Sarjubhai Patel

Assistant Research Professor


Personal Summary

After completing a B.Sc. (Hons) in Pharmacology at the University of Sunderland, U.K. in 1993, Sarjubhai Patel received a M.Sc. in Neuroscience from the Institute of Psychiatry, University College London, U.K. in 1994 and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Montana in 2000.  He completed postdoctoral fellowships in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and the Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience at the University of Montana.  He is currently an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2011).

Courses Taught

PHAR 362 Pharmaceutics Lab II (Microbiology I & II)

PHAR 632 Advanced Pharmacokinetics (Discussion section - Enzyme Kinetics) 

Research Interests

The focus of research in the Patel laboratory is the study of amino acid transport proteins in the central nervous system (CNS). Our research centers on the regulation of the system xc- cystine/glutamate exchanger.  System xc- is now established to play an important role in the regulation of glutathione biosynthesis and oxidative stress in both neurons and glial cells in the CNS.  Our long-term goal is to understand the contribution of its changing activities in various disease states involving oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.

In addition, we are also investigating the role system xc- in modulating the activity of the immune cells in innate immunity in diseases such inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and asthma (Collaboration with Dr. Celine Beamer).

Currently, we are determining how changes in other oxidative-stress related genes including system xc- specifically influence the pathogenesis of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). In addition, we believe that these protein changes will help to highlight the molecular mechanisms responsible for injury and recovery whilst allowing the identification of potential new biomarkers for TBI and CTE, such as microRNA.  To accomplish these goals we use a combination of biochemistry, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and molecular biology approaches (Collaboration with Dr. Thomas Rau)


GE-NFL Head Health Challenge I Methods for Diagnosis and Prognosis of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Co-PI Drs. Patel/Rau).

  • Primary goal to advance the understanding and diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury. 
  • Validate biomarkers that indicate how the brain reacts following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a method to identify which brain areas become disconnected after injury.

MUS Montana Research and Economic Development Initiative (MREDI) Translational Science at the Neural Injury Center (Co-PI Drs. Patel/Rau/Santos).

  • TBI is a complex health care issue that affects 13% (~133,000 individuals) of Montana’s adult population, with Montana ranked 2nd in the nation for TBI per capita.
  • Develop a TBI research consortium to bring together seven independent TBI researchers and two private companies to work synergistically to translate intellectual property owned by the MUS into diagnostic tools and therapies to directly benefit TBI survivors. 
  • Expand clinical services for TBI survivors and veterans at the Neural Injury Center at The University of Montana and initiate clinical trials based on technology developed by the TBI research consortium.   

Clinical Research Studies

In parallel to our ongoing basic science research, we are conducting numerous clinical research studies to evalute novel biomarkers and interventions for concussion and TBI. If you are a concussion or TBI sufferer, past or present, and are interested in participating in our studies, please email us at If you are currently a student veteran enrolled at the University of Montana or affiliated campuses, please contact Cindi Laukes, tel: (406) 243-4017 or email: at the Neural Injury Center to arrange an appointment.

Field of Study



Molecular Biology

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Selected Publications

Carrigan CN, Patel SA, Cox HD, Bolstad ES, Gerdes JM, Smith WE, Bridges RJ,Thompson CM. The development of benzo- and naphtho-fused quinoline-2,4-dicarboxylic acids as vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) inhibitors reveals a possible role for neuroactive steroids. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2014 Feb 1;24(3):850-4. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.12.086. Epub 2013 Dec 25. 
PubMed PMID: 24424130; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3943356.

Newell JL, Keyari CM, McDaniel SW, Diaz PJ, Natale NR, Patel SA, Bridges RJ. Novel di-aryl-substituted isoxazoles act as noncompetitive inhibitors of the system xc- cystine/glutamate exchanger. Neurochem Int. 2014 Jul;73:132-8. doi:10.1016/j.neuint.2013.11.012. Epub 2013 Dec 11. PubMed PMID: 24333322.

Matti AA, Mirzaei J, Rudolph J, Smith SA, Newell JL, Patel SA, Braden MR, Bridges RJ, Natale NR. Microwave accelerated synthesis of isoxazole hydrazide inhibitors of the system xc- transporter: Initial homology model. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2013 Nov 1;23(21):5931-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2013.08.080. Epub 2013 Aug 27. PubMed PMID: 24042010; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3876936.

Seib TM, Patel SA, Bridges RJ. Regulation of the system xc- cystine/glutamate exchanger by intracellular glutathione levels in rat astrocyte 
primary cultures. Glia. 2011 Oct;59(10):1387-401. doi: 10.1002/glia.21176. Epub 2011 May 17. PubMed PMID: 21590811.

Bridges RJ, Natale NR, Patel SA. System xc- cystine/glutamate antiporter: an update on molecular pharmacology and roles within the CNS. Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Jan;165(1):20-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01480.x. PubMed PMID: 21564084; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3252963.

Patel SA, Rajale T, O'Brien E, Burkhart DJ, Nelson JK, Twamley B, Blumenfeld A, Szabon-Watola MI, Gerdes JM, Bridges RJ, Natale NR. Isoxazole analogues bind
the system xc- transporter: structure-activity relationship and pharmacophore model. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Jan 1;18(1):202-13. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2009.11.001. 
Epub 2009 Nov 10. PubMed PMID: 19932968; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2967674.

Rothstein JD, Patel S, Regan MR, Haenggeli C, Huang YH, Bergles DE, Jin L, Dykes Hoberg M, Vidensky S, Chung DS, Toan SV, Bruijn LI, Su ZZ, Gupta P, Fisher 
PB. Beta-lactam antibiotics offer neuroprotection by increasing glutamate transporter expression. Nature. 2005 Jan 6;433(7021):73-7. PubMed PMID: 15635412.

Patel SA, Warren BA, Rhoderick JF, Bridges RJ. Differentiation of substrate and non-substrate inhibitors of transport system xc-: an obligate exchanger of  L-glutamate and L-cystine. Neuropharmacology. 2004 Feb;46(2):273-84. PubMed PMID:14680765.


Neural Injury Center (NIC)

Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience

Center for Enviromental Health Sciences (CEHS)