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Chemistry Special Seminar - Dr. Raymond J. Andersen

Posted on 2018-03-14 in Events
Mar 26, 2018


A Chemical Genetics Approach to the Discovery of Marine Natural Product Drug Leads


The secondary metabolites found in marine organisms represent an extremely rich source of novel chemical diversity for academic drug discovery and chemical biology programs. Our group at UBC has amassed a sizable library of crude extracts from marine sponges, other marine invertebrates, and cultured marine microorganisms collected in many of the world's oceans. In collaboration with biologists, this crude extract library has been screened for activity in cell-based and pure enzyme assays designed to identify promising marine natural product lead compounds for the development of drugs. Bioassay-guided fractionation of crude extracts and extensive spectroscopic analysis has been used to identify the structures of pure natural products active in the assays. Biology-oriented chemical synthesis has been undertaken to probe the SAR for new natural product pharmacophores that we have discovered and to provide material for in vivo testing in animal models. We have used Click chemistry probes and protein x-ray diffraction analysis to study the interactions of bioactive natural products with their molecular targets. Several new drug candidates for the treatment of cancer, inflammation, type II diabetes, and infectious diseases have emerged from this research program. Four of them have progressed to phase II/III clinical trials in humans and others are in preclinical evaluation/development. The lecture will present some highlights from our academic ‘Drugs from the Sea’ and chemical biology research.

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