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U-M to house leading drug database
Date:10/10/2008

te for a standard collaboration where students and faculty engage in original research projects.

"Only MCCSL's service for hire makes this $5 million award possible," Carlson said. The project is also heavily supported by the Center for Structural Biology in the Life Sciences Institute (which also includes former Pfizer scientists) as well as scientists from the College of Pharmacy, LSI, and the Medical School.

The database is important because it will include detailed molecular information about proteins that bind small, drug-like molecules called ligands. Most drugs work by latching onto proteins and altering a biological process, turning it on or off. Researchers can use computers to study the structural and biophysical properties of a target protein and, from among tens of thousands of possible ligands, predict those that bind to the protein in a potentially useful way. In this way, they identify ligands that may eventually become lead compounds for drug discovery or indicate which compounds may interact with other proteins and cause unwanted side effects.

"The ability to screen compounds and accurately predict their binding properties using only computers would greatly impact the drug development process s and many other aspects of biomedical research," said Jeremy Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the NIH. "This resource has been established to make important structural and binding data available so researchers can tackle this problem."


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Contact: Laura Bailey
baileylm@umich.edu
734-647-1848
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

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