Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis
Bioinorganic chemistry, neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s, metal-based diagnostic and therapeutic agents, catalysis, bimetallic cooperativity, and electronic structure.
Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry.
Medicinal inorganic chemistry can be divided into two main categories, (1) drugs that target metal ions in some form, and (2) metal-based drugs where the central metal ion is essential for the clinical application. Due to our increased understanding of biological processes and disease physiology, new opportunities exist for the design of metal-based and metal-binding agents. We are particularly interested in the application of medicinal inorganic chemistry to the diagnosis and therapy of neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer. The increased incidence of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s, and the lack of effective treatment strategies, makes this a critical research area. We are focusing our studies on two hallmarks of the disease; amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. We are also applying chemical tools to oncology to develop non-invasive imaging agents that show selective uptake in cancerous tissue. New cancer diagnostics are needed to increase our understanding of this disease, better assess treatment regimens, and develop innovative therapies. Working at the interface of inorganic chemistry, biology, and medicine, group members have the opportunity to collaborate across disciplines to investigate innovative treatment strategies.
We are interested in harnessing bimetallic cooperativity and ligand non-innocence to increase substrate affinity, and enhance redox reactivity and ensuing chemical transformations along multi-electron pathways. By integrating knowledge of metalloenzyme structure and function we aim to develop bioinspired catalysts capable of important organic transformations. Key to this work is characterizing the electronic structure of the synthesized transition metal complexes and determining how this relates to the observed physical properties and reactivity.
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