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IUPUI chemists develop Distributed Drug Discovery: Finding drugs for neglected diseases
Date:6/15/2009

y should make. Dr. Scott and Dr. O'Donnell believe this will lead to the selection, synthesis and development of innovative and inexpensive drugs to treat these neglected diseases.

In the second step, D3 uses an innovative, distributed educational approach to synthesize the candidate molecules. Undergraduate and graduate chemistry students from around the world synthesize subsets of these candidate molecules as part of their normal training in synthetic chemistry. Currently students at IUPUI, the University of Indianapolis, and universities in Poland, Russia and Spain have demonstrated their ability to make the molecules (or portions of the molecules) that can be identified by the personal computers as potential candidates for drug discovery.

Initial results are very promising, according to Dr. Scott. "While learning chemistry synthesis skills students across the globe synthesize new molecules to be tested as drug leads. The molecules meet the same quality standards as those required in industry. At the same time the students enthusiastically participate in the synthesis laboratories. They enjoy seeing how their work will advance science that is going to make a difference to individuals suffering from diseases which have been ignored," he said.

The third step in D3 is biological testing of the molecules synthesized by the students. Dr. Scott and Dr. O'Donnell hope the success of distributed problem solving at the computational and synthetic stages of drug discovery will encourage their biological colleagues to develop simple, inexpensive tests to enable students worldwide to participate in this final stage of drug-lead discovery. Currently some of the molecules made are being evaluated through the resources of the National Institutes of Health. In the future, promising drugs will then go on to pre-clinical trials.

"The coordinated and recombined results of these distributed D3 resources can economically accelerate the identifi
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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