Chemical Biology & Drug Discovery

This collaborative research area is focused on the discovery and optimization of novel chemical leads targeted to disease-related proteins for research tools and therapeutics, and the training of the next generation of drug discovery scientists.


Faculty Participants: College of Pharmacy

  • Dalby, Kevin, Ph.D. (Group Leader)
    • Research is geared to identify potential targets for cancer treatment through the targeting of protein kinases by utilizing novel efforts in chemical biology.
  • DiGiovanni, John D., Ph.D.
    • Focuses on understanding how cancer develops and on the identification of novel targets, mechanisms and strategies for cancer prevention.
  • Fast, Walter, Ph.D.
    • Work in the Fast laboratory merges the contemporary methodologies of chemical biology with classical biochemical and enzymological approaches in the investigation and manipulation of enzyme superfamilies with therapeutic interest.
  • Lee, Seongmin, Ph.D.
    • Research is aimed to evaluate damage, repair, and enzymatic modifications of DNA and RNA with the goal of discovering potent chemotherapeutics that selectively inhibit DNA-modifying enzymes.
  • Liu, Hung-wen (Ben), Ph.D.
    • Investigations in the Liu laboratory lie at the crossroads of chemistry and biology with research projects aimed at the elucidation of the mechanisms of novel enzymatic reactions, and the design of methods to control and/or regulate their functions.
  • Messing, Robert O., M.D.
    • Messing’s research is focused on disturbances in signal transduction that contribute to addiction, emotional disorders, and pain, with the goal of identifying new treatments.
  • Mukhopadhyay, Somshuvra, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
    • A major goal of Mukhopadhyay’s research is to understand how gene-environment interactions alter neuronal physiology to induce parkinsonian disorders.
  • Vasquez, Karen, Ph.D.
    • Efforts are focused in the areas of genome instability, DNA damage and mechanisms of repair. A unique feature of this lab’s approach is an emphasis on the role of DNA structure in human disease and the development of novel therapeutic strategies for treating cancer.
  • Whitman, Christian P., Ph.D.
    • Work is focused on enzyme mechanisms; how enzymes evolve and how they work. They are studying two groups of enzymes, the tautomerase superfamily and the fumaryl acetoacetate hydrolase (FAH) superfamily.

Faculty Participants: College of Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering

  • Ren, Pengyu, Ph.D.
    • Research is focused on molecular modeling of biological systems for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.

Associated Core Facility