Department of Drug Discovery and Development

Drug Discovery Laboratory Equipment

Faculty Research Focus

Raj Amin, Ph.D. (Wayne State University, 2003). Current research utilizes transgenic animals and primary heart cells to better understand the mechanism by which activation of these nuclear receptors controls the promoter activity of specific gene targets which are involved in regulating myocardial energy homeostasis such as fatty acid metabolism and glucose modulation. This goal will be accomplished by using chromatin immuno-precipitation and promoter activity assays; more specifically these techniques will better elucidate the role in which the nuclear receptors and transcriptional co-regulators control endogenous adiponectin expression and energy metabolism in the heart. The goal will then allow a better understanding as to how this protein and nuclear receptors protects the heart against diabetogenic stress and myocardial remodeling.

Robert D. Arnold, Ph.D. (University at Buffalo, SUNY 2004). Research focuses on determining the effect of alternate dosing schedules and developing targeted nanomedicines to improve detection of disease and improve drug delivery and antitumor efficacy. Molecular pharmaceutics, quantitative analysis (LC-MS/MS), pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) principles are used to gain mechanistic insights into drug action, toxicity and delivery of lipid- and composite-nanomedicines. In vitro and in vivo models of human disease and in silico computational PK/PD modeling and simulations are used.

Angela I. Calderon, Ph.D. (University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 2002). Biomedical applications of mass spectrometry in the discovery and development of bioactive natural products from plants for tuberculosis and tropical diseases particularly malaria and leishmaniasis. Development of LC-MS based analytical methods for the identification and quantitation of bioactive or marker/standard compounds and potentially toxic compounds in botanical dietary supplements. In vitro assessment of stability, metabolism and bioavailability of bioactive natural products. LC-MS based metabolomic studies of promising medicinal and edible plant species.

C. Randall Clark, Ph.D. (University of Mississippi, 1973). Development of analytical methods for drugs and metabolites in biological samples using appropriate analytical techniques; quantitative structure-retention relationships in HPLC; development of derivatizing reagents to facilitate chromatographic analyses; synthesis and pharmacologic evaluation of potential anticonvulsant agents; studies of structural and stereochemical factors affecting the mechanism of drug action at the molecular level.

Jack DeRuiter, Ph.D. (Virginia Commonwealth University/MCV, 1982). Design, synthesis and biochemical evaluation of enzyme inhibitors; synthesis and chemical reactivity of potential chemotherapeutic agents; synthesis of novel heterocycles as potential medicinal agents.

Muralikrishnan Dhanasekaran, M. Pharm., Ph.D. (Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Jadavpur University, 1999). Study the etiology and pathophysiology of aging and neurodegenerative disorders using valid animal models. Investigate the pharmacological and protective effects of various synthetic and alternative medicines in aging and neurodegenerative disorders.

Peter Panizzi, Ph.D. (Vanderbilt University, 2004). Current research is at the crossroads of molecular imaging, biochemistry and infectious disease research. Our goal is to better understand how certain bacteria are able to cause human disease and in turn we seek to use this knowledge against the microbe to detect specific sites of infections and identify the casual pathogen.

Daniel L. Parsons, Ph.D. (University of Georgia, 1979). Evaluation of methods of studying ligand-protein interactions; development of statistical approaches to studying protein-drug interactions; studies of alterations of plasma protein binding of medicinal agents in the presence of perfluorochemical blood substitutes.

Jayachandra Babu Ramapuram, Ph.D. (Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, 1998). Topical and transdermal delivery of drug molecules, dermato-toxicity, dermal metabolism of chemicals, drugs and pharmaceuticals. Design and formulation development of various dosage forms. Solid state characterization, stability and improvement of solubility and bioavailability of insoluble drugs. Protein and peptide stability characterization for drug delivery.

William R. Ravis, Ph.D. (University of Houston, 1977). Pharmacokinetic characterization of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals and endogenous substance development of solid dispersion dosage forms; studies intestinal absorption, metabolism and influencing factor evaluation of binding of basic drugs to plasma proteins.

Miranda N. Reed Ph.D. (Auburn University, 2007). Current research focuses on identifying the mechanisms by which neuronal hyperexcitability increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive aging, determining how certain factors, like diabetes, increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, and development of therapeutics to alleviate memory deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive aging.

David J. Riese II, Ph.D. (Yale University, 1993). Current work explores signaling specificity by receptor tyrosine kinases. Our goals is the development of novel therapeutic, staging, and diagnostic paradigms based on insights we glean from basic, mechanistic studies of receptor tyrosine kinase signal transduction.

Jianzhong Shen, Ph.D. (University of Missouri-Columbia, 2005). G protein-coupled P2Y nucleotide and adenosine receptors in vascular biology, disease and pharmacology. Signaling mechanisms governing the adhesion and migration of the inflammatory, progenitor/stem cells into the vascular wall. Protein phosphatase in vascular cell signaling, diseases and therapeutics.

Forrest T. Smith, Ph.D. (Virginia Commonwealth University/MCV, 1985). Development of synthetic methodology required for the synthesis of organic medicinal agents including antiarthritics and antineoplastics; natural product synthesis.

Vishnu Suppiramaniam, Ph.D. (Auburn University, 1993). Electrophysiological, biochemical and molecular approaches to understanding glutamate receptor channel behavior and effects of nootropic compounds. Use of artificial lipid bilayer models to determine the mechanism of cytolysis by viral glycoproteins and bacterial toxins.

Last Updated: February 22, 2017