Dr. Neelam Azad

University Endowed Professor

Location: Biomedical Research Building II 

Phone: 757-727-5071

E-mail: neelam.azad@hamptonu.edu

Dr. Neelam Azad joined the School of Pharmacy at Hampton University in Fall 2008. Dr. Azad’s vision is to provide high quality education in pharmaceutical sciences and to maintain a vigorous biomedical sciences research program. Dr. Azad’s research interests are in the field of lung pathologies and cancer cell biology, and she has published extensively in a number of high-profile scientific journals. Dr. Azad has received multiple NIH-funded SCORE grant awards and a sub-award under Hampton University’s U54 grant award. She serves as co-investigator on a training (R25) grant aimed at establishing a multi-year summer research-training program for pharmacy professional students in areas pertaining to lung pathologies. As part of her scholarly duties, Dr. Azad coordinates and teaches Physiological Chemistry (PHA 311) and Medicinal Chemistry (PHA 314). 


Ph.D. (Pharmaceutical Sciences), West Virginia University, 2007

B.S. (Pharmacy), University of Mumbai, 2001

Honors & Awards

2018-2019      Academic Excellence Faculty Award, Hampton University

2016                 Academic Leadership Fellows Program (ALFP) Certification, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

2013 Р2015     Professor of the Year Award, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hampton University

2012 Р2014    AACR Minority-Serving Institution Faculty Scholar Award, America Association for Cancer Research Annual Conference

2013                 President’s Ambassador for Academic Excellence Award, Hampton University

2013                 Scholarship, Frontiers in Stem Cells in Cancer Workshop, Magee Women’s Research Institute, University of Pittsburgh

2012                 Scholarship, Workshop on Leadership in Bioscience, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

2010                 Induction into Rho Chi Honor Society

2010                 Conference Award, Towards Personalized Cancer Medicine Conference, The New York Academy of Sciences

2006                 Research Award in Biotechnology, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Conference

2006                 Induction into Sigma Xi Honor Society

2006                 Sigma Xi Research Award, Chapter’s Annual Research Day, West Virginia University

2006                 Annual Research Award, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, West Virginia University

2006, 2005     Van Liere Research Award,Health Science Center’s Annual Research Day, West Virginia University

2004                 Best Teaching Assistant Award, Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, West Virginia University


Ongoing Research Support

9SC1GM121287-06A1                                                                              06/26/2018 Р05/31/2022

Minority Biomedical Research Support ‚Äď Support for Continuous Research Excellence (MBRS-SCORE)

National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Title: Targeting Lipogenic and Angiogenic Mediators in Pulmonary Fibrosis

Role: Principal Investigator            Amount: $ 1.27 M


MBRS ‚Äď SCORE¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† 09/11/2017 – 08/31/2021

National Institute of Health (NIH)/ National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Title: Reversing Resistance to PARP-Inhibitor in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Role: Co-investigator                              Amount: $ 444,000

 R25HL125453                                                                                   09/01/2016 Р06/30/2021

NIH/ National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Title: The Summer Pharmacy Experiences in Academic Research program at Hampton University.

Role: Co-investigator                             Amount: $ 427,799


The Hampton University Regional Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center

National Institute of Health (NIH)

Sub Award number: HU-180004                                                     10/01/2017 Р06/30/2019

Title:¬†Role of Wnt/ő≤-catenin in Prostate Cancer Progression in Obese African-Americans

Role: Co-investigator                               Amount: $ 93,750

Completed Research Support

SC1CA173069-01A1                                                                         09/01/2012 Р08/31/2018

NIH/National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Title: Anti-Tumorigenic Potential of Novel Digitoxin Analogues

Role: Co-investigator                               Amount: $ 1.35 M


SC1HL112630-01                                                                              09/01/2011 Р06/30/2017

Minority Biomedical Research Support ‚Äď Support for Continuous Research Excellence (MBRS-SCORE)

National Institute of Health (NIH)/National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

Title: Impact of Oxidative Stress-Mediated Angiogenesis in Pulmonary Fibrosis

Role: Principal Investigator            Amount: $ 1.3 M


Faculty Development Grant                                                             09/01/2010 Р12/31/2011

Hampton University

Title: Anti-Tumorigenic Effects of Novel Digitoxin Analogues

Role: Co-investigator                     


Faculty Development Grant                                                             09/01/2010 Р12/31/2011

Hampton University

Title: Impact of Oxidative Stress-Mediated Angiogenesis in Pulmonary Fibrosis

Role: Principal investigator             


Faculty Development Grant                                                              01/01/2010 Р12/31/2010

Hampton University

Title: Elucidation of Novel Signaling Mechanisms in Carbon Nanotube Induced Carcinogenesis

Role: Co-investigator                     


Research Development Grant                                                          01/01/2008 Р01/01/2009

West Virginia University

Title: Role of Akt/PKB in Mediating Carbon Nanotube-Induced Pathogenesis

Role: Co-investigator   

Research Interests

  • Fibrosis ‚Äď Genetic and molecular networks involved in pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Cancer ‚Äď Molecular mechanisms involved in cancer progression and metastasis.
  • Apoptosis ‚Äď Effect of environmental and occupational carcinogens on apoptosis.
  • Free Radical Biology ‚Äď Oxidative and nitrosative stress in cancer and fibrosis.


1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Chanvorachote P, Nimmannit U, Wang L, Stehlik C, Lu B,¬†Azad N, Rojanasakul Y. Nitric Oxide Negatively Regulates Fas CD95-induced Apoptosis through Inhibition of Ubiquitin-Proteasome mediated Degradation of FLICE Inhibitory Protein.¬†The Journal of¬†Biological¬†Chemistry. 2005; 280(51): 42044‚Äď42050.

       2.         Azad N, Rojanasakul Y. Vaccine Delivery РCurrent Trends and Future. Current Drug Delivery. 2006; 3(2): 137-146.

       3.         Azad N, Rojanasakul Y. Nanobiotechnology in Drug Delivery. American Journal of Drug Delivery.2006; 4(2): 79-88.

       4.         Azad N, Vallyathan V, Wang L, Tantishaiyakul V, Stehlik C, Leonard SS, Rojanasakul Y. S-Nitrosylation of Bcl-2 Inhibits its Ubiquitin-Proteasomal Degradation: A Novel Anti-Apoptotic Mechanism that Suppresses Apoptosis. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2006; 281(45): 34124-34134.

       5.         Moungjaroen J, Nimmannit U, Callery PS, Wang L, Azad N, Lipipun V, Chanvorachote P, Rojanasakul Y. Reactive Oxygen Species Mediate Caspase Activation and Apoptosis Induced by Lipoic Acid in Human Lung Epithelial Cancer Cells through Bcl-2 Downregulation. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 2006; 319(3): 1062-1069.

       6.         Azad N, Rojanasakul Y. Macromolecular Drug Delivery. Biopharmaceutical Drug Design and Development. 2007; 2nd Edition: 293-324.

       7.         Azad N, Iyer AKV, Rojanasakul Y. DNA Microarrays in Drug Discovery and Development. Biopharmaceutical Drug Design and Development. 2007; 2nd Edition: 47-66.

       8.         Azad N, Rojanasakul Y, Vallyathan V. Inflammation and Lung Cancer: Roles of Reactive Oxygen/Nitrogen Species. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health РPart B.2008; 11(1): 1-15.

       9.         Wang L, Azad N, Kongkaneramit L, Chen F, Lu Y, Jiang BH, Rojanasakul Y. The Fas Death Signaling Pathway Connecting Reactive Oxygen Species Generation and FLICE Inhibitory Protein Downregulation. Journal of Immunology. 2008; 180(5): 3072-3080.

    10.         Kongkaneramit L, Sarisuta N, Azad N, Lu Y, Iyer AKV, Wang L, Rojanasakul Y. Dependence of Reactive Oxygen Species and FLIP on Lipofectamine-Induced Apoptosis in Human Lung Epithelial Cells. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.2008; 325(3); 969-977.

    11.         Iyer AKV, Azad N, Rojanasakul Y. Role of S-nitrosylation in Apoptosis Resistance and Malignant Transformation. Nitric Oxide Biology and Chemistry. 2008; 19(2): 146-151.

    12.         Azad N, Iyer AKV, Manosroi A, Wang L, Rojanasakul Y. Superoxide-Mediated Proteasomal Degradation of Bcl-2 Determines Cell Susceptibility to Cr(VI)-Induced Apoptosis. Carcinogenesis.2008; 29(8): 1538-1545.

    13.         Azad N, Iyer AKV, Rojanasakul Y. Methods to Analyze S-nitrosylation of Proteins Involved in Apoptosis. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2009; 559: 117-130.

    14.         Azad N, Lu Y, Wang L, Iyer AKV, Castranova V, Jiang BH, Rojanasakul Y. Phosphatidylinositol-3-Kinase/Akt Regulates Bleomycin-Induced Fibroblast Proliferation and Collagen Production. American Journal of Respiratory Cellular and Molecular Biology. 2010; 42 (4): 432-441.

    15.         Azad N, Iyer AKV, Wang L, Lu Y, Medan D, Castranova V, Rojanasakul Y. Nitric Oxide-Mediated Bcl-2 Stabilization Potentiates Malignant Transformation of Human Lung Epithelial Cells. American Journal of Respiratory Cellular and Molecular Biology. 2010; 42 (5): 578-585.

    16.         Azad N, Iyer AKV, Vallyathan V, Wang L, Castranova V, Stehlik C, Rojanasakul Y. Role of Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress-Mediated Bcl-2 Regulation in Apoptosis and Malignant Transformation. Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences. 2010; 1203: 1-6.

    17.         Iyer AKV, Zhou M, Azad N, Elbaz H, Wang H, Rogalsky D, Rojanasakul Y, O’Doherty G., Langenhan J. A Direct Comparison of the Anticancer Activities of Digitoxin MeON-Neoglycosides and O-Glycosides: Oligosaccharide Chain Length Dependant Induction of Caspase-9-Mediated Apoptosis. American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 2010; 1(7): 300-369.

¬†¬†¬† 18.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Iyer, AKV,¬†Azad N, Rojanasakul Y.¬†S-nitrosylation ‚Äď How Cancer Cells Say¬†NO¬†to Cell Death.¬†Nitric Oxide Biology and Chemistry, Prognosis, Prevention and Therapy. 2010; Part 3: 4-102.

¬†¬†¬† 19.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Iyer AKV,¬†Azad N, Wang L, Rojanasakul Y. Cellular FLICE-Inhibitory Protein Regulates Fas-Ligand Induced Activation of NFőļB in A PI3K-Dependent Manner.¬†Journal of¬†Immunology. 2011; 187(6): 3256-3266.

    20.         Iyer, AKV, Azad N, Rojanasakul Y, Ma JKH. Application of Nanosciences in Pharmaceutics. Basic Physical Pharmacy. 2012: 486-516.

¬†¬†¬† 21.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Luanpitpong S, Iyer AKV,¬†Azad N, Wang L, Rojanasakul Y. Nitrosothiol Signaling in Anoikis Resistance and Cancer Metastasis.¬†Forum on Immunopathological Diseases and Therapeutics. 2012;3(2): 141‚Äď154.

    22.         Djordje M, Luanpitpong S, Azad N, Wang L, Jiang BH, Davis M, Barnett J, Guo L, Rojanasakul Y. Multifunctional Role of Bcl-2 in Malignant Transformation and Tumorigenesis of Cr(VI)-Transformed Lung Cells. PLoS ONE. 2012; 7(5): e37045.

¬†¬†¬† 23.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Azad N, Iyer AKV, Lu Y, Wang L, Rojanasakul Y. P38/MAPK Regulates Single-walled Carbon Nanotube-Induced Fibroblast Proliferation and Collagen Production.¬†Nanotoxicology. 2013;7(2): 157‚Äď168.

¬†¬†¬† 24.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Talbott SJ, Luanpitpong S, Stehlik C,¬†Azad N, Iyer AKV, Wang L, Rojanasakul Y.¬†S-Nitrosylation Of FLICE Inhibitory Protein Determines Its Interaction With RIP1 And Activation Of NF-őöb.¬†Cell Cycle. 2014; 13(12): 948-957.

    25.         Iyer AKV, Azad N, Rojanasakul Y. Nitrosothiol Signaling and Protein Nitrosation in Cell Death and Survival. Nitric Oxide Biology and Chemistry. 2014; 42C: 9-18.

    26.         Azad N, Iyer AKV. Reactive Oxygen Species and Apoptosis. Systems Biology of Free Radicals and Antioxidants. 2014; 113-135.

    27.         Iyer AKV, Ramesh V, Castro CA, Kaushik V, Kulkarni YM, Wright CA, Venkatadri R, Rojanasakul Y, Azad N. Nitric Oxide Mediates Bleomycin-Induced Angiogenesis and Pulmonary Fibrosis via Regulation of VEGF. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 2015; 116(11): 2484-2493.

    28.         Wright CA, Kulkarni YM, Iyer AKV, Azad N. S-nitrosylation of Bcl-2 Negatively Affects Autophagy in Lung Epithelial Cells. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 2016; 117(2): 521-32. 

    29.         Kulkarni Y, Kaushik V, Azad N, Wright C, Rojanasakul Y, O’Doherty G, Iyer AKV.  Autophagy-Induced Apoptosis in Lung Cancer cells by a Novel Digitoxin Analog.  Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2016; 231(4): 817-828.

    30.         Kulkarni YM, Dutta S, Iyer AKV, Venkatadri R, Kaushik V, Ramesh V, Wright CA, Semmes OJ, Yakisich JS, Azad N. A Proteomics Approach to Identifying Key Protein Targets Involved in VEGF-Inhibitor Mediated Attenuation of Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis. Proteomics.2016; 16(1): 33-46.

    31.         Yakisich JS, Azad N, Venkatadri R, Kulkarni Y, Wright C, Kaushik V, O’Doherty G, Iyer AKV. Digitoxin and its Synthetic Analog MonoD have Potent Antiproliferative Effects on Lung Cancer Cells and Potentiate the Effects of Hydroxyurea and Paclitaxel. Oncology Reports. 2016; 35(2): 878-886. 

    32.         Klionsky DJ, Azad N. et al. Guidelines for the Use and Interpretation of Assays for Monitoring Autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy. 2016; 12 (1): 1-222.

    33.         Yakisich JS, Azad N, Venkatadri R, Kulkarni Y, Wright C, Kaushik V, Iyer AKV. Formation of Tumorspheres with Increased Stemness without External Mitogens in a Lung Cancer Model. Stem Cells International. 2016; 2016: 5603135. doi: 10.1155/2016/5603135.

    34.         Wright CA, Iyer AKV, Wang L, Wu N, Yakisich JS, Rojanasakul Y, Azad N. Effects of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles on Human Keratinocytes. Drug and Chemical Toxicology. 2016; 16: 1-11. 

    35.         Venkatadri R, Muni T, Iyer A.K.V, Yakisich JS, Azad N.Role of Apoptosis-Related MiRNAs in Resveratrol-Induced Breast Cancer Cell Death.  Cell Death and Disease. 2016; 7:e2104. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2016.6.

    36.          Yakisich JS, Venkatadri R, Azad N, Iyer AKV. Chemoresistance of Lung and Breast Cancer Cells Growing Under Prolonged Periods of Serum Starvation. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2017; 232(8): 2033-2043.

    37.          Venkatadri R, Iyer AKV, Ramesh V, Wright C, Castro CA, Yakisich JS, Azad N. MnTBAP Inhibits Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis by Regulating VEGF and Wnt Signaling. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2017; 232(3): 506-516.

    38.          Kaushik V, Yakisich JS, Azad N, Kulkarni Y, Venkatadri R, Wright C, Rojanasakul Y, Iyer AKV. Anti-Tumor Effects of Cardiac Glycosides on Human Lung Cancer Cells and Lung Tumorspheres. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2017; 232(9): 2497-2507.

    39.          Yakisich JS, Azad N, Kaushik V, Iyer AKV. Cancer Cell Plasticity: Rapid Reversal of Chemosensitivity and Expression of Stemness Markers in Lung and Breast Cancer Tumorspheres. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2017; 232(9): 2280-2286.

    40.          Kaushik V, Azad N, Yakisich JS, Iyer AKV. Antitumor Effects of Naturally Occurring Cardiac Glycosides Convallatoxin and Peruvoside on Human ER+ and Triple-Negative Breast Cancers. Cell Death Discovery. 2017; 3:17009.doi:10.1038/cddiscovery.2017.9. 

    41.          Wright C, Iyer AKV, Yakisich JS, Azad N. Anti-Tumorigenic Effects of Resveratrol in Lung Cancer Cells Through Modulation of c-FLIP. Current Cancer Drug Targets. 2017; 17(7): 669-680.

¬†¬†¬† 42.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†Yakisich JS,¬†Azad N, Kaushik V, O’Doherty GA, Iyer AKV. Nigericin Decreases the Viability of Multidrug-Resistant Cancer Cells and Lung Tumorspheres and Potentiates the Effects of Cardiac Glycosides.¬†Tumour Biology. 2017; 39(3): doi: 10.1177/ 1010428317694310.¬†

    43.          Wright C, Iyer AKV, Kaushik V, Azad N. Anti-Tumorigenic Potential of a Novel Orlistat-AICAR Combination in Prostate Cancer Cells. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry. 2017; 118(11): 3834-3845.

    44.          Venkatadri R, Iyer AKV, Kaushik V, Azad N. A Novel Resveratrol-Salinomycin Combination Sensitizes ER-Positive Breast Cancer Cells to Apoptosis. Pharmacological Reports. 2017; 69(4): 788-797.

¬†¬†¬† 45.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†Kulkarni YM, Yakisich JS,¬†Azad N, Venkatadri R, Kaushik V, O’Doherty G, Iyer AKV. Anti-Tumorigenic Effects of a Novel Digitoxin Derivative on Both Estrogen Receptor-Positive and Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells.¬†Tumour Biology.¬†2017; 39(6): doi: 10.1177/1010428317705331.

¬†¬†¬† 46.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Azad N, Anderson HG Jr., Brooks A, Garza O, O’Neil C, Stutz MM, Sobotka JL.¬†¬† Leadership and Management Are One and the Same.¬†The American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education. 2017; 81(6): 102.

    47.          Yakisich JS, Kulkarni Y, Azad N, Iyer AKV. Selective and Irreversible Induction of Necroptotic Cell Death in Lung Tumorspheres by Short-Term Exposure to Verapamil in Combination with Sorafenib. Stem Cells International. 2017; 2017:5987015. doi: 10.1155/2017/5987015. 

    48.          Kaushik V, Yakisich JS, Azad N, Iyer AKV. Alternative Models of Cancer Stem Cells: Implications for Translational Oncology. Frontiers in Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research. 2017; Volume 8: 1-54.

    49.          Guishard AF, Yakisich JS, Azad N, Iyer AKV. Translational Gap in Ongoing Clinical Trials for Glioma. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. 2018; 47: 28-42. 

    50.      Kulkarni YM, Dutta S, Iyer AKV, Wright CA, Ramesh V, Kaushik V, Semmes OJ, Azad N. A Lipidomics Approach to Identifying Key Lipid Species Involved in VEGF-Inhibitor Mediated Attenuation of Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis. Proteomics Clinical Applications. 2018; 12(3): e1700086. doi: 10.1002/prca.201700086.

    51.      Kaushik V, Yakisich JS, Way LF, Azad N, Iyer AKV. Chemoresistance of Cancer Floating Cells is Independent of their Ability to form 3D Structures: Implications for Anticancer Drug Screening. Journal of Cellular Physiology. 2018; doi: 10.1002/jcp.27239. (Epub ahead of print)

    52.      Kaushik V, Yakisich JS, Kumar A, Azad N, Iyer AKV. Ionophores: Potential Use as Anticancer Drugs and Chemosensitizers. Cancers. 2018; 10(10), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10100360.

    53.          Yakisich JS, Azad N, Kaushik V, Iyer AKV. The Biguanides Metformin and Buformin in Combination with 2-Deoxy-glucose or WZB-117 Inhibit the Viability of Highly Resistant Human Lung Cancer Cells. Stem Cells Int. 2019; Feb 21;2019:6254269. doi: 10.1155/2019/6254269. eCollection 2019.

Professional Affiliations

  • Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society
  • Sigma Xi Research Honor Society
  • American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)
  • Minorities in Cancer Research (MICR)
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)