Chemical biology is the focus of our efforts because it entails the discovery of chemical entities able to modulate pathways related to infectious processes. Such work can lead to an increase in biological understanding and the identification of novel targets for chemical intervention. Appropriate validation of such targets in advanced model systems, including animals, along with the pharmaceutical development of chemical series, can in turn provide leads for downstream drug discovery efforts.
Our CBID Center will strengthen infrastructure and enable scientists and biomedical research in the State of Kansas. The center capitalizes on existing strengths and resources, including some that have resulted from previous CoBRE efforts in cancer chemotherapy, high-throughput screening, medicinal chemistry, and proteomics, while addressing critical gaps that have so far limited the ability of researchers at the University of Kansas (KU) and associated institutions to apply these tools to the study of infectious disease targets.
The CBID is led by Principal Investigator, P. Scott Hefty, Professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Dr. Hefty is a highly experienced microbiologist with a research emphasis in microbial pathogenesis. He is joined by Jon Tunge, Professor of Chemistry, as co-investigator of the overall center. Professor Tunge has over 20 years of experience in organic chemistry research. In addition to the scientific expertise, both investigators have extensive experience with CoBRE administration and associated core facilities at KU.