Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar Series

Spring 2021 Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar Series

Wednesdays 11:30-12:30 pm PST

Title

Building Biomimetic Structures with DNA Nanotechnology

Summary

In eukaryotic cells, a myriad of evolutionarily conserved biomolecule machineries control the formation of membrane-bound compartments and the molecular transport amongst them. However, evolution hands us these beautiful end products without a user manual, meaning such sophisticated systems can be difficult to dissect or re-engineer. Our research seeks to unlock mechanistic details of cellular organization and dynamics at molecular level by establishing cell-free platforms that robustly recapitulate the native environment of membranous compartments and protein complexes. Specifically, we utilize DNA nanotechnology, an emerging technique that programs supramolecular assembly in three dimensions, to build various biomimetic constructs with precisely controlled geometry and molecular placement. Here, I will share our progress on building a versatile nanoscale toolkit for high-precision membrane engineering and an adaptable framework for building artificial nuclear pore complexes. I will also discuss how we tackle some of the long-standing questions about biomolecular interactions using such a “DNA-guided” engineering approach.

 

Title

Regulation of Drosophila feeding behavior

Abstract

The Ja lab uses Drosophila melanogaster as a model for dissecting the genetic and neural mechanisms of aging, behavior, and disease.  Recently developed tools allow us to quantify fly food intake with unparalleled resolution.  These tools complement existing methods for studying feeding behavior that we have used to: 1) investigate how the evaluation of food quality regulates caloric intake; 2) dissect the neurobiology of prandial behavior, including meal size control; and 3) identify the leucokinin system as a key regulator of postprandial sleep.  Our studies may reveal the basic, and conserved, strategies that animals use to regulate feeding and inform novel approaches aimed at modifying ingestive behavior.

Title

CRISPR-powered transistors- a new generation of transistors for amplification free DNA detection

Abstract

The discovery of CRISPR technology has revolutionized the fields of transcriptional activation and repression, genome editing, gene-based therapeutics, and diagnostics. The applications of this technology have been rapidly expanding as researchers continue to discover new Cas enzymes, engineer high fidelity Cas orthologs, and modify and synthesize guide RNAs to efficiently direct these Cas enzymes to their targets. In this talk, we will introduce the first-generation DNA biosensors that combine CRISPR technology with the ultra-sensitivity of graphene-based field effect transistors (gFETs) to detect target DNA sequences within the whole genome without the need for DNA amplification. This technology, termed CRISPR-Chip™, utilizes the genome searching capability of Cas and reprogrammable RNA molecule to unzip the double-stranded DNA and bind to its target. This binding event causes a change in graphene conductivity which can be detected in real-time within the gFET construct. CRISPR-Chip was utilized to detect target genes within clinical samples obtained from patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (Cover of Nature BME-2019), and single cell point mutations in Sickle cell disease and ALS without the need for amplification (Nature BME 2021), within less than 30 minutes. The applications of this technology platform go beyond diagnostics. CRISPR-Chip can provide greater insights on the mechanism of CRISPR and can lead to safe and more effective utilization of this gene editing technology for therapeutic applications.  

Title 

Ventral Tegmental Area: Neuronal and Functional Diversity

Abstract

Dopamine neurons distributed within the ventral tegmental area (VTA) play crucial roles in different behaviors. Studies of VTA information processing have been focused on resident dopamine neurons for over fifty years. This talk will provide an overview of evidence showing that the VTA has glutamatergic neurons that establish both local and long range connections, and provide excitatory regulation within different brain areas. In addition, it’ll cover data on subpopulations of VTA neurons that co-release dopamine and glutamate or glutamate and GABA. It’ll also provide evidence indicating that axon terminals from glutamate-GABA neurons share a common and unique synaptic architecture in which a single dual glutamate- GABA axon terminal simultaneously establishes excitatory and inhibitory synapses. The discovery of the complex neuronal diversity of the VTA offers new scientific challenges and opportunities towards having a better understanding of neuronal mechanisms underlying brain disorders related to the reward system.

Title

Meta–omics Reveals Microbiome Based Proteolysis as a Driver of Ulcerative Colitis Severity

Abstract

Host-microbiota interactions drive chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). To discover new mechanisms underpinning this interplay, we collected and evaluated a multi-omic resource of six fecal or serum-based omic data types from two independent cohorts of IBD patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD).

Integrated metagenomic and metaproteomic profiles revealed a subset of UC patients with active disease that exhibited an overabundance of bacterial proteases secreted by Bacteroides vulgatus. Protease inhibition dramatically improved B. vulgatus-induced barrier dysfunction in vitro, and prevented colitis in Il10-/- mice monocolonized with B. vulgatus or transplanted with protease-rich fecal samples from UC patients. These results highlight the value of multi-omic integration for mechanistic discoveries and identified B. vulgatus proteases as a potential therapeutic target for ameliorating colitis in a subset of UC patients.

Title:

Parallel dopamine circuits mediate unique aspects of cocaine-induced behavioral plasticity 

Abstract:

My research is focused on identifying how experience modulates activity dynamics in neural circuits, both acutely and chronically. I aim to develop new methods and use these in combination with modern techniques such as optogenetics and in-vivo calcium imaging to understand the sources of adaptive and maladaptive plasticity that drive normal and pathophysiological behaviors. These include reward/aversion processing in normal appetitive behaviors, drug addiction, neurodegeneration, and neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. I will also employ cutting-edge viral-genetic methods to map brain state-dependent activity in connected neural ensembles, and use this information to infer how our brain state drives us to perform particular behaviors. I also aim to take novel approaches to interrogating the sources of individual behavioral variation in neuropsychiatric conditions such as addiction, anxiety, and depression.

Title

Advances in Shear-thinning Hydrogels for Biofabrication and Tissue Repair

Abstract

Hydrogels represent a class of biomaterials that have great promise for biomedical applications, particularly due to our ability to engineer their biophysical and biochemical properties to meet design criteria for a specific application. A sub-set of hydrogels are those that are shear-thinning and self-healing, where they are assembled through dynamic and reversible interactions that allow disassembly with mechanical shear (e.g., during syringe extrusion) and then self-healing of the hydrogel when the mechanical force is removed. We have leveraged these properties to design hydrogels that can be directly injected into tissues for repair or for the processing of hydrogels into desired structures with biofabrication techniques. Examples will be provided on how we have used these materials in the delivery of therapeutics for myocardial infarction, in the fabrication of in vitro cardiac tissue models from cellular spheroids, and in the production of granular materials from particles and fibers.

Title

Targeting heterogeneity in Glioblastoma

Abstract

Despite efforts to gain a deeper understanding of its molecular architecture, glioblastoma (GBM) remains uniformly fatal. While recent advances in single cell technology and genome-based subtyping have revealed that GBMs may be parsed into several molecularly distinct categories, this insight has yielded little progress towards extending patient survival. We have developed two separate projects to resolves tumoral heterogeneity: first, we interrogated tumor samples using a pathway-based approach to generate clusters based on overall patterns of enrichment. These data underscore the importance of cell cycle signatures in tumor biology. Second, we created a 28-marker mass cytometry panel composed of signaling markers and lineage markers that have been associated with GBM or cancer stem cells. These studies reveal pathways that are preferentially use by different tumor cells that interact with distinct immune populations. Both studies have the overarching goal of establishing therapeutic efforts to extend patient survival.

Title

TBD

Abstract

TBD

Winter 2021 Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar Series

Title

Neuroscience Pharmacology: Selective Targeting of Brain Receptors

Summary

The lecture will explore approaches to discovering selective small molecule drugs to treat diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Selective action at structurally related receptor subtypes can be achieved on the basis of differential affinity, activation, allostery and pharmacokinetics. The choice of assays for drug screening depends on the selectivity strategy. Two case studies of recent CNS drug development will be presented. Pimavanserin is a 5HT2A inverse agonist with novel antipsychotic activity that was recently approved for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease psychosis. The discovery of muscarinic receptor agonists to treat Alzheimer’s disease will also be reviewed.

 

Title

Drug Discovery and the Importance of Compound Property Space; Antibiotics as Examples

Abstract

Drug discovery is a complex, interdisciplinary approach to identify novel chemical entities that will address therapeutic needs. The talk will give an overview on the different stages of discovery and development, briefly touch on major objectives and introduce a number of property parameters important as a novel drug candidate is being generated. General principles will be outlined and discussed in the context on antibacterial drug discovery, featuring multiple specific examples including topics such as pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, potency, efficacy, and a number of parameters like solubility, plasma protein binding, or formulation.

Title

Kinases in Drug Discovery: Inhibition of Autoimmune Pathways with Dual Inhibition of JAK1 and TYK2: Discovery of PF-06700841

Abstract

Kinases, enzymes that modulate signal transduction through phosphorylation of substrates, have been the targets of intense drug discovery over the past 20 – 25 years. In this talk, I will introduce kinases as drug targets and then discuss the discovery of a dual JAK1/TYK2 inhibitor as a case study. The case study will discuss the supporting biology for JAK enzymes as drug targets and showcase the use of computational chemistry in the optimization process.

Title 

Multiple Shots on Goal: Dual Approaches to the Design of Inhibitors of Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK)

Abstract

Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), a non-receptor tyrosine kinase, is a member of the Tec family of kinases and plays a crucial role in B cell receptor mediated signaling in B cells and Fcγ receptor and Fcε receptor mediated signaling in myeloid cells. As a result, pharmacological inhibition of BTK is anticipated to provide an effective strategy for the clinical treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The first part of this lecture will outline our strategy to identify highly potent and selective carbazole and tetrahydrocarbazole based, reversible inhibitors of BTK. Of particular interest is that the compounds benefit from defined chirality derived from two rotationally stable atropisomeric axes, providing a potent and selective single atropisomer with desirable efficacy and tolerability profiles. BMS-986142 was advanced into clinical studies. The second part of this lecture will outline the evolution of our strategy to identify a covalent, irreversible inhibitor of BTK that has the intrinsic potency, selectivity, and pharmacokinetic properties necessary to provide a rapid rate of inactivation systemically following a very low dose. With excellent in vivo efficacy and a very desirable tolerability profile branebrutinib has advanced into clinical studies.

Title

Selective tissue targeting of synthetic nucleic acid drugs

Abstract

Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) are chemically synthesized nucleic acid analogs designed to bind to RNA by Watson-Crick base pairing. Following binding to the targeted RNA, the ASO perturbs RNA function by promoting selective degradation

of the targeted RNA, altering RNA intermediary metabolism, or disrupting function of the RNA. Most antisense drugs are chemically modified to enhance their pharmacological properties and for passive targeting of the tissues of therapeutic interest. Recent advances in selective tissue targeting have resulted in a newer generation of ASO drugs that are more potent and better tolerated than previous generations, spawning renewed interest in identifying selective ligands that enhance targeted delivery of ASOs to tissues.

Discovery of Cyclic Dinucleotide STING Agonists for The Treatment of Cancer | Alan Northrup, Ph.D.

The pharmaceutical industry is in the midst of a molecular revolution where complexity of drug molecules is increasing and our access to novel small and larger molecule modalities is advancing at an unprecedented rate. Central to this is an investment in synthetic chemistry and also structural and computational models. Using the Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING) project as a case study, the discovery and synthesis of cyclic dinucleotides as cancer therapies will be discussed. Importantly, beyond the total synthesis of asymmetrical dinucleotides by traditional chemical means, the use of enzymes to establish structure-activity relationships will be explored.

Process R&D: Green and Sustainable Chemistry for Manufacturing on Scale | Donald Gauthier, Ph.D.

Defining efficient and robust chemical processes to prepare Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients is foundational to pharmaceutical research. Molecules that are invented to improve the course of human health must be synthesized by routes that don’t offset those advantages for reasons of excessive waste generation, high manufacturing cost or unreliable supply. The role of the industrial process chemist is, in part, to ensure the positive benefits of these medicines to society as whole are maintained when they are introduced into the marketplace and synthesized time and again over decades of use. In this seminar, process development and the innovations in reaction and process design that underpinned the commercial routes to Doravirine® and Zerbaxa® will be described.

Title

Advances in Cystic Fibrosis Therapy: A Case History Study of the Ivacaftor and Lumacaftor Combo

Abstract

 Quinolinone-3-carboxamide, a novel CFTR potentiator, was discovered using high-throughput screening in NIH-3T3 cells expressing the F508del-CFTR mutation. Extensive medicinal chemistry and iterative structure−activity relationship (SAR) studies to evaluate potency, selectivity, and pharmacokinetic properties resulted in the identification of N-(2,4-di-tert-butyl-5-hydroxyphenyl)-4-oxo-1,4-dihydroquinoline-3-carboxamide (VX-770, 48, ivacaftor), an investigational drug candidate approved by the FDA for the treatment of CF patients 6 years of age and older carrying the G551D mutation. It took over 22 years from the discovery of the CFTR gene in 1989 until approval of the first drug that targets the defective CFTR mutant protein, which is the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis. Additional CFTR modulators have been approved to treat other mutations such as F508del in combination with VX-770, and a case history study of the combination therapy with ivacaftor and lumacaftor will be discussed.

Title

Non-steroidal FXR Agonists – Tropifexor (LJN452) and Nidufexor (LMB763) For Chronic Liver Diseases

Title

Discovery of a Minor Allele-Specific siRNA for PNPLA3 I148M to Treat NASH

Abstract

Human genome wide association studies (GWAS) confirm the association of the rs738409 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the gene encoding patatin like phospholipase domain containing 3 (PNPLA3) with hepatic steatosis and its sequelae.  Expression of the PNPLA3I148M mutant protein results in impaired lipid metabolism and accumulation of triglycerides on hepatic lipid droplets.  Reducing expression of the mutant protein via antisense therapy served to alleviate liver inflammation and fibrosis in Pnpla3I148M knock-in mice fed a nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-inducing diet (1).  While Pnpla3-deficient mice do not display an adverse phenotype, the safety of knocking down endogenous PNPLA3 in humans remains unknown.  To expand the scope of a potential targeted nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) therapeutic to both homozygous and heterozygous PNPLA3 rs738409 populations, we sought to identify a minor allele-specific siRNA that could prevent human PNPLA3I148M-driven NASH phenotypes.  Limiting our search to SNP-spanning triggers, a series of chemically modified siRNA were tested in vitro for activity and selectivity toward PNPLA3 rs738409 mRNA.  Conjugation of the siRNA to a triantennary N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) ligand (24) enabled in vivo screening using adeno-associated virus to over-express human PNPLA3I148M versus human PNPLA3I148I in mouse livers.  Structure-activity relationship optimization yielded potent and minor allele-specific compounds that achieved high levels of mRNA and protein knockdown of human PNPLA3I148M but not PNPLA3I148I. Testing of the minor allele-specific siRNA in PNPLA3I148M-expressing mice fed a NASH-inducing diet prevented PNPLA3I148M-driven disease phenotypes, thus demonstrating the potential of a precision medicine approach to treating NAFLD.

 

  1. D. Lindenet al., Pnpla3 silencing with antisense oligonucleotides ameliorates nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis in Pnpla3 I148M knock-in mice. Mol Metab 22, 49-61 (2019).
  2. D. J. Fosteret al., Advanced siRNA Designs Further Improve In Vivo Performance of GalNAc-siRNA Conjugates. Mol Ther 26, 708-717 (2018)
  3. J. K. Nairet al., Impact of enhanced metabolic stability on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of GalNAc-siRNA conjugates.Nucleic Acids Res 45, 10969-10977 (2017).
  4. J. K. Nairet al., Multivalent N-acetylgalactosamine-conjugated siRNA localizes in hepatocytes and elicits robust RNAi-mediated gene silencing. J Am Chem Soc 136, 16958-16961 (2014).

Fall 2020 Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar Series

Title

A Unifying Molecular Mechanism for Anesthesia and Mechanosensation 

Abstract

Anesthetics are used every day in thousands of hospitals to induce reversible loss of consciousness. For 100 years scientists speculated anesthetics could target the plasma membrane, but no direct proof emerged. I will discuss data that show anesthetics directly act on a subset of plasma membrane to activate an ion channel TREK-1.  Using super resolution imaging, electrophysiology, and in vivo data in a fruit fly, I will describe a membrane mediated mechanism of anesthesia and its intersection with mechanosensation. 

Title

Membranes and Amphiphiles: Probing Roles Beyond Compartmentalization with All Atom Simulations

Abstract

Membranes are increasingly recognized not only for the role in localization, but also in the regulation of cellular activities. In this talk I will describe our efforts to understand the physical driving forces behind membrane permeation, organelle trafficking, and lipid droplet protein targeting with all atom molecular dynamics simulations. The first story queries mycolactone, a seemingly simple amphiphilic toxin that induces necrosis by inhibiting membrane proteins and cell adhesion while also blocking pain and inflammation. Originally thought to passively diffuse through membranes, our simulations reveal strong and organelle-specific membrane association that helps to explain several aspects of the toxin’s pathogenicity. The second story delves into lipid droplets, energy storage organelles with a phospholipid monolayer as opposed to bilayer. Our simulations suggest new perspectives on the surface and hydration properties of lipid droplets as well as patterns and interactions that drive protein recruitment.

Title

Reconfiguring Ribosomes During and After Assembly


Abstract

Ribosomes produce protein in all cells. In doing so, they must faithfully translate the mRNA sequence into protein and interpret other instructions in the mRNA to maintain protein homeostasis via differential translation initiation rates, and by modulating elongation and termination efficiencies. Failure to accurately interpret the instructions that specify protein sequence or levels leads to pathologies, including cancer. Our work has shown that “specialized” ribosomes, lacking individual ribosomal proteins, accumulate both under physiological as well as pathological cellular situations. These ribosomes divert the normal translational program, which can modulate the stress response. Using the information from high throughput sequencing and luciferase reporter assays, we can re-program entire cellular pathways to make them responsive to stress-induced changes in ribosome composition. Excitingly, computational analysis of natural yeast isolates demonstrates that these changes also occur during adaptation, suggesting that specialized ribosomes provide a facile route for evolution. Finally, we provide a mechanism by which cancer cells disrupt mechanisms that ensure stoichiometric assembly of ribosomal proteins into the small subunit head in normal cells, to produce heterogeneous ribosomes, which endow the cells with stress resistance, but also unique vulnerabilities.

Title 

Mass Spectrometry as a Tool for Studying Ovarian Cancer Screening

Abstract

Ovarian cancer (OC) is the deadliest form of gynecological malignancy representing the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and lethal OC subtype, responsible for 70%-80% of these deaths. Due to nonspecific symptoms and a lack of early detection strategies, the majority of women with HGSOC are diagnosed at a late stage when the five-year survival rate can be as low as 17%.8. This five-year survival rate has remained unchanged since the1980s, highlighting the urgent need to investigate the molecular events underlying HGSOC pathogenesis and develop tools for routine screenings in women’s wellness exams. To help address these urgent needs, we have adapted our imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) platform to visualize chemical communication in the primary metastasis of ovarian cancer. We have also begun to study microproteins from vaginal samples as a fingerprint for studying disease progression.

Title

Methods to Evaluate and Perturb the Activity of the Human Proteasome with Small Molecules

Abstract

The degradation of proteins is an essential cellular process. The proteasome, a multi-catalytic enzyme, is mainly responsible for degrading proteins that are no longer required by the cell. My lab has focused on the development of activity probes that can monitor real-time proteasome activity biochemically and in live cells. These probes can be applied in variety of analytical methods including confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, and fluorescent plate readers. With these probes, we have discovered a variety of proteasome stimulators and binders to non-catalytic subunits. The recently discovered proteasome stimulators have been applied to determine the effects of increasing the ubiquitin-independent degradation of proteins. Moving forward, we are now analyzing how these small molecule stimulators can affect the accumulation of unwanted proteins, including alpha-synuclein.

Title

New 3D Culture Tools to Quantify Oxygen’s Role in Tissue Homeostasis and Cancer Progression 

Abstract

Oxygen is a master regulator of many cellular processes. There is no single oxygen tension in tissues but a gradient that extends radially outward from the blood vessel due to cellular consumption outpacing mass transport. These gradients become exaggerated during ischemic events or in poorly vascularized solid tumors and are thought to be a driving force in disease progression. Despite the complexity of the tissue microenvironment, many in vitro studies continue to disregard the role of oxygen, culturing cells at atmospheric oxygen levels. In this talk, I will highlight the tools our lab is developing to address three long-standing questions in tumor biology, each of which is fundamentally related to tissue-level oxygenation. First is oxygen’s role in directing cellular movement. Second is oxygen’s role in promoting drug resistance. The third is the relationship between hypoxia and hormone responsiveness in estrogen receptor alpha positive (ER+) breast cancers. 

Title

Versatile Perfluorocarbon Nanoemulsions Stabilized by Poly(2-oxazoline) Amphiphiles

Abstract

Perfluorocarbon (PFC) nanoemulsions are non-toxic, dynamic nanomaterials that have been previously employed as oxygen carriers and contrast agents. We leverage the orthogonal nature of the fluorous phase to, in one step, prepare multifunctional nanomaterials with fluorous-tagged therapeutics loaded on the inside and targeting agents on the outside. We have shown that the retention of the payload inside the nanoemulsions can be controlled by the fluorous tags and the choice of surfactant. The surfactant also dictates the size, stability, and surface chemistry of the droplets. We have explored poly(2-oxazoline) surfactants to stabilize the PFC nanoemulsions, which provide many advantages over existing surfactants including their chemical modification to control cellular uptake, target specific epitopes, and trigger cargo release. This presentation will highlight the development and applications of PFC nanoemulsions stabilized with poly(2-oxazoline)s.  

Title

Human Organs-on-chips For Stem Cell Differentiation and Disease Modeling

Abstract

The Musah Lab aim to understand how molecular and biophysical cues can function either synergistically or independently to guide organ development and function, and how these processes can be therapeutically harnessed to treat human disease. Research in our laboratory covers a range of interests, from fundamental studies of stem cell and tissue differentiation to engineered devices for clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. A major effort in our lab is focused on understanding the roles of molecular and biophysical cues in human organ development and how these processes can be applied to understand disease mechanisms and develop new therapeutic strategies. We develop differentiation methods by the identification and optimization of multiple, synergistic factors within the stem cell niche to guide organ-specific cell lineage specification. To engineer in vitro models of human tissues and organs, we integrate our stem cell differentiation strategies with microfluidic systems engineering, hydrogel synthesis, biofunctionalization, and three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting technologies to build dynamic circuits with living cells. Our interdisciplinary team of scientists, engineers, and clinicians use ideas and approaches spanning stem cell and developmental biology, biophysics, microengineering, chemistry, medicine, genome engineering, and computational/mathematical modeling of complex biological problems.

Title

Molecular-Resolution Microscopy and Optical Approaches to 3D Omics 

Abstract

In the past 16 years, single molecule localization microscopy has revolutionized bioimaging with the super resolution. Through a completely different approach, a more recent technology Expansion Microscopy elevated the resolution again using expandable hydrogel. This talk will cover how Shi lab used novel chemical labels to combine these two microscopy methods to develop Label-Retention Expansion Microscopy (LR-ExM). This method achieved ultra-resolution and high labeling efficiency, which allows scientists to visualize individual proteins, genes, and RNA molecules in biological complexes such as vesicles, mitochondria, nuclear lamina, and chromatin. Beyond imaging, the speaker will report their new optical approaches to 3D proteomics, interactomics, and transcriptomics without tissue sectioning. 

Title

Development of Novel Materials and Sensing Electrodes for Biomedical Applications

Abstract

Materials science has played an enormous role in the success of medical devices and drug delivery systems. My research aims at studying the fundamental aspects of a broad range of materials, designing, synthesizing, and fabricating novel functional materials and exploring their biomedical and biological applications. In this talk, I will first discuss my previous work, where we prepared various materials including nanoparticles, dendrimers, conducting polymers, and polymeric mediators for biosensing electrode fabrication, drug delivery, and tissue engineering applications. I will then discuss my work at UC Irvine, where we developed novel biosensors for monitoring neurotransmitters. They are essential for human health, and any imbalance in their activities can cause serious mental disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Monitoring neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline, and glutamate is of great importance in studying and diagnosing neurological and psychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Electrochemical detection techniques have been paving the path in this direction for more than four decades now. To develop an electrochemical biosensor for monoamine neurotransmitters, we explore the use of unique materials for developing biosensors for in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo models.  

Contact: Sppscomm@uci.edu