Research

Cisplatin Derivatives

An important class of chemotherapeutic agents is that of platinum antineoplastics. The treatment is typically associated with numerous side effects and carries the risk of malignancies developing drug resistance.

This work focuses on the synthesis of new ligands derived from amino acids with the goal of improving long-term treatment outcomes, minimizing side-effects and generating tools to study cellular processes associated with the use of platinum drugs. Variation of the amino acid side chains are designed to modify the lipophilicity of ligands and to contribute steric hindrance. The side chains of the ligands can be functionalized to attach reporter groups to determine the location of adducts on the DNA strand as well as the distribution of the drugs in cells.

Decorporation

The decorporation project deals with the removal of radioactive nuclides from the human body. The ideal drug to treat mass casualties will be orally available, have a high specificity towards actinides and lanthanides, and form complexes with these elements that have high enough a solubility to promptly be cleared from the body.

Neuroprotection

The effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI), that can be the result of stroke, neurodegenerative disease, or neurotoxin consumption are grave and can be life-changing. This project strives to develop compounds that halt or decrease progression of diseases or trauma that result in loss of neuronal function.

Specifically, small molecular probes are being developed to engage inflammatory processes in the central nervous system. This classic drug-development project combines synthetic organic chemistry with pharmacolo-gy in hopes of developing a treatment for those who suffer from debilitating neuronal degeneration.