Curt Alexander Davey on Exploiting Chromatin Structure & Chemistry for Cancer Therapy

In Clinical Trials, Drug Safety by valerie limLeave a Comment

Curt Alexander Davey, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University would be sharing on Exploiting Chromatin Structure & Chemistry for Cancer Therapy at BioPharma Asia Convention’s NTU-SBS Symposium at 2.40pm on 20 March 2012!

Here’s a short profile of him:

  • Staff Scientist/Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1998-2003, ETH-Zürich
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1996-1997, University of Miami
  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 1991-1996, University of Miami School of Medicine
  • B.A. in Biochemistry, 1987-1991, University of Colorado
  • B.A. in Psychology, 1987-1991, University of Colorado
  • The general interest of my laboratory is the role of nucleosome conformation, dynamics and context in genomic regulation.  Our primary aim is to find new drug targets and develop novel cancer therapeutics by studying DNA/protein structure and chemistry within the physiological framework of chromatin.

The following would be a summary of what he would be presenting:

The majority of cellular DNA is wrapped by histone proteins in nucleosomes, rendering these fundamental repeating units of chromatin an important therapeutic target.  In fact, recent studies are uncovering profound epigenetic differences between normal and tumour cells, corresponding to distinctions in chromatin structure and chemical composition.  This suggests there are many potential cancer-specific nucleosome targets in the genome, and it has also become clear there are a number of genes critical for cancer cell survival that are relatively dispensable to normal cells.  Therefore, our basic idea is to find compounds capable of binding to specific nucleosomes or defined sites within nucleosomes, which could enable targeting such weak points of cancer cells.

We have constructed a novel nucleosomal drug development platform that implements a combined top-down and bottom-up perspective to find improved anticancer agents.  With this approach, we can establish links between the structural/chemical basis of binding site preference, cellular localization and effects on chromatin to shed light on mode of action for existing agents with known therapeutic efficacy.  In parallel, the information gained on histone protein and DNA binding activities aid in the directed design of novel compounds to test principles of selective nucleosome targeting for anticancer therapy.

Join us at NTU's SBS Symposium! 8 professors will be coming together to share their latest developments in the biopharmaceutical arena at this symposium co-located at BioPharma Asia Convention. Pre-register to attend BioPharma Asia Convention today!

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