This program is focused on central activities required for the development of small organic molecules as cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Members of this program use a wide variety of approaches, including chemical, biochemical, cellular, and animal methods to design and discover drugs. These approaches include (but are not limited to):
- Natural Product-Based Drug Design and Discovery – Synthesis of anticancer natural products and analogs thereof and biological studies on their mechanism of action.
- Biologically-Targeted Drug Design – Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of synthetic compounds as potential inhibitors of anticancer enzyme targets, and antagonists of anticancer receptors.
- Screening of Biological Targets for Drug Discovery – Development and utilization of methods, including systems biology methods, for the high-throughput evaluation of potential anticancer agents.
- Preclinical Models for Drug Development – Evaluation of potential chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agents in cellular and animal cancer models.
Specific examples of activities in this program include:
- Development of new synthetic routes to natural products known to function as antitumor or chemopreventive agents.
- Mechanistic evaluation of new anticancer natural products.
- Design and synthesis of targeted protein kinase inhibitors.
- Design and synthesis of inhibitors of post-translational modifications.
- Design and synthesis of topoisomerase inhibitors.
- Development of systems methods for discovery of novel potential anticancer targets.
- Studies of potential chemotherapeutic agents in mouse xenograph and other animal models.
- Deborah W. Knapp
- Leader, Veterinary Clinical Sciences
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