Medicinal Chemistry research in BMED focuses on the design, chemical synthesis and development of bio-active molecules and pharmaceutical agents for a diverse array of biomedically relevant targets, such as the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and imaging agents as applied to a range of pathological conditions including CNS diseases and cancer.
While always an integral part of Pharmacy and therapeutic drug discovery, Medicinal Chemistry has grown to embrace many other facets of "small molecule development and application", including: biomarkers, fluorescent probes, molecular modeling, high-throughput screening, diagnostics, and imaging agents. BMED faculty working in these areas have expertise in synthetic chemistry, analytical chemistry, molecular modeling and structure-activity analysis. Current projects include the development and characterization of small molecules relevant to the cholinergic system, neurotransmitter receptors and transporters, cannabinoids, drug-metabolizing enzymes and transporters, DNA-binding agents, and enzyme-activated prodrugs. In addition to their own research projects, the Medicinal Chemistry faculty are routinely involved in intramural and extramural collaborations, providing much needed reagents to other BMED researchers for physiological, biochemical and pharmacological projects. A list of BMED faculty interests in Medicinal Chemistry can be found below.
Students working in the Medicinal Chemistry labs have pursued their graduate degrees in:
Research Assistant Professor
Design and synthesis of Toll-like receptor agonists as vaccine adjuvants using structure-activity relationship studies to fine-tune activity, selectivity and potency of these agonists.
Professor & Associate Dean
Discovery of novel, targeted anticancer agents and their mechanisms of action.
Targeted drug delivery of anti-cancer agents to improve efficacy while minimizing off-target drug toxicity for the improvement of patient outcomes.
Use of computational modeling, biophysical and biochemical methods to guide modification of existing nuclear receptor drugs.
Professor, Director of Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience
Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Development of in vitro 3D cell culture systems for drug screening and evaluation.
Development of potent analogs of microbial metabolites with pharmaceutical potenital as potential to act as antibiotics, and compounds that regulate inflammatory and apoptotic pathways associated with cancer and ischemic stroke
Development of potent analogs of microbial secondary metabolites with pharmaceutical potential as antibiotics, and compounds that regulate inflammatory and apoptotic pathways associated with cancer and ischemic stroke
My research expertise is in bioorganic and medicinal chemistry with an emphasis in neuroscience. These interests inlcude organic synthesis, biochemical pharmacology, drug design and drug delivery, and protein mass spectrometry.