The Medicinal Chemistry Lab collaborates with investigators who are interested in using small molecules to test biological hypotheses and to discover new biological processes.
We often work closely with the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center's High-Throughput Screening (HTS) Laboratory and Preclinical Pharmacology Core Lab on preclinical drug discovery projects. Our efforts generally commence after an initial screen has been developed and executed in the HTS core. We work with the biologists and the HTS Core to select the most promising initial hits for further evaluation.
We generally focus on three to five promising chemical scaffolds and seek to optimize them through iterative chemistry and biological testing. Through the process of chemical optimization, we heavily rely on the Pharmacology Core Lab to evaluate metabolic stability, toxicity, in vivo pharmacology and solubility.
In general, these efforts have two goals: discover a compound suitable for proof-of-concept studies in animals and construct a tool that will facilitate mode-of-action or biochemical studies.
The Medicinal Chemistry Lab has contributed to five projects that have been licensed to pharmaceutical companies for further development, as well as numerous patents, publications, and grants.