Research + Discoveries

  • Charbonneau Lab Using A.I. to Recognize Crystals in Protein Crystallization Experiments

    The Charbonneau lab is bringing together researchers from industry and academia to develop a tool for automatizing protein crystal recognition.  Scientists came together to collect half a million images of protein crystallization experiments into a database that can specify which of these protein cocktails led to crystallization, based on human evaluation. The team then worked with a group led by Vincent Vanhoucke from Google Brain to apply the latest in artificial intelligence to help identify crystals in the images. Read more on the

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  • Malcolmson Lab Demonstrates Reductive Coupling Strategy for 1,2-Diamine Synthesis

    Building upon their initial work illustrating the use of 2-azadienes for the enantioselective synthesis of challenging amine scaffolds, the Malcolmson lab has now reported that these reagents may engage in reductive couplings with imines for the synthesis of anti-1,2-diamines.  The Cu-catalyzed process is highly chemo-, diastereo-, and enantioselective for the preparation of a range of diamines, including those that have largely remained elusive until now.  The authors additionally highlight the differentiability of the products’ two amines thereby facilitating downstream synthesis

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  • Derbyshire Lab Targets Malaria Parasite in the Liver

    The Derbyshire Lab is attempting to target the Malaria-causing parasite, Plasmodium, in the liver before it can reach the red blood cells.  In their recent PLOS Pathogen publication, available here, Derbyshire lab members use an inhibitor to curtail the parasite’s ability to reproduce inside the liver.

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  • Derbyshire Lab Finds Hsp90 Inhibitors That May Aid in Treating Malaria

    The collaborative efforts of the Derbyshire and Haystead labs reveal that compounds that bind to Hsp90 represent a class of molecules that inhibit both blood- and liver-stage Plasmodium parasites. This dual-stage inhibition is ideal for antimalarials, and their work highlights the potential of Hsp90 inhibitors as drug partners in combination therapies.  Read more about this research in an April issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy article here.

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  • Franz Lab Demonstrates Copper’s Role in Antibacterial Mechanism of a Prochelator

    The Franz Lab and collaborators explored the antibacterial mechanism of PcephPT, a prodrug of the antimicrobial chelator pyrithione.  Graduate students Jacqueline Zaengle-Barone and Abigail Jackson and former grad student David Besse found that PcephPT has an unconventional mode of action, requiring β-lactamase expression and copper availability for maximal activity.

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