Paula J. Bates, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine

Clinical Translational Research Building, Room 409
University of Louisville
505 Hancock St.
Louisville, KY 40202, USA
Phone 502-852-2432
Fax 502-852-3661



Additional Appointments:

  • Senior Investigator, James Graham Brown Cancer Center
  • Institute for Molecular Diversity & Drug Design
  • Associate Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
  • Associate Member, Department of Pediatrics



  • B.A., Chemistry, University of Oxford, England, 1992
  • Ph.D., Biophysics, University of London, England, 1996
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 1996–1999

Laboratory Team Members:

Sarah A. Andres, Ph. D., Co-Interim Coordinator, The University of Louisville ExCITE Program

Seth B. Sereff, R25 Summer Research Fellow

Research Focus:

The overarching theme of my group’s research is the development of novel and selective anticancer agents. A major focus in my laboratory is the use of DNA aptamers (protein-binding oligonucleotides) for cancer therapy. In particular, I was involved in the discovery and bench-to-bedside translation of a G-rich DNA aptamer named AS1411 (now ACT-GRO-777, previously AGRO100), which became the first anticancer aptamer to be tested in human clinical trials. AS1411 folds into a G-quadruplex structure that binds to nucleolin (a protein present at high levels on the surface of cancer cells) and can kill cancer cells without harming non-malignant cells. Ongoing basic research related to AS1411 aims to better understand the molecular mechanisms responsible for its cancer-selective effects and unusual ability to get inside cells. AS1411 has also been widely used around the world as a tool to investigate the biological functions of nucleolin and as a cancer-targeting ligand to deliver diverse attached cargoes selectively to tumors. Currently, we are developing various AS1411-linked nanoparticles for use in cancer therapy, drug delivery, and imaging. Other recent projects in our laboratory have focused on the activity and mechanism of various synthetic and plant-derived small molecules with antiproliferative effects. Of these, a small molecule named XB05 is of particular interest because of its potential for translation to the clinic: XB05-like molecules have cancer-selective cytotoxicity, a novel mechanism of action (disruption of redox homeostasis), proven in vivo efficacy with no acute toxicity in mouse models, and an associated candidate biomarker that predicts cancer cell response to XB05. In addition to pursuing basic and translational research, I am interested in developing programs to increase research commercialization and entrepreneurship in academia.

Recent Patents & Licenses:

  • Miller DM, Bates PJ and Trent JO. "Antiproliferative activity of G-rich oligonucleotides and method of using the same to bind to nucleolin" (issued US patent 7,314,926, published US patent applications 20080318890, 20080318897, 20080318898 and 20080318899).
  • Bates PJ, Miller DM, Trent JO and Xu X. "Method for the diagnosis and prognosis of malignant diseases" (issued US patents 7,347,928 and 7,541,150, published US patent applications 20030194754, 20050053607 and 20090017009).
  • Bates PJ and Mi YC. "A method for detection of apoptosis" (published US patent application 20040132049).
  • Bates PJ, Girvan AC and Barve SS. "Methods for the detection and treatment of inflammatory conditions" (published US patent application 20050187176).
  • Hammond GB, Xu B and Bates PJ. “Therapeutic Compounds” (published US patent application 20080188570).
  • Bates PJ and Choi EW. “Methods and products to target, capture, and characterize stem cells” (filed patent application December 2007).
  • Hammond GB, Xu B, Liu L and Bates PJ. “Novel gold compounds” (filed patent application December 2008).
  • Reyes-Reyes EM and Bates PJ. Methods of increasing macropinocytosis in cancer cells. Provisional application filed March 2010.
  • Islam MA and Bates PJ. Treatment of VHL-negative tumors. Provisional application filed April 2010.
  • Bates PJ, Malik MT, and Rinaldo FM. “Predictive Markers of Therapeutic Efficacy” (filed patent application[s] March 2011)
  • Bates PJ, Malik MT, and Kang KA. “Anti-Nucleolin Conjugated Nanoparticles” (filed patent application[s] June 2012)
  • Salipur FR, Bates PJ, Hammond GB, and Xu B. “Compositions And Methods For Inhibiting DNMT1 Inhibitor Cytotoxicity” (filed patent application[s] September 2012)
  • Hammond GB, Jin Z, Bates PJ, Reyes-Reyes EM, and Vaisberg A. “Compounds, Compositions, Pharmaceutical Compositions, And Methods Of Use” (filed patent application[s] November 2012)


Recent Awards & Honors:

Co-principal Investigator, The University of Louisville ExCITE Program funded by NIH
Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH)