The People of Tulane Cancer Center Research

Wesley GrayWesley G. Gray, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Environmental Chemistry & Department of Chemistry
Southern University

Contact Information
Phone: 504-771-2122
Address: 116 Lee Hall, P.O. Box 9716, Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Biographical Narrative

Dr. Gray received his B.S. degree in biology from Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, in 1986, and went on to earn a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from The University of Maryland at Baltimore in 1993. He was a NIH postdoctoral fellow in molecular endocrinology from 1993 to 1996 in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was also an assistant scientist in the same department from 1996 to 1998. In June 1998, Dr. Gray began his academic faculty career at Southern University as an assistant professor of chemistry with an appointment in the Ph.D. program in Environmental Toxicology. Dr. Gray has been directing the Molecular Endocrinology Research Group, training graduate students in Environmental Toxicology at Southern University, as well as helping to establish a strong undergraduate research presence in the College of Sciences since 1998. He has made an impact at SUBR through his research productivity and the number and caliber of undergraduate students he has mentored who have graduated and gone on to graduate and professional schools. Over the past eight years, some 12 students mentored by him have gone to graduate or professional schools and have obtained (or are currently pursuing) their M.D. or Ph.D. degrees. These numbers are particularly significant in light of the small number of African Americans with Ph.D.’s in the chemical and biochemical sciences. In addition to his individual research grants, he has participated in several collaborative grant projects. He has been a co-PI on a multi-million dollar, four-year NSF-RISE grant awarded to the Environment Toxicology program and was a participating investigator on an NSF instrumentation grant awarded to the Department of Chemistry. He was the program director for the Environmental Technology Consortium from 2001-2004, established the Summer Research Institute for freshmen and sophomores (SRIFS), and is currently the program director for two institutional grants - The Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) of Competitive Research Excellence (SCORE) Program (MBS-SCORE) and the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN) program. In addition, Dr. Gray is a member of the university sabbatical leave committee, program director of the SUBR STEM-LLC, chair for recruitment and retention for the Department of Environmental Toxicology, and a member of the advisory council for the “Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence.” The implementation of these programs have helped to support retention activities and increase the number of well-prepared undergraduate students who pursue biomedical science graduate careers.

Selected Publications
S. Koppula, M. Tan, A. Hurst, C. Telles and W. Gray (2013) "Microdoses Levels of Butadiene Diepoxide (BDO2) Induced Toxicity in Prostate Cancer Cells," Pharmacology & Pharmacy, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 209-217. doi: 10.4236/pp.2013.42029.

Srivatcha Naragoni1*, Shireesha Sankella1 Kinesha Harris and Wesley G. Gray (2009) "Phytoestrogens Regulate the mRNA and Protein Levels of Guanine Nucleotide Binding Protein Beta Subunit (GNB1) In MCF-7 Cells" Journal of Cellular Physiology 219(3):584-94

Rajasree Solipuram, Sowmya Koppula, Angela Hurst, Kinesha Harris, Srivatcha Naragoni, Krystal Fontenot, and Wesley Gray. "Molecular and Biochemical Effects of a Kola Nut Extract on Androgen Receptor-Mediated Pathways" Journal of Toxicology 
Volume 2009 (2009), Article ID 530279, 16 pages, doi:10.1155/2009/530279

Krystal Fontenot*, Srivatcha Naragoni†, Michelle Claville* and Wesley Gray *†1 (2007) "Characterization of Bizzy Nut Extracts in Estrogen Responsive MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells" Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 220 (1): 25-32

Lakshmi Ramanathan and Wesley Gray (2003) "Identification and Characterization of a Phytoestrogen Specific Gene from Breast Cancer Cells". Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 191:107-117


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