Current Research Interests

The majority of the research personnel in my group are currently engaged in two general fields of interest: the development of new synthetic methods for the total synthesis of biologically active natural products and synthetic medicinal chemistry. We are pursuing the use of new methods for the total synthesis of several molecules with promising biological activity, e.g., parthenolide, rugulosone, and gymnostatin G. We have several collaborative programs in medicinal chemistry, e.g.: a) the preparation and testing of novel small molecule androgen receptor antagonists which inhibit the growth of castration-resistant prostate cancer; b) the preparation of analogues of metformin that show great promise as antitumor agents; c) the preparation and testing of new selective binders for the estrogen receptor as potential anti-breast cancer agents and agents to treat multiple sclerosis; d) the preparation of analogues of parthenolide which have been shown to kill cancer stem cells; e) the development of inhibitors of deoxycytidine kinase for the treatment of leukemia; f) the synthesis of small molecules, e.g., esters of alpha-ketoglutarate, which extend the life span of animals via a novel mechanism; g) the preparation of small molecules which differentiate stem cells into osteoblasts for bone growth; h) the design and preparation of small molecule inhibitors of the growth of many enveloped viruses and also specifically for enteroviruses; i) the design and preparation of small molecule inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatase-sigma (PTP-sigma) as agents to increase stem cell production; j) the design and synthesis of novel small molecule radiomitigators; k) the development of small 'read-through' molecules which allow the production of full-length dystrophin for the treatment of muscular dystrophy; l) the preparation and testing of small molecule which upregulate the production of Sirt1 for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease; m) the preparation of molecules that bind to the Sortase-A binding pocket as potential antibacterial agents; n) small molecules which activate NPEPPS and destroy tau and phospho-tau for the treatment of Alzheimers Disease; o) small molecule inhibitors of ENPP1, a phosphatase that is important in ectopic calcification; and p) small molecule that inhibit the activity of the ASTER group of protein for cholesterol trafficking and homeostasis.

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