Anti-infective Compounds with Novel Mode of Action

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Dr. Yu Yuan

Department of Chemistry

University of Central Florida

Hand Lab 1144, 3:30 PMyu yuan

Abstract: Drugs against bacteria and malaria parasites are losing their effectiveness because of emerging drug resistance.  To identify novel drugs candidates we have screened compounds containing structural features of natural products that are pharmacologically relevant. This screening has identified a styrylquinoline (SQ) compound with submicromolar antiplasmodial activity and excellent selectivity. SQ exhibits a cellular action distinct from current antimalarials, acting early on malaria parasite's intraerythrocytic life cycle including merozoite invasion. We also accomplished the total synthesis of teixobactin, which provides a combinatory approach for synthesis of its analogues to establish a comprehensive structure-activity relationship and facilitate future search for analogues with improved pharmacological properties.

Bio:  Dr. Yu Yuan obtained his BS degree in Polymer Science from the University of Science and Technology of China in 2001. He then moved to the United States and studied organic chemistry at Princeton University, where he completed the first enantioselective total synthesis of kendomycin under the guidance of Prof. Chulbom Lee. After obtaining his PhD degree in 2007, he joined Prof. Samuel Danishefsky's group as a postdoctoral researcher at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he developed methodologies for the synthesis of homogeneous glycoprotein. In 2009, Dr. Yuan moved to West Point, PA, and joined Merck & Co. as a Sr. Research Chemist in the Department of RNAi Medicinal Chemistry. His research at Merck focused on chemical modification of synthetic RNAs and targeted systemic delivery of small interference RNA. Since 2012, he has been an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida.

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