Joel KawakamiJoel Kawakami, Ph.D.

Professor, Chemistry
Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Email: jkawakam@chaminade.edu
Phone: 739-8576

Courses

Chemistry

Biography

Before coming to Chaminade, Dr. Kawakami formed the company Kawakami, LLC, of West Milford, NJ, to provide a rapid lead/drug optimization technology service for clients utilizing novel molecular descriptors that are highly predictive of a compound’s affinity for a molecular target of interest.

From 2001-2005, Dr. Kawakami was employed by Imclone Systems Inc., New York, NY, as an Associate Director, for the Chemistry Department. He led a team of medicinal chemists and managed the Analytical and Lead Discovery Departments, managing 8 M/yr in capital budget for the Chemistry Department.

Previous to his work with Imclone, Dr. Kawakami was employed by the Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp., Paramus, NJ as a Senior Scientist, Discovery Chemistry (2000-2001) in which he led a team in the optimization of leads identified from HTS to proof of concept studies in animal models, and as Scientist II, Chemistry Department (1998-1999) in which he led a team of Research Associate Chemists in the design and synthesis of novel analogs for the optimization of a pre-clinical lead in the therapeutic area of acute pain, and as a Senior Scientist I, Chemistry Department (2001-2003) where he was Project Leader for several kinase targets along with a biologist counterpart in the therapeutic area of cancer research. Dr. Kawakami also been a Research Associate of Medicinal Chemistry at Queen’s Hospital in Honolulu, 1995-1996.

Teaching

Dr. Joel Kawakami has been an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Chaminade since 2006. His focus includes developing a chemistry research program at Chaminade. Dr. Kawakami’s research interest is computational models to develop potential new anti-tumor drugs. Better computational models may lead to faster development of drug therapies. Dr. Kawakami teachs in acadamia so that he has the freedom to pursue the research area he enjoys versus working in the industry.  However, he never knew till he came to Chaminade that he would enjoy teaching as much as he does research.

Dr Kawakami was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy, and a Synthetic Organic Chemist (Postdoctoral Fellow) at the University of Hawaii department of Chemistry.

Awards and Honors

  • Extraordinary Effort Award, ImClone Systems Incorporated, February 2005
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship for Minority Individuals, August 1997
  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, American Chemical Society, 1994
  • Research Corporation of University of Hawaii Scholarship, 1991-1992
  • American Institute of Chemists Award, 1989

Selected Publications

Duncton, M.A., Piatnitski, E.L., Katoch-Rouse, R., Smith II, L.M., Kiselyov, A.S., Milligan, D., Balagtas, C., Wong, W., Kawakami, J., Doody, J.F. (2006). Arylphthalazines, Part 2. 1-(5-Isoquinolin)-4-aminoaryl Phthalazines as Potent Inhibitors of VEGF Receptors I and II. Manuscript submitted to Biorg & Med Chem Letters.

Piatnitski, E.L., Duncton, M.A., Kiselyov, A.S., Katoch-Rouse, R., Sherman, D., Milligan, D., Balagtas, C., Wong, W., Kawakami, J., Doody, J.F. (2005). Arylphthalazines, Part 1. Identification of a New Phthalazine Chemotype as Inhibitors of VEGFR. Manuscript submitted to Biorg & Med Chem Letters.

Ouyang, S., Chen, X., Pattaropong, V., Tuma, C., Kiselyov, A., Kincaid, J., He, H., & Kawakami. J.K. (2005) (ImClone Systems Incorported, USA, WO 2005004818, 2005). Heterocyclic Compounds and their use as anticancer agents.

Kawakami, J., Pytowski, B., Duncton, M., Sherman, D., He, H., & Kiselyov, A. (ImClone Systems Incorporated, USA, WO 2005007099, 2005). PKB Inhibitors as anti-tumor agents.

Boteju, L.W., Konkel, M.J., Kawakami, J., Wetzel, J. (Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation, USA). 2003. US 2003144310. Preparation of N-sulfonyl dipeptides specific for NPFF receptors.

Boteju, L.W., Konkel, M.J., Kawakami, J., Wetzel, J. (Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation, USA). 2003. WO 2003026575. Preparation of N-sulfonyl dipeptides specific for NPFF receptors.

Forray, C., Kawakami, J., Konkel, M., Boteju, L., Wetzel, J., Noble, S., Wan, H. (Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation, USA). 2003. US 2003176314. Preparation of quinazolinylguanidines, quinolinylguanidines, and N-sulfonyl argininylphenylalaninamides for the treatment of pain.

Forray, C., Craig, D., Kawakami, J., Konkel, M., Boteju, L., Wetzel, J., Nobel, S., Wan, H. (Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation, USA). 2003. WO 2003026657. Preparation of quinazolinylguanidines, quinolinylguanidines, and N-sulfonyl arginylphenylalaninamides for the treatment of pain.

Kawakami, J., Konkel, M., Boteju, L., Wetzel, J., Noble, S., Wan, H. (Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation, USA). 2003. WO 2003026667. Preparation of quinazolino and quinolinoguanidines as ligands for neuropeptide FF (NPFF) receptors.

Kawakami, J., Wetzel, J., Boteju, L., Konkel, M., Wan, H., Noble, S. (Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corporation, USA). 2003. US 2003139431. Preparation of quinolyl- and quinazolinylguanidines as neuropeptide FF (NPFF) agonists/antagonists for treatment of urge incontinence.

Selected Conferences, Talks and Speaking Engagements

“Identification and biological characterization of novel small molecule inhibitors of PKB/Akt,” (Poster) The Annual Cell Signalling Symposium in West Park Centre, Dundee, UK, June 6-9, 2004.

Tius, Marcus A.; Hu, Huaping; Kawakami, Joel K.; Busch-Petersen, Jakob. Synthesis of 15-deoxy-12-hydroxy-10-trifluoromethyl-7-PGA1 methyl ester. Book of Abstracts, 216th ACS National Meeting, Boston, August 23-27, 1998.

“Selectivity in aromatic fluorination. Introduction of fluorine probes into nabilone,” (Oral Presentation) The 1995 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, Dec 18, 1995.

“Total Synthesis of Sarcophytol A, a Chemopreventive Agent,” (Oral Presentation) The 1995 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, Dec 18, 1995.

“Fluorination of Vinyl Stannanes with Xenon Difluoride and Silver Triflate,” (Poster Presentation). The 1995 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, Dec 19, 1995.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Chemical Society
  • Division of Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry