Research + Discoveries

  • Small Molecule Drug May Prevent Chemotherapy Resistance

    A team led by Professors Jiyong Hong and Pei Zhou has discovered a small molecule drug that can stop cancer cells from becoming resistant to chemotherapy. The new compound, which was tested in an animal model of melanoma, could serve as a powerful adjuvant to make current chemotherapies more effective.

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  • Malcolmson Lab Illustrates Chiral Allene Synthesis by Pd-Catalyzed Amine–Enyne Couplings

    The Malcolmson lab has demonstrated that conjugated enynes undergo efficient and selective intermolecular 1,4-hydroamination to afford chiral allenes with a variety of primary and secondary aliphatic amines as well as benzophenone imine as an ammonia surrogate. A large number of allenes are obtained in racemic form with an achiral Pd(DPEPhos) catalyst. Through the design and development of a novel PHOX ligand, the group illustrates that highly enantioenriched allenes may be obtained in several cases.

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  • Franz lab discovers relationship between copper levels and drug tolerance in fungal pathogen Candida albicans

    Lizzie Hunsaker of the Franz lab has discovered that modulating copper levels in the growth environment of Candida albicans reduces tolerance of this pathogen to widely prescribed azole antifungal drugs. Their results suggest that, even though these drugs are capable of coordinating transition metal centers, the observed copper-potentiated activity is not due to the formation of a copper complex. Instead, the data point to a broader relationship between Cu homeostasis and azole antifungals, a relationship that the lab continues to explore.

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  • Malcolmson Lab Develops Enantioselective Alkylations of Enolates with Dienes

    The Malcolmson lab has demonstrated that internal dienes may undergo regio- and enantioselective additions of enolate pronuclephiles. The transformations are promoted by Pd(PHOX) and Bronsted acid co-catalysts and deliver numerous products bearing 1,2-disubstituted olefins and a variety of alkyl groups at the stereogenic carbon. Read more about this research here in Chemical Science.

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  • Derbyshire Lab Discovers Chemical Probe that Reveals Malaria Parasite Signaling

    Rene Raphemot, Amber Eubanks, and other members of the Derbyshire lab, in collaboration with the Haystead lab in the Pharmacology department, have discovered the first reported inhibitors of an atypical Plasmodium kinase - PK9. Their results suggest that this protein kinase is important in ubiquitin signaling in the malaria parasite, and inhibition of this pathway leads to a unique growth of parasites during liver stage infection. These advancements lend insights into novel parasite biology.

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