Rachal Chair in Chemistry
Our work is focused on the design and synthesis of small molecules to bind to protein surfaces, in the context of two programs:Design of Small Molecules To Perturb Protein-protein Interactions
We use novel strategies Exploring Key Orientations (EKO) that feature datamining to compare simulated preferred conformers of chemotypes we design with key features at protein-protein interfaces. Many chemotype candidates can be screened against one PPI, or one chemotype can be screened against all the PPI interfaces in the PDB. Virtual hit chemotypes are prepared in my lab, then tested against protein-protein interactions of biomedicinal interest using an array of biophysical and cellular assays.Design of Small Molecules To Target Metastatic Cancer Cells
We design small molecules to target cell surface receptors that are selectively overexpressed in cancer cells. Much or our work has been focused on the TrkC receptor that is particularly important to metastatic breast cancer and melanoma. Going forwards we are interested in expanding the targets to include cell surface receptors that are overexpressed when cancer cells undergo aberrant epithelial to mesenchymal transitions (EMT) to produce circulating tumor cells and cancer stem cells. Much of this work involves design and synthesis of the small molecules for this targeting.
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin
PhD University of Cambridge, UK