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Drug Discovery Research

  • The Buolamwini lab focuses on drug design and discovery and probe development, using synthetic medicinal chemistry, computer-aided molecular design as well as biochemical , molecular biology and experimental therapeutics methodologies. Disease areas of focus are ischemic heart disease, cancer/carcinogenesis and HIV/AIDS. Molecular targets include nucleoside transporters, MDM2, STAT3, receptor tyrosine kinases and HIV integrase. (John Buolamwini)
  • Good DMPK properties along with minimal toxicity are critical for development of a successful drug candidate. Generally poor DMPK properties resulting in poor absorption, high clearance have been attributed to the failure of oral drugs during the clinical development. In addition, potential of drug interactions or their inadequate understanding can complicate successful drug development. The prediction of human pharmacokinetics and metabolism of drugs is critical to advance the right compounds into clinical settings. Though use of in vitro data to extrapolate in vivo has aided the effort allowing for prediction of pharmacokinetic parameters, the translation to a clinical outcome is far from accurate. Dr. Deshmukh's research is aimed at identifying and studying specific research problems in the area of in vitro DMPK and developing in silico tools that can help improve the prediction of in vivo properties of potential drug candidates (Rahul Deshmukh)
  • Dr. Harrison's research is focused on the catalytic specificity of enzymes. He uses X-ray crystallography, site-directed mutagenesis, and mechanistic enzymology to determine what keeps a reaction in an enzyme on pathway. He is also using X-ray crystallography to explore which inhibitor and enzyme properties contribute to molecular recognition (David Harrison)
  • Dr. Eric Walters' research uses computational chemistry to discover and optimize new drug leads, and to understand protein structure and function.  Projects include work on HIV protease inhibitors, in collaboration with Professor Arun Ghosh at Purdue University; studies of citrate transporters with Professor Ronald Kaplan at RFUMS; new oxazolidinone antibiotics with Professor Oludotun Phillips at Kuwait University; mitochondrial transcription factors with Professor Raúl Gazmuri, RFUMS.  (Eric Walters)
  • Development of antisense oligonucleotide technology as treatment for disease (Michelle Hastings)
  • Dr. Kristen Ahlschwede research interests include: nanotechnology, nanomedicine, delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents to the central nervous system, novel strategies to improve the uptake of nanoparticles at the blood brain barrier and pharmacokinetic data analysis and modeling.  (Kristen Ahlschwede)
  • The major emphasis of Dr. Shivaputra Patil’s research is to design and develop novel chemotherapeutic agents for anti-cancer and anti-viral therapies. Drug design efforts are focused on the initial hits developed either by screening processes or medicinal chemistry efforts.  An additional component of these research projects includes the design, synthesis and detailed biological evaluation of new drug candidates.  (Shivaputra Patil)