Research + Discoveries

  • Hargrove Lab Discovers Distinctive Properties of RNA-targeted Chemical Probes

    The Hargrove Lab compared bioactive ligands that target RNA to current FDA-approved drugs, nearly all of which target proteins. With the help of the Beratan Lab, they identified key differences in physical, structural, and spatial properties that distinguish RNA-targeted bioactive ligands. These unique insights are expected to facilitate the selection and synthesis of RNA-targeted libraries with the goal of efficiently identifying selective small molecule ligands for therapeutically relevant RNAs.

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  • Therien Lab Solving Protein Design Puzzle One Chomp at a Time

    The Therien Lab, teamed with chemists at UC San Francisco, have created a synthetic protein that tightly binds a non-biological catalyst, a type of molecule called porphyrin that is capable of stealing electrons from other molecules when it absorbs light.  Read more about how the “protein gator” chomps porphyrin cofactors in the Nature Chemistry article available here.


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  • Derbyshire Lab and Pharmacology Collaborators Spur Cell Death in Tumors

    A recent molecule, Takinib, developed by the Derbyshire and Haystead's labs, has been found to induce cell death in cancer cells by inhibiting the enzyme TAK-1.  Current testing is focused on Takinib’s possible therapeutic benefits in rheumatoid arthritis and could potentially expand to focus on other diseases, such as malaria.  Read more about this exciting molecule in the recent edition of Cell Chemical Biology.

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  • Welsher Lab Builds 3D Virus Camera

    The Welsher Lab has created a 3D Virus Cam that can track particles that are faster moving and less bright than previous microscopes. This new development provides a robust method for real-time 3D tracking of fast and lowly emitting particles, based on a single excitation and detection pathway, paving the way to more widespread application to relevant biological problems.

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  • Malcolmson Lab Reports Catalytic Enantioselective Intermolecular Hydroamination

    The development of reactions that transform cheap and readily accessible materials to high-value products with minimal waste is an important objective in chemical synthesis.  Enantioselective intermolecular olefin hydrofunctionalizations meet these criteria but are rare.  The Malcolmson lab has reported the first examples of late transition metal-catalyzed enantioselective intermolecular hydroamination of olefins with aliphatic amines.  A range of acyclic 1,3-dienes undergo reaction with several amines in the presence of a

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