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Dr. Michael Ziebell (from Merck Research Laboratories), "Affinity Selection-Mass Spectrometry in Drug Discovery"

Date: 09/15/11
Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: School of Science and Engineering
Location: Coykendall Science Building Auditorium
Contact: Dr. Julio Jorge Gonzalez, x3724, gonzalj@engr.newpaltz.edu

One of the early stages of drug discovery is the identification of lead molecules which, with the help of medicinal chemists, might evolve into useful disease therapies. For most small molecule research programs, this is accomplished using activity screens where molecules are identified based on their ability to interrupt disease pathways. A different approach is first to hunt for compounds that bind specifically to a protein target and second to determine whether the compound has useful characteristics that will support a research program. This could be particularly useful where activity-based screens fall short of finding promising leads. Affinity Selection Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) is a form of the latter approach to lead identification. While not always successful, ASMS was used to discover compounds that inhibit the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, a G-protein coupled receptor implicated in the progression of Parkinson's disease. ASMS will be described in the context of new approaches to drug discovery that are necessary for finding therapies to complex diseases.