  • PHAR 4134 Chemical functional group analysis

Invited Talks

"Unbiased combinatorial approach for targeting non-conventional biomarkers in cancer," Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, Florida, USA, 2017.

"Peptoid-combinatorial strategies to target non-protein biomarkers in the tumor microenvironment," Global Conference on Biochemistry, Glycomics & Amino Acids, San Antonio, Texas, USA, 2016.

"Unbiased combinatorial approach for targeting non-conventional biomarkers in cancer," University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA, 2016.

"Novel peptidomimetics based cancer therapy-diagnostic tool developments," University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2016.

"Peptoid-Combinatorial Strategies for Therapy-Diagnostic Tool Developments," 9th Peptoid International Meeting, Molecular Foundry, University of California-Berkeley, California, USA, 2015.

"Peptoid-combinatorial Strategies to Target Nonprotein Biomarkers in the Tumor Microenvironment," Drug Discovery and Therapeutic World Congress, Boston, USA, 2015.

"Peptoid-combinatorial strategies to target biomarkers in the tumor microenvironment," University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA, 2014.

"Novel peptoid-combinatorial strategies to target protein as well as non-protein biomarkers in the tumor microenvironment," 248th American Chemical Society International Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA, 2014

"Simple Chemical Approaches for Effective Cancer Therapy – Diagnostic Tool Development," Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA, 2014

"Peptidomimetics for Effective Cancer Therapy Development," University of Houston, Houston TX, USA, 2014

"Simple Chemical Approaches for Effective Cancer Therapy – Diagnostic Tool Development," Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA, 2014

"Combinatorial Chemical‐Biology Strategies for Cancer Specific Drug‐Lead Development," University of Tennessee – Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, 2014

"Combinatorial methods for contrast agent developments," University of Texas ‐ Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA, 2014.

"Peptoid-Combinatorial Strategies for Cancer Therapy-Diagnostic Tool Developments," DFW Young Investigator talk, University of Texas - Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA, 2014.

"Peptoid-combinatorial strategies to target protein as well as non-protein biomarkers in the tumor microenvironment," American Chemical Society - Southwestern Regional meeting: tumor microenvironment session, Waco, Texas, USA, 2013.

"Peptoid-combinatorial strategies for molecular imaging tool developments," American Chemical Society - Southwestern Regional meeting: Molecular Imaging & Reporter strategies session, Waco, Texas, USA, 2013.

"Peptoid-combinatorial approaches for therapeutic and imaging applications in cancer," Prostate Cancer Symposium: Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA, 2013

"Cancer Specific Lipid-Binding Peptoids," 8th Peptoid International Meeting, University of California-Berkeley, California, USA, 2012.

"Peptoid Combinatorial Technology," Targeting the Beta Cell for Therapeutics & Imaging Workshop, JDRF Headquarters, New York, New York, USA, 2011.

"Fighting with Death: Peptidomimetic Approaches in Anti‐Cancer Drug Development," University of Texas - Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA, 2011.

"Development of peptidomimetics for therapeutic and imaging applications in cancer," University of Texas – Dallas, Dallas, TX, USA, 2011.

"Fighting with Death: Modern Approaches in Anti‐Cancer Drug Development," Challenges Facing and Future Dreams, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2011

"Natural Pharmaceuticals: Time to Integrate with Synthetic Drugs," Global Forum for Sri Lankan Scientists (organized jointly by NSF and Ministry of Science & Technology), Colombo, Sri Lanka, 2011.

"Filling the gap: Peptidomimetics for targeted imaging," UT‐Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA, 2011.

"Development of Peptidomimetic Ligands for Targeted Imaging and Therapeutic Applications in Cancer," University of Texas - Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA, 2010.

"Unbiased Selection of Peptoids for Combating Cancer," 7th Peptoid International Meeting, University of California - Berkeley, California, USA, 2010.

"A unique way to develop high specific peptidomimetics for cancer diagnostic and therapeutic applications," Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology - UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA, 2010.

"Developing a novel method for the rapid isolation of highly specific ligands for cell surface receptors," Young Investigator talk - 13th NHLBI Proteomics Investigators Meeting, Dallas, USA, 2009.

"Developing peptidomimetic ligands for therapeutic applications in cancer research," University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA, 2009.


  • Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Minna, J.D.; Raymond A. R.; "Composition and methods of targeting cancer stem cells"(62396274).
  • Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Brekken, R.A.; "Cancer specific lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) targeted peptidomimetics as universal cancer therapeutics" (UHID 2015-070).
  • Brekken, R.A.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; “Targeting Fibulin-5 as an anti-cancer strategy” (UTSD.P2852US.P1)
  • Kodadek, T.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Brekken, R.A.; "High Affinity VEGF-Receptor Antagonists” (8334239).
  • Kodadek, T.; Gocke, A.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; “Peptoid ligands for Isolation and Treatment of Autoimmune T Cells” (UTSD.P2121US).

Selected Publications

Singh. J.; Shukla, S.P.; Desai, T.J.; Udugamasooriya. D.G.; Identification of the minimum pharmacophore of lipid-phospatidylserine (PS) binding peptide-peptoid hybrid PPS1D1, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2016 Sep 15;24(18):4470-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2016.07.045. PMID: 27485601

Singh. J.; Lopes. D.; Udugamasooriya. D.G.; Development of a Large Peptoid-DOTA Combinatorial Library, Biopolymers. 2016, 106(5), 673–684.

Desai, T.J, Toombs, J.E.,  Minna, J.D., Brekken, R.A., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Identification of lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) as the target of unbiasedly selected cancer specific peptide-peptoid hybrid PPS1, Oncotarget, 2016, 7(21), 30678-30690.

Matharage, J.M., Minna, J.D., Brekken, R.A., Udugamasooriya, D.G., Unbiased Selection of Peptide-Peptoid Hybrids Specific for Lung Cancer Compared to Normal Lung Epithelial Cells; ACS Chem Biol. 2015, 10(12), 2891-9.

Udugamasooriya, D.G.. Peptoids: An emerging class of peptidomimetics for cancer therapy and diagnostics. J Biomolecular Research & Therapeutics (editorial), 2013, 3(1), e121.

Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Kodadek, T.; On-Bead Two-Color (OBTC) Cell Screen for Direct Identification of Highly Selective Cell Surface Receptor Ligands; Current protocols in chemical biology, 2012, 4, 35-48.

Hooks, J.C.; Matharage, J.P.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Development of Homomultimers and Heteromultimers of Lung Cancer Specific Peptoids; Biopolymers-Peptide Science, 2011, 96(5), 567-577.

Napolitano, R.; Soesbe, T.C.; De León‐Rodríguez, L.M.; Sherry, A.D.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; On bead combinatorial synthesis and imaging of CEST‐MRI agents to identify factors that influence water exchange, J. Amer. Chem. Soc 2011, 133, 13023-30.

Lynn, K.D.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Roland, C.L.; Castrillon, D.H.; Kodadek, T.J.; Brekken, R.A.; GU81, a VEGFR2 antagonist peptoid, enhances the anti-tumor activity of doxorubicin in the murine MMTV-PyMT transgenic model of breast cancer, BMC Cancer, 2010, 10(1), 397.

De León‐Rodríguez, L. M.; Lubag, A.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Sun, X.; Kodadek,T.; Sherry, A.D.; MRI detection of VEGFR2 in vivo using a low molecular weight peptoid-(Gd)8-dendron for targeting J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132(37), 12829-31.

Lee, J.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Lim, H.S.; Kodadek, T.; Potent and Selective Photo-inactivation of Proteins with Peptoid-Ruthenium Conjugates; Nature Chemical Biology, 2010, 6, 258-260.

Rubini C.; Ruzza P.; Spaller M.R.; Siligardi G.; Hussain R.; Udugamasooriya D.G.; Bellanda M.; Mammi S.; Borgogno A.; Calderan A.; Cesaro L.; Brunati A.M.; Donella-Deana A.; Recognition of lysine-rich peptide ligands by murine cortactin SH3 domain: CD, ITC and NMR studies; Biopolymers, 2010, 94(3), 298-306.

Gocke, A.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Archer, C; Lee, J.; Kodadek, T.; Isolation of Antagonists of Antigen-Specific Autoimmune T Cell Proliferation; Chemistry and Biology, 2009, 16(11):1133-9.

Roland C.L.; Lynn K.D.; Toombs J.E.; Dineen S.P.; Udugamasooriya D.G.; Brekken R.A.; Cytokine levels correlate with immune cell infiltration after anti-VEGF therapy in preclinical mouse models of breast cancer; PLoS One, 2009, 4(11), e7669.

Muders, M.H.; Wang, L., Dutta; S.K., Wang, E.; Ikeda, Y.; Udugamasooriya; D.G.; Memic, A.; Rupasinghe, C.; Baretton, G.; Datta, D.; Simons, M.; Spaller, M.R.; Mukhopadhyay, D.; GIPC/Synectin as a New Target in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment; Clinical Cancer Research, 2009, 15(12), 4095-103.

Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Ritchie, C.; Brekken, R.A.; Kodadek, T.; A Peptoid Antagonist of  VEGF Receptor 2 Recognizes A “Hotspot” In the Extracellular Domain Distinct From The Hormone-Binding Site; Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2008, 16(12), 6338-6343.

Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Dunham, G.; Ritchie, C.; Brekken, R.A.; Kodadek, T.; The Pharmacophore of a Peptoid VEGF Receptor 2 Antagonist Includes Both Side Chain and Main Chain Residues; Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Lett.,  2008, 18(22), 5892-5894.

Astle, J.M.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Smallshaw, J.E.; Kodadek, T.; A VEGFR2 antagonist and other peptoids evade immune recognition; Int J Pept Res Ther., 2008, 14, 223-227.

Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Dineen, S.P.; Brekken, R.A.; Kodadek T.; A Peptoid “Antibody Surrogate” That Antagonizes VEGF-VEGF Receptor 2 Interaction, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 5744-5752.

Shores, K.; Udugamasooriya; D.G.; Kodadek, T.; Knapp, D.R.; Use of peptoid libraries for low abundance protein enrichment in proteomic analysis, The Journal of Proteomic Research, 2008, 7(5), 1922–1931.

Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Spaller, M.R.; Conformational Constraint in Protein Ligand Design and the Inconsistency of Binding Entropy; Biopolymers, 2008, 89(8), 653-667.

Udugamasooriya, D.G.; Sharma, S.C.; Spaller, M.R.; A Parallel Chemistry Approach to Organic-Modified Peptide Ligands for PDZ Domain Proteins: A Synthetic, Thermodynamic and Structural Investigation; ChemBiochem 2008, 9(10), 1587-1589.

Udugamasooriya, G.; Saro, D.; Spaller, M.R.; Bridged Peptide Macrocycles as Ligands for PDZ Domain Proteins. Org. Lett. 2005, 7, 1203 -1206.

Deraniyagala, S.A.; Udugamasooriya, D.G.; De Silva, E.D.; Williams, D.E.; Anderson, R.J.; Rosmarinic Acid and Methyl Rosmarinate from Heliotropium indicum. J. Trop. Med. Plants, 2002, 3, 25-28.

Funding Support

UT-BRAIN seed grant (Co-PI): (09/01/15 – 08/31/17) - $100,000

National Institute of Health (NIH):
RO1 (PI): 1R01CA175779-01 - (04/01/2013 – 03/31/2018) - $207,500/Yr

Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT):
RP130258-Individual Investigator Award (PI): (02/01/2014 – 01/31/2017) - $258,538/Yr

Department of Defense (DOD):
11115013 (Co-PI): (05/01/2014 – 04/31/2017) - $75,000/Yr

Service, Appointments and Memberships

Editorial Appointments

  • Editorial board member, The Journal of Biomolecular Research & Therapeutics
  • Reviewer, Chem Soc Rev
  • Reviewer, ACS Chemical Biology
  • Reviewer, European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
  • Reviewer, Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry
  • Reviewer, Biopolymers: Peptide Science
  • Reviewer, Molecular Biosystems


  • The American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
  • Phi Lambda Upsilon - Alpha Psi chapter (Honorary Chemical Society)

Awards & Honors

  • Career Development Award – UTSW SPORE Lung Cancer Excellence Award - 2010
  • First prize, – UTMetroplex day poster competition held on February 2008 at UT-Southwestern Medical center at Dallas, Texas
  • Merit award from the UK Royal Society for the second most intelligent inter-university Chemistry student in Sri Lanka (1999)
  • University of Colombo (UOC) studentship for best performance in Biology in Sri Lanka (1996)
  • Dr. C.L. De Silva Memorial Award for the highest GPA in Chemistry at UOC in Sri Lanka (1996-1997)
  • W. F. Peiris Memorial Fellowship, Institute of Chemistry, Sri Lanka (1995-1996)