College of Pharmacy

Laboratory for Molecular Design and Drug Discovery


The Laboratory for Molecular Design and Discovery is focused on the following major endeavors: 

1. Using chemical tools to dissect disease relevant biological pathways or mechanisms to discover new drug targets. 

2. Validation of novel therapeutic targets using pharmacological modulators in both a traditional drug discovery sense and in a systems-oriented approach exploring complex molecular states typified by disease. 

3. Optimizing newly discovered small molecule modulators of disease.

In addition, the lab collaborates with other faculty members on various drug discovery-oriented projects, utilizing synthetic chemistry to develop structure-activity-relationships (SAR) to enable preclinical optimization of candidate molecules.

Synthetic Chemistry

Our lab relies heavily on synthetic organic chemistry to generate small molecules to interrogate biological pathways and mechanisms of interest. The lab features state-of-the-art technology for the synthesis, purification, and characterization of molecules. We have automated instrumentation and facilities comparable to those typically found in major pharmaceutical companies. We are interested in both traditional, multi-step syntheses of complex molecules and parallel synthesis of focused chemical libraries to expedite SAR. Within our discovery workflow, we routinely employ in vitro ADMET profiling assays to optimize drug efficacy and disposition in a parallel manner. The lab has expertise in all phases of modern drug discovery and development including structure-based drug design, hit-to-lead and lead optimization, and preclinical optimization of compounds for further drug development.

Life in Discovery
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