Recent advances in genomics, proteomics, systems biology, and chemical biology have resulted in dramatic expansion of our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of living systems. This information enables researchers to develop novel targeted therapies for a variety of intractable diseases. However, there is a bottleneck currently limiting this type of translational research: the availability of diverse compound collections, chemical synthesis, and other specialized tools for high throughput biology. Academic investigators, who focus on fundamental biological mechanisms, do not have the tools to translate these discoveries into therapeutic agents.
The Chemical Genomics Core was established to facilitate the discovery of small molecule probes for biological pathway analysis and for therapeutic development. Small molecule probes can be very important in the development of therapeutic agents since they can be used to test the effects of altering biological processes in cells, which can lead to the identification of validated targets for drug development. In addition, these novel chemical tools can serve as the starting points for the elaboration of first-in-class targeted therapies.
The mission of the Chemical Genomic Core is to provide investigators with cost-effective access to the large-scale screening capacity necessary to identify small molecules that can be optimized as chemical probes to study the functions of genes, cells, and biochemical pathways. The facility also has the capacity for lead optimization required to produce useful chemical probes/therapeutic agents from the hits identified from the initial screening.
The Chemical Genomics Core is equipped with multiple automated liquid handling systems and detection devices, structurally-diverse, drug-like small molecule libraries, infrastructure for hit identification and characterization, medicinal chemistry capabilities for targeted chemical synthesis, and a staff experienced in assay development, high throughput screening, and laboratory robotics.