Our Expertise

Our Expertise

Listed are the skillsets of the members of SMU’s CD4. They range from identifying potential small molecule drugs through in silico drug screening, theoretical approaches to calculate protein - small molecule interactions and designing or re-designing potent drug candidates. Expertise is available in organic synthesis of small drug-like molecules as well as elaborate polymeric structures that may be used for targeted drug delivery. Biochemical and biophysical evaluation as well as cell and in vivo testing of identified drug candidates are also a part of the Center’s set of know-how.

  • Antibiotic chemistry
  • Bacterial expression systems for wild type and mutant kinases.
  • CADD (Computer Assisted Drug Design)
  • Calculation of high accuracy properties
  • Cell/tissue-culture-based assays.
  • Cultures of different trypanosome life cycle stages and infections in rodents.
  • Determination of hormone levels, specifically insulin
  • Determination of metabolite levels in an non-vertebrate model organism
  • Determine activity of key metabolic signaling pathways
  • Development of bio-markers for Aurora kinase activity.
  • Development of drug screen assays.
  • Development of quantum chemical methods (relativistic, DFT, MBPT, CC ...)
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Environmental Toxicology
  • Enzyme activity assays, especially with respect to how conjugated polymers affect activity
  • Enzyme and protein expression and purification
  • Enzyme assays
  • Evaluate drug delivery capability of novel polymer systems.
  • Flash chromatography that allows us to purify almost any mixture in minutes vs. hours for conventional chromatography.
  • Functionalization of polymers useful for attaching targeting molecules to polymeric drug delivery devices
  • Kinase assays
  • Magnetic properties of molecules
  • Measure organismal fitness/ health parameters
  • Medium throughput enzyme assays
  • Modification of proteins by conjugation to synthetic polymers.
  • Molecular biology of trypanosomes, including gene knock-down, knock-in, and fluorescent methods.
  • Molecular docking / high throughput in silico drug screening
  • Molecular dynamics, steered molecular dynamics, targeted molecular dynamics of proteins, Enzymes and Transport Proteins
  • Molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis & tumor progression. 
  • Molecular modeling from evolutionary relationships among protein families
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Organic synthesis
  • Photochemistry and Photobiology
  • Polymer and small molecule chemical characterization by spectroscopy (NMR, ATR FTIR, UV-vis, etc.), chromatography (size exclusion, HPLC, etc.), and static/dynamic laser light scattering for molecular weight and particle size information
  • Preliminary drug toxicity, tolerance etc. determinations in a non-vertebrate model organism
  • Preparation of biodegradable polymeric materials for controlled release in specific environments.
  • Preparation of electrochromic polymers useful as "signaling" molecules for detection of redox potential of the medium
  • Protein Engineering
  • Protein Structure Determination
  • Purification of potential target proteins, 
  • Rational drug design
  • Reaction mechanism and reaction dynamics
  • Roles of cellular acetyltransferases in transcriptional gene regulation. 
  • Small molecule synthesis using conventional heating and microwave 
  • Structure-function relationships in proteins
  • Synthesis of fluorescent polymers with potential application as detecting devices
  • Synthesis of well-defined polymers with controlled molecular weight, molecular architecture, and placement of functional groups
  • Synthesis, purification, and characterization of novel polymers, block copolymers, and other advanced macromolecular architectures.
  • Validation of Aurora kinase as a therapeutic target in trypanosomes by inducible gene knockdown in cultures and in rodents.
  • Vibrational spectroscopy
  • Viral pathogenesis. Theory of the chemical Bond
  • Weak interactions, especially H-bond, van der Waals interactions
  • X-ray Crystallography

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