Dr. Cijo George Vazhappilly is an Assistant Professor in the Biotechnology Department, teaching several graduate courses including University Biology and Genetics and Stem Cell Biology. Prior to joining AURAK, Dr. Cijo worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at The University of Texas, USA and Dalhousie University, Canada. He also worked as a researcher at the University of Sharjah, UAE where he focused on identifying and developing potent molecules as anti-cancer agents. Dr. Cijo has authored and co-authored multiple peer-reviewed scientific articles and presented his works at many national and international conferences.
Dr. Cijo’s academic career is decorated with several reputable awards. He received a CSIR-SRF Fellowship for doctorial research (Ph.D.) by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) organization, New Delhi, India in 2013, he was awarded as an “Outstanding Reviewer” for the journal Cancer Letters in 2016, he received the SERB-National Post Doctoral Fellowship by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), India in 2016, and a Mitacs Accelerate- Post Doctoral Internship for “An antioxidant nutraceutical from apple peels” by Mitacs, Canada in 2016.
He received his PhD in Cancer Biology from Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT University), India, in 2014, his Masters in Science in Biotechnology from Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, India in 2009, and his Bachelors of Science from Bangalore University, Bangalore, India in 2007.
His research focuses on developing and identifying novel potent molecules either from natural or synthetic origins as anti-cancer agents. He is also working on developing potent inhibitors that can target proteins that are over-expressed in different signaling pathways associated with tumor malignancy. His areas of research include identifying new inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatases, studying molecular mechanism of toxins on DNA damage and repair process, using natural products to study vascular leakage of endothelium, regulation of epigenetic alterations and the role in genomic stability of cancer, and natural products for cancer chemoprevention. Two of his research studies have received funding: “Isolation, characterization and validation of bioactive compounds from Annonamuricata for their in vitro selective role in cervical tumor inhibition” with DST-SERB, India in 2016 was approved for 10,000 USD and “New inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP2) as potential anticancer compounds” with the University of Sharjah, Sharjah was approved for 22,000 USD in 2018. Dr. Cijo is also the recipient of seed research grant from Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for the year 2019 on the project entitled “Resisting Antibiotic Resistance in Ras Al Khaimah”.
- Taleb Al Tal; Raafat El-Awady; Vunnam Srinivasulu; Cijo George Vazhappilly; Hany Omar, Novel Heterocyclic Systems and Pharmaceutical compositions thereof; US PATENT; Reg. No. 15/935,155; March 26, 2018.
- Anoop Bhaskaran Sathyabhama, Jayesh Puthumana, Vrinda Sukumaran, V. Cijo George, Rosamma Philip and Isaac Sarojini Bright Singh. A novel approach of transdction of recombinant baculovirus in to cells derived from lymphoid organ of shrimp for developing continuous cell lines. Marine Biotechnology, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10126-021-10043-6
- Dana M. Zaher, Wafaa S. Ramadan, Raafat El-Awady, Hany A. Omar, Fatema Hersi, Vunnam Srinivasulu, Ibrahim Y. Hachim, Farah I. Almarzooq, V. Cijo George, Salim Merali, Carmen Merali, Nelson C. Soares, Paul Schilf, Saleh M. Ibrahim, Taleb H. Al-Tel*. A Novel benzopyrane derivative targeting cancer cell metabolic and survival pathways. Cancers, 2021, 13, 2840
- V. Cijo George*, Rawad Hodeify, Shoib Sarwar Siddiqui, Amina Mohammed Jamal Laham, Varsha Menon, Raafat El-Awady, Rachel Matar, Maxime Merheb, John Marton, Hussain Abdel Karim Al Zouabi and Rajan Radhakrishnan. Natural compound catechol induces DNA damage, apoptosis and G1 cell cycle arrest in breast cancer cells. Phytotherapy Research, 2021, 35, 2185-2199
- V. Cijo George*, Madumani Amararathna, Asha Caroline Cyril, Rebecca Linger, Rachel Matar, Maxime Merheb, Wafaa S Ramadan, Rajan Radhakrishnan and H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe. Current methodologies to refine bioavailability, delivery, and therapeutic efficacy of plant flavonoids in cancer treatment. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2021.108623
- Anoop B.S, Jayesh Puthumana, V. Cijo George, Salini Kombiyil, Rosamma Philip, Anas Abdulaziz and Isaac Sarojini Bright Singh. Immortalization of shrimp lymphoid cells by hybridizing with the continuous cell line Sf9 leading to the development of ‘PmLyO-Sf9’. Fish and Shellfish Immunology, 2021, 113, 196-207.
- Sofia Rahman, Shimy Mathew, Pooja Nair, Wafaa Ramadan, V. Cijo George*. Health benefits of cyanidin-3-glucoside as a potent modulator of Nrf2-mediated oxidative stress. Inflammopharmacology, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10787-021-00799-7
- Rawad Hodeify, Shoib Sarwar Siddiqui, Rachel Matar, V. Cijo George, Maxime Merheb, Hussain Abdel Karim AL Zouabi and John Marton. Modulation of calcium-binding proteins expression and cisplatin chemosensitivity by calcium chelation in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells. Heliyon (cell press) 2021,7, e06041
- Heinz Läubli, Kunio Kawanishi, V. Cijo George, Rachel Matar, Maxime Merheb, Shoib Sarwar Siddiqui. Tools to study and target the Siglec-sialic acid axis in cancer. The FEBS Journal, 2020, DOI: 10.1111/febs.15647
- Wafaa S Ramadan, Ekram M Saleh, Varsha Menon, V. Cijo George, Hajjaj H. M. Abdu-Allah, Abdel-Nasser A. El-Shorbagi,Wael Mansour and Raafat El-Awady. Induction of DNA damage, apoptosis and cell cycle perturbation mediate cytotoxic activity of new 5-aminosalicylate–4-thiazolinone hybrid derivatives. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 2020, I31, 110571.
- Shoib Sarwar Siddiqui, Sofia Rahman, H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe, V. Cijo George*. Dietary flavonoids in p53-mediated immune dysfunctions linking to cancer prevention. Biomedicines, 2020, 8,286.
- Shimy Mathew, V. Cijo George*. Recent pharmacological advances on genistein in clinical trials. EXCLI J, 2020, 19. 1120-1123.
- Shoib Sarwar Siddiqui, Rachel Matar, Maxime Merheb, Rawad Hodeify, V. Cijo George, John Marton, Syed Azharuddin and Hussain AL Zouabi. Siglecs in Brain Function and Neurological Disorders. Cells, 2019, 8, 1125
- V. Cijo George, Shabbir Ahmed Ansari, Rula Al-Jaleeli, Aya Mudhafar, Al-Azawi, Wafaa S Ramadan, Varsha Menon, Rawad Hodeify, Shoib Sarwar Siddiqui, Maxime Merheb, Rachel Matar and Rajan Radhakrishnan. Role of Flavonoids in Thrombotic, Cardiovascular, and Inflammatory Diseases. Inflammopharmacology, 2019, 27,5, 863–869
- Maxime Merheb, Rachel Matar, Rawad Hodeify, Shoib Sarwar Siddiqui, V. Cijo George, John Marton, Syed Azharuddin and Hussain AL Zouabi. Mitochondrial DNA, a Powerful Tool to Decipher Ancient Human Civilization from Domestication to Music, and to Uncover Historical Murder Cases. Cells, 2019, 8, 433
- Wafaa S Ramadan, V. Cijo George, Ekram M Saleh, Varsha Menon, AyaM AlAzawi, Ahmed T El-Serafi, Wael Mansour and Raafat El-Awady. Interplay between Epigenetics, Expression of Estrogen Receptor-, HER2/ERBB2 and Sensitivity of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells to Hormonal Therapy. Cancers, 2019, 11,1,13.
- V. Cijo George, Ekram saleh, Wafaa Ramadan, Varsha Menon, Aya Mudhafar Al-Azawi, Hamadeh Tarazi, Hajjaj Abdullah, Abd El-Nasser El-Shorbagi and Raafat El-Awady. Inhibition of SHP2 by new compounds induces differential effects on RAS/RAF/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways in different cell types. Investigational New Drugs, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10637-018-0626-5
- V. Cijo George, Shabbir Ansari,………..and H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe. DNA-dependent protein kinase: Epigenetic alterations and the role in genomic stability of cancer. Mutation Research – Reviews, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mrrev.2018.06.001
- V. Cijo George and H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe. DNA damaging and apoptotic potentials of Bisphenol A and Bisphenol S in human bronchial epithelial cells. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, 2018, 60: 52–57.
- V. Cijo George and H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe. Apple flavonoids suppress carcinogens-induced DNA damage in normal human bronchial epithelial cells. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/1767198
- V. Cijo George, Graham Dellaire and H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe. Plant flavonoids in cancer chemoprevention: Role in genome stability. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 2017, 45:1-14.
- V. Cijo George*, V. V. Vijesh,…………..and H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe. Mechanism of action of flavonoids in prevention of inflammation-associated skin cancer. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2016, 23: 3697-3716.
- V. Cijo George*. Promising tumor inhibiting potentials of Fisetin through PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. American Journal of Translational Research, 2016; 8: 1293-1294.
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar and R. Ashok kumar. Relative in vitro potentials of parthenolide to induce apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in skin cancer cells. Current Drugs Discovery Technologies, 2016; 13: 34-40.
- V. Cijo George*. Plant polyphenols can protect VEGF-induced vascular leakage ?. EXCLI, 2016, 15; 153-154.
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok kumar. Luteolin induces caspase-14 mediated terminal differentiation in human epidermal keratinocytes, In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Animal, 2015, 51:1072-1076.
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok kumar. In vitro protective potentials of Annona muricata leaf extracts against sodium arsenite-induced toxicity, Current Drugs Discovery Technologies, 2015, 12:59-63.
- D. R. Naveen kumar, V. Cijo George, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok Kumar. Cancer-specific chemoprevention and anti-metastatic potentials of Rheum emodi rhizome ethyl acetate extracts and identification of active principles through HPLC and GC-MS analysis. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Science, 2015; 28:83-93.
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok kumar. Antioxidant, DNA protective efficacy and HPLC analysis of Annona muricata (soursop) extracts. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2014; 52:2328-2335.
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok kumar. Oleanolic acid inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in A375 melanoma cells. Biomedicine & Preventive Nutrition, 2014; 4:95-99.
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar, P. K. Suresh, Sanjay Kumar and R. Ashok kumar. Comparative studies to evaluate in vitro relative potency of luteolin in inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in HaCaT and A375 cells. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2013; 14: 631-637.
- D. R. Naveen Kumar, V. Cijo George, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok kumar. Acceleration of Pro-caspase-3 maturation and anti-metastasis in human breast cancer cells by phytoconstituents of Rheum emodi rhizome extracts. EXCLI Journal, 2013;12: 462-478.
- D. R. Naveen kumar, V. Cijo George, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok Kumar. Demonstration of differential anti-neoplastic potentials of Oroxylum indicium ethyl acetate extracts in human breast cancer cells. Journal of Biological Sciences, 2013;13: 534-539.
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar, P. K. Suresh, R. Ashok Kumar. Apoptosis-induced cell death by Oleanolic acid in HaCaT keratinocyte cells; a proof-of-principle approach for chemopreventive drug development. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2012;13: 2015-2020
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar, V. Rajkumar, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok kumar. Quantitative assessment of the relative antineoplastic potential of the n-butanolic leaf extract of Annona muricata Linn. in normal and immortalized human cell lines. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2012;13: 699-704.
- D. R. Naveen kumar, V. Cijo George, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok Kumar. Apoptosis-mediated cytotoxicity and anti-metastatic potential of Oroxylumindicum in human breast cancer cells. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2012;3: 2729-2734.
- V. Cijo George, D. R. Naveen Kumar, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok kumar. A review on therapeutic potentials of parthenolide: A sesquiterpene lactone”. International Research Journal of Pharmacy, 2012;3: 69-73.
- D. R. Naveen kumar, Swati Shikha, V. Cijo George, P. K. Suresh and R. Ashok Kumar. Anticancer and anti-metastatic activities of Rheum emodi rhizome chloroform extracts. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, 2012;5: 189-194.
- D. R. Naveen Kumar, V. Cijo George, V. Rajkumar and R. Ashok Kumar. Cytoprotective effect of (-)-Epigallocatechin [EGC] against Chlorpyriphos-induced cytotoxicity, Journal of Pharmacy Research, 2011;4: 1743-1744.