"Designed Multiple Ligands for Targeted Epigenetic Perturbation" -
Yomi Oyelere, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Chemistry & Biochemistry
The overarching research objective of our laboratory is to delineate the chemical basis of the molecular recognition events employed by biomolecules to drive important biological processes. We are interested in how perturbation of molecular recognition, by natural and synthetic ligands, can be used to understand the molecular basis of biological processes. In the pursuit of our research, we find inspiration in the fact that the basic molecular recognition principles in globular RNAs and proteins are one and the same. In this line of thought, one of the primary research focuses of our laboratory is the use of common molecular template to design new ligands for RNA and protein targets. Histone deacetylases and ribosomes are the current targets in this project. The ligands that have resulted from these studies have been used to probe the molecular basis of the function of their respective targets. Also, many elicit practical and desirable bioactivities including anti-tumor and anti-infective activities. Furthermore, our laboratory is involved in an interdisciplinary collaboration with the El-Sayed’s group on the design of new organic ligand conjugated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for cell selective delivery. Individual research project in our laboratory involves a unique blend of the tools of synthetic organic chemistry, computational chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology.