Seminar - Protein Interactions: Novel Therapeutic Targets for Infectious Diseases
Date: May 4, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building, Room: 120
Sandhya Kortagere, PhD
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Member, Institute for Molecular Medicine & Infectious Disease
Drexel University College of Medicine
Protein-protein recognition and interactions form the basic unit of molecular networks that control cellular and pathological functions in organisms. Therefore, small molecules that modulate protein-protein interactions (PPI) are of enormous significance as therapeutic candidates. Diseases caused by multi-drug resistant pathogens like Plasmodium falciparum, HIV-1 are spreading at an alarming rate and the current repertoire of drugs is simply inefficient at containing these diseases. One possible solution is to design drugs that target unique pathways formed by PPI, thus reducing the probability of the pathogen developing resistance. We have developed a novel platform called the Hybrid Structure Based (HSB) method to design small molecule inhibitors to novel PPIs. HSB method is an iterative in silico, in vitro approach that utilizes structural information from the PPI interface to screen for small molecule inhibitors. In this talk, I will present the HSB algorithm and its applications to designing small molecule inhibitors to PPI derived from pathogens causing infectious diseases.
Sandhya Kortagere is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a member of the Institute for Molecular Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Kortagere received her Ph.D from National Institute for Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India in 2003 in the field of Molecular Pharmacology and completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Harel Weinstein at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York in the area of Biophysics of membrane proteins. She then moved to UMDNJ-Robert wood Johnson Medical School as a Research and Teaching specialist in the Department of Pharmacology, where she participated in developing the Structural Bioinformatics graduate course and establishing an independent program in in silico models for drug discovery. She is currently pursuing research in the area of rational drug design for infectious diseases. Her research is interdisciplinary encompassing in silico, in vitro and in vivo techniques. She has published over 25 papers in high impact journals which are well cited. She is also an invited editor on a book titled “in silico models for drug discovery for infectious diseases” for the Methods in Molecular biology series by Humana Press, NY. Among her main contributions to the infectious diseases field is the design of a unique family of antimalarial compounds that have very high efficacy against the parasite at all stages of its life cycle. Analogs of these compounds are poised for first-in-human studies by Drexel-MMV-Novartis partnership, which has put Drexel on the road for drug discovery for antimalarials. She is currently focusing her efforts on developing small molecule inhibitors for a variety of protein-protein interactions between viruses or parasites and their human hosts.
The Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building is located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.