Seth Ablordeppey, Ph.D.Interim Dean, Professor Medicinal Chemistry
LOCATION: Tallahassee, Dyson 112
BiosketchOur laboratory is engaged in Drug Discovery and Development with particular focus on CNS and anti-infective drugs. In the CNS area, our interest is in developing new antipsychotic drugs that could overcome problems associated with current drugs including movement disorders, weight gain and metabolic disorders. In addition, given that a third of patients are treatment resistant and 65 to 80 % of outpatients with chronic schizophrenia discontinue their antipsychotic medications, often because of a lack of efficacy or intolerable adverse effects, it is imperative that drugs with new targets be identified to replace current drugs. Thus, the long-term goal of our research in the CNS area is to develop novel small molecules that promote β-arrestin-2 recruitment to D2R and simultaneously interact appropriately at other CNS receptors involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia as new treatment options for schizophrenia. In addition, selected compounds should also not interact appreciably with receptors associated with the known side effects of current drugs. We have identified two lead compounds with this profile, and they form the basis of drug development to accomplish this long-term goal. Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and related gram positive pathogens are growing and are of primary health concern. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) website, nearly 1 percent of all hospital in-patient stays, were associated with S. aureus infection. Patients with diagnoses of S. aureus infection, when compared with those without the infection, had about 3 times the length of stay, 3 times the total cost and 5 times the risk of in-hospital death. MRSA is typically more problematic for the elderly, for people with weakened immune systems, and for patients undergoing kidney dialysis or using venous catheters or prosthetics. However, just about anyone can be infected by MRSA. The major problem of hospital-acquired and community-acquired MRSA is that we may be on the last lines of defense against this resistant microorganism, sometimes referred to as the "superbug" and hence the need to develop new and novel entities that can overcome this dreaded bug cannot be over-emphasized. Our lab has now identified two groups of synthetic agents that are more effective in in-vitro testing and have better therapeutic profile than several standard drugs on the market today. The new compounds are not only inhibiting the growth of these microorganisms but they kill them and thus have the potential to prevent resistance development. Thus, our long-term goal for the anti-infective drug discovery and development is to optimize the lead scaffolds to obtain new drugs with new anti-infective mechanisms of action and with minimal side effects.
Antiinfective Drug Discovery
Antipsychotic Drug Discovery
Drugs for Opportunistic Infections