Tovmasyan Laboratory

Researcher working in Tovmasyan Laboratory


As the leader of the Pharmacokinetics (PK) Core at the Ivy Brain Tumor Center, our laboratory  is established to provide state-of-the-art analytical platform for services and a broad range of pharmacological and pharmaceutical expertise critical in conducting clinical research. The Ivy Center hosts the largest number of Phase 0 clinical trials for brain tumor patients in the world and the results obtained in the PK Core within each ongoing clinical trial, along with the data received from Pharmacodynamics (PD) Core,  will enable physicians to directly implement the most efficient regimens for brain tumor treatment. Such an approach is distinctly different from conventional clinical trials and is based on personalized precision medicine, where each patient has the unique prospect of receiving individualized therapeutic, therapeutic dose and schedule based on the results received from PK/PD Cores.

The Tovmasyan Laboratory

The Tovmasyan Laboratory also offers its services to investigators worldwide  conducting preclinical research in the biomedical field, such as drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, drug distribution, metabolism, etc. The Lab will assist with small-molecule research in preclinical studies providing services in assessment and design of preclinical PK studies for experimental drugs, collection and processing of biospecimens including cells, biofluids (blood, plasma, saliva, urine, CSF, etc.) and tissues, development, validation and implementation of analytical methods for drugs, drug metabolites, and biomarkers, data analysis and interpretation, publishing guidance, and assistance with grant applications. 

The Tovmasyan Laboratory  is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for sample processing and storage (vacuum concentrator (Labconco), centrifuges (Eppendorf 5804R, 5427R, 5404R), homogenizers (Omni Bead Ruptor Elite 24 and Pro-Scientific SB-1 Silent Brushless Digital), -30oC and -80oC freezers, sonicators, incubators, mixers, shakers, water bath), bio-analytical (AB SCIEX QTRAP 6500+ QTrap interfaced with a SHIMADZU Exion UHPLC system and associated AnalystTM software for operation and data analysis, system control and data acquisition/processing) and computational software WinNonlin (Certara USA, Inc., Princeton, NJ). Such leading-edge platform enables PK Lab to perform innovative research and complex analyses and to ensure specific, sensitive, reliable, and reproducible measurements for clinical and preclinical studies. 

Current and Published Research

  • Batinic-Haberle I, Tovmasyan A, Spasojevic I. Mn porphyrin-based redox-active drugs – Differential effects as cancer therapeutics and protectors of normal tissue against oxidative injury. Antioxid Redox Signal 2018; 29(16):1691-1724.
  • Cline JM, Dugan G, Tovmasyan A, Owzar K, Spasojevic I, Batinic-Haberle I, and Vujaskovic Z. Post-irradiation treatment with MnTnHex-2-PyP5+ mitigates radiation pneumonitis in the lungs of non-human primates after whole-thorax exposure to ionizing radiation. Antioxidants 2018, 7(3):40.
  • Tovmasyan A, Bueno-Janice J, Jaramillo MC, Sampaio RS, Reboucas JS, Kyui N, Benov L, Deng B, Huang TT, Tome ME, Spasojevic I, Batinic-Haberle I. Radiation-mediated tumor growth inhibition is significantly enhanced with redox-active compounds that cycle with ascorbate. Antioxid Redox Signal 2018; 29(13):1196-1214.
  • Boss MK, Dewhirst MW, Sampaio R, Bennett A, Tovmasyan A, Berman K, Beaven A, Rizzieri D, Batinic-Haberle I, Hauck ML, Spasojevic I. Potential for a novel manganese porphyrin compound as adjuvant canine lymphoma therapy. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 2017; 80:421-431
  • Leu D, Spasojevic I, Nguyen H, Deng B, Tovmasyan A, Weitner T, Sampaio RS, Batinic-Haberle I, and Huang TT. CNS bioavailability and radiation protection of normal hippocampal neurogenesis by a lipophilic Mn porphyrin-based superoxide dismutase mimic, MnTnBuOE-2-PyP5+. Redox Biol 2017; 12:864-871.
  • Weitzel DH, Tovmasyan A, Ashcraft KA, Boico A, Birer SR, Choudhury KR, Herndon JE 2nd, Rodriguiz RM, Wetsel WC, Peters KB, Spasojevic I, Batinic-Haberle I, Dewhirst MW. Neurobehavioral radiation mitigation to standard brain cancer therapy regimens by Mn(III) n-butoxyethylpyridylporphyrin-based redox modifier. Environ Mol Mutagen 2016; 57:372-81.
  • Tovmasyan A, Sampaio RS, Boss MK, Bueno-Janice JC, Bader BH, Thomas M, Reboucas JS, Orr M, Chandler JD, Go YM, Jones DP, Venkatraman TN, Haberle S, Kyui N, Lascola C, Dewhirst MW, Spasojevic I, Benov L, Batinic-Haberle I. Anticancer therapeutic potential of Mn porphyrin/ascorbate system. Free Radic Biol Med 2015; 89:1231–1247.
  •  Miriyala S, Thippakorn C, Chaiswing L, Xu Y, Noel T, Tovmasyan A, Batinic-Haberle I, Kooi CV, Chi W, Latif AA, Panchatcharam M, Prachayasittikul V, Butterfield A, Vore M, Moscow J, St Clair D. Novel role of 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal in AIFm2-mediated mitochondrial stress signaling. Free Radic Biol Med 2015; 91:68-80.
  • Ashcraft KA, Boss M-K, Tovmasyan A, Weitner T, Spasojevic I, Fontanella AN, Palmer GM, Das S, Sheng H, Warner DS, Brizel DM, Batinic-Haberle I, Dewhirst MW. Mn(III) meso tetrakis(N-butoxyethylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin, a potent SOD mimic and redox-regulator of cellular signaling pathways, prevents radiation-induced mucositis, xerostomia, and fibrosis in mice, while radiosensitizing tumors. Int J Rad Oncol, Biol, Phys, 2015; 93:892-900.
  • Batinic-Haberle I., Tovmasyan A, Spasojevic I. An educational overview of the chemistry, biochemistry and therapeutic aspects of Mn porphyrins – From superoxide dismutation to H2O2-driven pathways. Redox Biol. 2015; 5:43-65.
  • Weitzel DH, Tovmasyan A, Ashcraft KA, Rajic Z, Weitner T, Liu C, Li W, Buckley AF, Prasad MR, Young KH, Rodriguiz RM, Wetsel WC, Peters KB, Spasojevic I, Herndon JE 2nd, Batinic-Haberle I, Dewhirst MW. Radioprotection of the brain white matter by Mn(III) N-butoxyethylpyridylporphyrin-based superoxide dismutase mimic, MnTnBuOE-2-PyP5+. Mol Cancer Ther. 2015; 14:70-9.
  • Tovmasyan A, Carballal S, Ghazaryan R, Melikyan L, Weitner T, Maia CG, Reboucas JS, Radi R, Spasojevic I, Benov L, Batinic-Haberle I. Rational Design of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) Mimics: The Evaluation of the therapeutic potential of new cationic Mn porphyrins with linear and cyclic substituents. Inorg Chem. 2014; 53:11467-83.
  • Li AM, Martins J, Tovmasyan A, Valentine JS, Batinic-Haberle I, Spasojevic I, Gralla EB. Differential Localization and Potency of Manganese Porphyrin Superoxide Dismutase-Mimicking Compounds in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Redox Biol 2014; 3: 1-6.
  • Jumbo-Lucioni PP, Hopson ML, Bishop H, Weitner T, Tovmasyan A, Spasojevic I, Batinic-Haberle I, Liang Y, Jones DP, Fridovich-Keil JL. Oxidant and anti-oxidant modifiers of acute outcome in a Drosophila model of classic galactosemia. Antioxid Redox Signal 2014; 20: 2361-71
  • Tovmasyan A, Reboucas J, Benov L. Simple prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems for assessing the biological actions of SOD mimics as potential therapeutic agents. Antioxid Redox Signal 2014; 20: 2416-36.
  • Sheng H, Chaparro RE, Sasaki T, Izutsu M, Pearlstein RD, Tovmasyan A, Warner DS. Metalloporphyrins as Therapeutic Catalytic Oxidoreductants in Central Nervous System Disorders. Antioxid Redox Signal 2014; 20: 2437-64.
  •  Batinic-Haberle I, Tovmasyan A, Roberts E, Vujaskovic Z, Leong KW, Spasojevic I. SOD therapeutics: Latest insights into their structure-activity relationships and impact upon the cellular redox-based pathways. Antioxid Redox Signal 2014; 20: 2372-415.
  • Tovmasyan A, Weitner T, Sheng H, Lu M, Rajic Z, Warner DS, Spasojevic I, Reboucas JS, Benov L, Batinic-Haberle I. Differential Coordination Demands in Fe versus Mn Water-Soluble Cationic Metalloporphyrins Translate into Remarkably Different Aqueous Redox Chemistry and Biology. Inorg Chem 2013; 52: 5677-5691.
  • Weitner T, Kos K, Sheng H, Tovmasyan A, Reboucas JS, Fan P, Warner DS, Vujaskovic Z, Batinic-Haberle I, Spasojevic I. Comprehensive pharmacokinetic studies of hydrophilic MnTE-2-PyP5+ vs. lipophilic MnTnHex-2-PyP5+ biocatalysts: oral vs. intraperitoneal availability. Free Radic Biol Med 2013; 58: 73-80.
  • Tovmasyan A, Sheng H, Weitner T, Warner DS, Spasojevic I, Batinic-Haberle I. Design, Mechanism of Action, Bioavailability and Therapeutic Effects of Mn Porphyrin-Based Redox Modulators. Med Princ Pract 2013;22(2):103-30.
  • Batinic-Haberle I, Tovmasyan A, Spasojevic I. The complex mechanistic aspects of redox-active compounds, commonly regarded as SOD mimics. Bioinorg React Mec 2013; 9(1-4): 35–58.

Job Openings

Research Technician/Analyst/Scientist

We are currently recruiting a highly motivated and driven research technician, (B.S. or M.S.) to join our animal modeling team focusing on cutting edge Phase 0/II clinical trials for glioblastoma. Candidates with experience in preclinical studies are desirable. Prior experience in conducting drug treatment studies and knowledge of signal transduction pathways is preferred.

Postdoctoral Associate

We are looking for an individual to join the PK Lab team as a postdoctoral associate (at the level I, II and III depending on the experience). The candidate should have a strong background in pharmaceutical sciences and ideally in PK with a reasonable working knowledge in translational sciences. Candidates who have worked in the regulated environment to develop LC-MS/MS-based methods and can demonstrate competence in pharmacology and toxicology will be preferred. The candidate should be highly motivated, able to work well in teams, and have excellent communication skills. Potential areas of application include: drug PK, instrumental method development and validation, biomarker analysis, drug metabolism, PK analysis and modeling, medicinal or analytical chemistry.