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Faculty Detail    
Associate Professor
Campus Address SHPB 443 Zip 1212
Phone  (20-5) -382
Other websites

Undergraduate  Western Kentucky University    1981  BS in Chemistry 
Graduate  Kansas State University    1990  PhD in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 
Fellowship  UAB-Comprehensive Cancer Center    1992  Postdoctoral Fellowship 

Clinical Research Associate  2012 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Clinical & Diagnostic Sci   Biotechnology Program Professor
Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Minority Health & Research Center Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Nephrology Research & Training Center Professor
Center  Nutrition Sciences   Nutrition Obesity Res Ctr (NORC) Professor

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Unlap received his PhD in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology from Kansas State University followed by postdoctoral trainings in Oncology and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham studying the roles that immediate early genes play in the pathogenesis of malignancy and neuronal degeneration. Dr. Unlap rose to through the faculty rank in the Department of Medicine where he began to study the role that the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger plays in the pathogenesis of salt sensitive hypertension and neuronal degeneration. From 1997-2007, Dr. Unlap directed the Heritage Center Biotech Curriculum for high school students and co-directed BioTek Works, a biotechnology workforce development program funded by Jefferson County and the State of Alabama. From 2007-2008 he was a faculty member at the Tulane Medical School but relocated to help start the University of Alabama at Birmingham Biotechnology Program where he currently serves as a faculty member. Dr. Unlap is currently on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Biotechnology and Biomaterials,Journal-Biotechnology, Frontiers In Renal and Epithelial Phys,and the Journal of Endocrinology and Diabetes. His research focus is in drug discovery in infectious disease, cancer, Parkinsonís disease and salt sensitive hypertension.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
AACR  member  
APS  member 

Research/Clinical Interest
Drug Discovery in Cancer, Cystic Fibrosis, Tuberculosis, Parkinson's Disease and Oxidative Stress In Hypertension
There are a number of projects in the lab: 1) Test the abilities of small peptides to induce apoptosis and attenuate cell migration in cancer cells, 2) Modify existing chemotherapeutic drugs to increase efficacy and reduce toxicity, 3) Test the ability of small peptides to restore trafficking of CFTR from TGN to the plasma membrane, 4) Test the efficacies of small peptides to prevent alpha synuclein aggregation, and 5) Design molecular beacons that can be used as theranostics against latent tuberculosis

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
George R, Casanova T, Nugent K, and Unlap MT. The Na+/Ca2+ Exchanger Mediates the Effects of Oxidative Stress in Hypertension Current Hypertension Review, 2010; 6:260-265
Matalka L, Ford A, and Unlap MT. The Tripeptide, GHK, Induces Programmed Cell Death in SH-SY5Y
Neuroblastoma Cells. Journal of Biotechnology and Biomaterials 2012; 2:5 
George R, Bolus N, Williams S, Garner J, Nugent K, and Unlap MT. A Short Interfering RNA (siRNA) Molecular Beacon for the Detection of Mycobacterial Infection. Journal of Biotechnology and Biomaterials 2012; 2:5  http://dxdoiorg/104172/2155-952X1000147 
Laine R and Unlap MT. IPX-750, A Dopamine Gluconamine That Binds D1/D5 Receptors and Has
Anti-Parkinsonian Effects in Three Animal Models, is Transported across
the Blood Brain Barrier. Journal of Biotechnology and Biomaterials 2012; 2:5 
Unlap MT, Williams C, Komlosi P, Kovacs G, Siroky B, Ferguson, W and Bell PD. Amyloid beta peptide 1-40 stimulates the activity of SNCX. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2005 Jan; 2(1):3-12.   16181095 
Unlap MT, Bates E, Williams C, Komlosi P, Williams I, Kovacs G, Siroky B, Bell PD. The Na+/Ca2+: A target for oxidative stress in salt sensitive hypertension. Hypertension 2003; 42(3):363-368.  12885789 
Fuson AL, Komlosi P, Unlap MT, Bell PD, Peti-Peterdi J. Immunolocalization of a microsomal prostaglandin E synthase in rabbit kidney. Am J Physiol 2003; 285(3):F558-564.   12746259 
Hwang EF, Williams I, Kovacs G, Peti-Peterdi J, Siroky B, Rice W, Bates E, Schwiebert EM, Unlap MT and Bell PD. Impaired ability of the Na+/Ca2+ exchanger from the Dahl/Rapp salt sensitive rat to regulate cytosolic calcium. Am J Physiol 2003; 284(5):F1023-1031.   12527551 
Zhou ZH, Unlap MT, Li L, and Ma H. Incomplete inactivation of voltage-dependent K+ channels in human B lymphoma cells. J Membr Biol 2002; 188(2):97-105.   12172635 

drug discovery, oxidative stress, cancer, parkinson's disease, hypertension, exchanger, molecular beacon, latent tb