Chemical Biology

Research includes:

  • Biocatalysis
  • Cellular Regulation
  • Drug Delivery
  • Drug Discovery
  • Glycobiology
  • Lipid Biochemistry
  • Metalobiochemistry
  • Molecular Recognition
  • Protein Folding and Assembly
  • Protein Trafficking
  • Receptor Pharmacology

Training Group Mission:

Students who join this training group work with a diverse group of faculty that apply chemical-based approaches to further the understanding of living systems. Fundamental and technical advances in chemistry, biochemistry, and structural and molecular biology over the past several decades have provided unprecedented opportunities to probe living systems at a molecular level. These advances have led to the development of a rapidly growing multidisciplinary field - Chemical Biology. Within the Chemical Biology training group, students apply groundbreaking chemical methodology to the elucidation of essential biological processes. Additionally, students that have identified new biological targets will drive the development of unique chemical entities. All students receive broad training at the interface of chemistry and biology, allowing the student to master the concepts needed for success in this multidisciplinary area of research.

Faculty Membership

Research Area

Our research is focused on the synthesis of complex glycoproteins, natural products, and oligosaccharides of importance in immunology and oncology. Ideally, in direct collaboration with biologists and clinicians, this will lead to the identification of lead structures as pharmacological tools and potential therapeutics.

Protein structure and function; X-ray crystallography; metalloenzymes; biodegradation of PCBs and related compounds
Development of small molecules, peptides and peptidomimetics for drug discovery, bionanotechnology, and cellular delivery of therapeutic agents

Chemical Immunology: Cell specific chemical perturbation of immune microenvironments in cancer, neurological and immunological disorders

Chemical synthesis and biological evaluation of natural products with medicinal importance and novel, diverse and complex small molecule libraries; medicinal chemistry; mechanism of action study.
Functional role deubiquitinating enzymes in cellular pathways implicated in neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease
Chemical and systems biology as applied to drug discovery; design, synthesis, and evaluation of small molecule modulators of protein interactions; development and application of high content cell analysis screening platforms.
We work on understanding and targeting epigenetic regulators in cancer initiation, progression, and chemotherapy resistance.
Use of chemistry as a tool to elucidate biological mechanisms
Synthetic organic, bioorganic and medicinal chemistry
Structural basis for RNA function
Multidrug resistance in human cancer
Design and synthesis of chemical inhibitors to interrogate epigenetic pathway towards development of new therapeutic agents
Organic and bioorganic mass spectrometry
bio-organic chemistry, bioconjugate chemistry, in vitro evolution, drug discovery
Computer-assisted drug design
Organic synthesis, bioorganic chemistry and molecular modeling
Epigenetic regulation of transposable elements
DNA Nanotechnology and Its Application

In the Parkinson lab, we focus on the discovery of novel antibiotic and anticancer natural products from cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters found in soil dwelling

Protein misassembly diseases
Drug Discovery in Cancer and Alzheimer's Disease Using Chemical Biology Tools

1) Cyclic dinucleotide signaling in bacteria and immune cells. 2) Bacterial quorum sensing. 3) Inhibitors of protein kinases (examples are: FLT3, ABL1, ROCK1/2, LRRK2, RET, CDKs). 4) Novel antibacterial and anti-biofilm agents.

Regulator of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins regulation by ubiquitin-proteasomal degradation and post-translational, transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms. RGS protein drug discovery.
We primarily study the molecular basis of GPCR-mediated signal transduction, principally via the techniques of X-ray crystallography and single particle electron microscopy. By determining atomic structures of signaling proteins alone and in complex with their various targets, we can provide important insights into the molecular basis of signal transduction and how diseases result from dysfunctional regulation. The lab is also interested in rational drug design and the development of biotherapeutic enzymes.
1) development of transiently-stable lipid- and polymer-based carrier systems for targeted drug & gene delivery; 2) development of high-throughput methods for detecting membrane protein activity; 3) development of materials and methods for controlled adsorption and templated protein crystallization
Organic synthesis, nanostructured materials science, self-assembly principles to produce exotic materials with physical or biomimetic function
Marine biological materials: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, polymers, and materials engineering
Controlled drug delivery, bio-nanotechnology
Plant endomembrane trafficking; chemical biology
Protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs), structure and function, PTP-mediated cellular signaling mechanisms, roles of PTPs in normal physiology and diseases, chemical biology and drug discovery

Ernest C. Young Hall, Room 170 | 155  S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114 | 765-494-2600

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