Dr. Nader H. Moniri

Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Education

  • B.S., Biological Sciences, Georgia State University
  • Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Pharmacology, Duke University Medical Center

Research Background and Interests

Dr. Moniri’s training has focused on molecular pharmacology and signal transduction of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) as well as the design and development of novel agents which modulate GPCR function.

Current research interests include signal transduction, alternative signaling, and design of functionally selective modulators of the prototypical GPCR, the beta-2-adrenergic receptor. Specifically, this work seeks to characterize mechanisms of beta-2-adrenergic mediated generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species, formation of which we have recently shown to be indispensable for receptor function.

Dr. Moniri’s laboratory is also interested in characterization of neuro-endocrine GPCRs which are involved in glucagon/insulin homeostasis, food intake, and satiety, as well as development of novel anti-diabetic agents which target these GPCRs.

Courses

  • PHA 450 Nervous System Disorders I
  • PHA 451 Nervous System Disorders II
  • PHA 533 Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • PHA 534 Endocrine Disorders
  • PHA 554 Infectious Diseases I
  • PHA 555 Infectious Diseases II
  • PHA 815 Methods in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • PHA 899 Doctoral Research

Teaching Philosophy

To be an effective teacher of biomedical sciences, I believe first and foremost that you must be an avid student of biomedical sciences. For me, the study of science and pharmacy is an ongoing and constant learning exercise that I require of myself before I can effectively deliver it to students.

Furthermore, I believe that the highly effective teacher is one who is passionate and enthusiastic about the subject matter that he/she is teaching. It is impossible to expect students to be enthused to learn if the teacher before them is not. The characteristic that I strive to possess more than any other is enthusiasm for the material I am presenting. Unsurprisingly, enthusiasm by the teacher is contagious and can be passed on to even the most apathetic of students.

I also believe that enthusiasm by the teacher is not enough to enhance learning and stimulate thinking. The material has to be made interesting, but students cannot merely be passive audience members, they have to be active participants. To encourage participation, my lectures first rely heavily on student driven discussions, where students are allowed to think through posed questions and provide answers–right or wrong–that other students and myself can expand on. Second, I incorporate practical patient-based cases throughout the lecture topics in which the basic sciences being taught (physiology, pharmacology, and medicinal chemistry) can be applied. These cases have been a tremendous tool in captivating students and making them active participants in the classrooms by engaging their critical thinking skills and forcing them to utilize previously learned knowledge. Most importantly, these cases allow students to apply physiology, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry (or other basic sciences) lecture material to real life patient experiences that they may encounter in the practice of pharmacy–this reinforces the importance of the basic sciences and answers the age-old pharmacy student question “why are we learning this?”

I believe that it is important to make classroom time fun and engaging by often stepping out of the classical lecture mold. Cases are an excellent way to do this, but I also utilize other classroom techniques such as science trivia, pharmaco-jeopardy, and audience-response based active learning to engage student interest and make learning enjoyable. Additionally, I strive to make my lecture material engaging through the use of PowerPoint animations. I often joke with students that PowerPoint animations were created especially for pharmacology professors, as there is no better tool to demonstrate complex cellular signaling pathways, drug mechanisms of action, and mechanisms of side effects than through these animations. While they can be difficult to create, animations are highly effective and very popular with students.

When I worked in a pharmacy as an undergraduate student, I was very fortunate to have a wonderful pharmacist-mentor who shaped my career profoundly. One aspect of his guidance, unbeknownst to him, that I always remember and try to emulate, was the way he knew each and every one of his patients by name. When I asked him how he was able to do this, his answer was simple yet profound. “Nader, you just have to care enough,” he said. Those words had a significant impact on me as I believe that educators also have to care enough about their students. For this reason, I fervently strive to learn the name of each student enrolled in a class that I teach. In pharmacy classes upwards of 150 students, this can be quite challenging, but I do get to know the names of approximately seventy five percent of students per class. I have found that students are not only surprised to find that I know their names, but they are more likely to be engaged in the lecture material and are more likely to seek out help if they know that their professor cares enough to know them.

I believe strongly that accessibility to students outside of formal classroom or laboratory sessions are critical in facilitating learning. As such, I do not set formal office hours but rather have an open door policy. In the classroom, I strongly encourage students to raise questions or discuss issues at the student’s convenience at any point. I am openly accessible to students anytime while on campus or virtually anytime by email or web discussions and make it a point to answer questions promptly and thoroughly.

Lastly, my responsibility to students is not solely to educate them by conveying knowledge, but to serve as a mentor. At every level of my career thus far—undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral fellow, junior faculty—I have been very fortunate to have had the guidance of excellent mentors who ensured that my overall personal and career development remained the focal point of their tutelage. Hence, I believe that in addition to advancing a student’s education, a significant portion of an educator’s duty is to provide mentorship and encouragement of career and personal development.

Selected Publications

  • Rambacher KM and Moniri NH. Cysteine redox state regulates human β2-adrenergic receptor binding and function. Scientific Reports, 10:2934, 1-15, 2020.
  • Senatorov IS, Cheshmehkani A, Burns RN, Singh, K, Moniri NH.  Carboxy-terminal phosphoregulation of the long splice isoform of Free-Fatty Acid Receptor-4 mediates β-arrestin recruitment and signaling to ERK1/2.  Mol. Pharmacol.  97:304-313, 2020.
  • Moniri NH. Reintroduction of quazepam: an update on comparative hypnotic and adverse effects. Intl. Clin. Psychopharmacol. 34:275-285, 2019.
  • Murnane KS, Guner OF, Bowen JP, Rambacher KM, Moniri NH, Murphy TJ, Daphney CM, Oppong-Damoah A, Rice KC. The adrenergic receptor antagonist carvedilol interacts with serotonin 2A receptors both in vitro and in vivo. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 181:37-45, 2019.
  • Moniri NH, Momary KM, McMahon TJ, Nayee E. Statin-associated Achilles tendon rupture and reproducible bilateral tendinopathy upon repeated exposure. Mayo Clin Proc. 93(10):1530-1532, 2018.
  • Senatorov IS and Moniri NH. The role of free-fatty acid receptor-4 (FFA4) in human cancers and cancer cell lines. Biochem Pharmacol. 150:170-180, 2018.
  • Cheshmehkani A, Senatorov IS, Dhuguru J, Ghoneim O, Moniri NH. Free-fatty acid receptor-4 (FFA4) modulates ROS generation and COX-2 expression via the C-terminal β-arrestin phosphosensor in Raw264.7 macrophages. Biochemical Pharmacol. 146:139-150, 2017.
  • Moniri NH. Free-fatty acid receptor-4 (GPR120): cellular and molecular function and its role in metabolic disorders. Biochemical Pharmacol. 110-111:1-15, 2016.
  • Cheshmehkani A, Senatorov IS, Kandi P, Singh M, Britt A, Hayslett R, Moniri NH. Fish oil and flax seed oil supplemented diets increase FFAR4 expression in the rat colon. Inflamm Res. 2015 Oct;64(10):809-15.
  • Singh M and Moniri NH. Reactive oxygen species as ß2-adrenergic receptor signal transducers. J. Pharmaceu Pharmacol. 2(1): 8-15, 2014.
  • Burns RN, Singh M, Senatorov IS, Moniri NH. Mechanisms of homologous and heterologous phosphorylation of FFA receptor 4 (GPR120): GRK6 and PKC mediate phosphorylation of Thr347, Ser350, and Ser357 in the C-terminal tail. Biochem Pharmacol, 87:650-659, 2014.
  • Ryan GJ, Moniri NH., Smiley DD. Clinical effects of once-weekly exenatide for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Am J Health Syst Pharm, 70(13):1123-1131, 2013.
  • Gleason BL, Siracuse MV, Moniri NH, Birnie CR, Okamoto CT, Crouch MA. Evolution of Preprofessional Pharmacy Curricula. Am J Pharm Educ. 77(5):95; 1-8, 2013.
  • Singh M., and Moniri NH. Reactive oxygen species are required for ß2 adrenergic receptor-ß-arrestin interactions and signaling to ERK1/2. Biochem Pharmacol. 84(5):661-669, 2012.
  • Burns RN and Moniri NH. Agonist- and H2O2- mediated oxidation of the ß2 adrenergic receptor: evidence of receptor S-sulfenation as detected by a modified biotin switch assay. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 339(3):914-921, 2011.
  • Wang Z, Humphrey C, Frilot N, Wang G., Nie Z, Moniri NH, Daaka Y. Dynamin2- and endothelial nitric oxide synthase-regulated invasion of bladder epithelial cells by uropathogenic Escherichia coli. J Cell Biol. 10;192(1):101-10, 2011.
  • Burns RN and Moniri NH. Agonism with the omega-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid and docosahexaenoic acid mediates phosphorylation of both the short and long isoforms of the human GPR120 receptor. Biochem Biophys Res Commun., 396: 1030-1035, 2010.
  • Bagchi G, Wu J, French J, Kim J, Moniri NH, Daaka Y. Androgens transduce the G as-mediated activation of protein kinase A in prostate cells. Cancer Res., 68(9): 3225-31, 2008.
  • Moniri NH. The Use of a Patient-based Medicinal Chemistry Case in the Nervous System I course. Let’s think about it! 11(2):1-3, Spring, 2008.
  • Moniri NH and Daaka Y. Agonist-stimulated Reactive Oxygen Species Formation Regulates ß2-adrenergic Receptor Signal Transduction. Biochem Pharmacol., 74: 64-73, 2007.
  • Booth RG and Moniri NH. Novel Ligands Stabilize Stereo-selective Conformations of the Histamine H1 Receptor to Activate Catecholamine Synthesis. Inflamm Res., 56:S1-2, 2007.
  • Moniri NH and Booth RG. Role of PKA and PKC in Histamine H1 Receptor-mediated Activation of Catecholamine Neurotransmitter Synthesis. Neurosci Lett., 407:249-253, 2006.
  • Bagchi G, Moniri NH, Daaka Y. Androgen Receptor. AfCS-Nature Molecules Pages, 2006.
  • Guo R, Kasbohm EA, Arora P, Sample CJ, Baban B, Sud N, Sivashanmugam P, Moniri NH, Daaka Y. Expression and Function of Lysophosphatidic Acid LPA1 Receptor in Prostate Cancer Cells. Endocrinology, 147:4883-4892, 2006.
  • Wang G, Moniri NH, Ozawa K, Stamler JS, Daaka Y. Nitric Oxide Regulates Endocytosis by S-nitrosylation of Dynamin. Proc Natl Acad Sci., USA, 103(5):1295-1300, 2006.
  • Booth RG and Moniri NH. Ligand-directed multifunctional signaling of histamine H1 receptors. Inflamm Res, 54:S44-45, 2005.
  • Moniri NH, Covington-Strachan DW, Booth RG. Ligand-directed functional heterogeneity of histamine H1 receptors: Novel agonists selectively activate and block H1 mediated phospholipase C and adenylyl cyclase signaling in CHO cells. J Pharmacol Exp Ther., 311:274-281, 2004.
  • Moniri NH and Booth RG. Functional heterogeneity of histamine H1 receptors. Inflamm Res, 53:S71-72, 2004.
  • Booth RG, Moniri NH, Bakker RA, Choksi NY, Nix WB, Timmerman H, Leurs R. A novel phenylaminotetralin radioligand reveals a sub-population of histamine H1 receptors. J Pharmacol Exp Ther., 302:328-336, 2002.

View Dr. Moniri’s website.

Contact Dr. Nader H. Moniri


(678) 547-6246
moniri_nh@mercer.edu