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Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Candidate Seminar


The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Ongoing Seminar Series

 D. Gomika Udugamasooriya, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Biochemistry
Advanced Imaging Research Center
UT-Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, TX

will present a seminar entitled

“Combinatorial Chemical-Biology Strategies for Cancer Specific Drug-Lead Development”

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 @ 11:00AM
College of Pharmacy Bldg., Room 102

Early cancer detection and effective treatment are challenges of the century. The complexity of the disease makes conventional diagnostic and therapeutic platforms often unreliable; even front-line drugs/drug-leads are perfectly targeting appropriate bio-markers. The overall focus of my research program is to develop novel set of molecular tools to effectively detect, treat and monitor the treatments ‘real time’, exploiting innovative chemical biology approaches. We are exploring biologically amenable peptoids as our main class of compounds, further combined with organic drug-like moieties and DOTA-like contrast agents to build novel hybrid scaffolds for combinatorial approaches. Our unique on-bead two-color combinatorial cell screen with various selection methods and post-development techniques, coupled with standard biology assays are used in identification and validation of cancer specific peptidomimetics. We have already developed highly specific and active peptoids that target a variety of cancer specific proteins (e.g. VEGFR2, EGFR, Fibulin-5), lipids (e.g. phosphatidylserine) and cancer stem cells. Ongoing studies are directed towards further optimization and validation of these compounds in both therapeutic and imaging applications.