Research & Collaborations

The Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development is a collaborative program well aligned with the University’s overarching Catholic mission through its focus on the discovery and development of new therapeutic leads for the treatment of unmet clinical needs in a number of areas including cancer, infectious diseases, and a number of rare diseases. The Center brings together chemical and biological expertise and technologies through partnerships with researchers within the University’s biomedical research centers at the, including the Harper Cancer Institute, the Eck Institute for Global Health, the Center for Rare and Neglected Disease, and external partners, including regional universities and the Indiana CTSI, Eli Lilly, Inc. and other pharmaceutical companies as well as private foundations including the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and the Grace Science Foundation.

 

Recent examples include:

  • Center researchers, Prof. Olaf Wiest (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and Prof. Rob Stahelin (IUSM-SB and Chemistry & Biochemistry) contributed to an international team that identified a molecular mechanism responsible for making malaria parasites resistant to artemisinins, the leading class of antimalarial drugs. Mbengu, A.; Bhattacharjee, S.; Pandharkar, T.; Liu, H.; Estiu, G.; Stahelin, R. V.;  Rizk, S.; Njimoh, D.L.;  Ryan, Y.; Chotivanich, K.; Nguon, C.; Ghorbal, M.; Lopez-Rubio J.-J.; Pfrender, M.; Emrich, S.; Mohandas N.;  Dondorp, A.M.; Wiest, O.; Haldar, K. “A molecular mechanism of artemisinin resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria” Nature 2015, 520,683-687.

 

  • Studies in the laboratories of Prof. Shaun Lee (Biological Sciences) and Brandon Ashfeld (Chemistry & Biochemistry) provide the first mechanistic look into the function of a small peptide toxin, Streptolysin S (SLS), produced by the pathogen Group A Streptococcus (GAS) and, importantly, open new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of severe GAS disease. Higashi, D. L.; Biais, N.; Donahue, D. L.; Mayfield, J. A.; Tessier, C. R.; Rodriguez, K.; Ashfeld, B. L.; Luchetti, J.; Ploplis, V. A.; Castellino, F. A.; Lee, S. W. “Activation of Band 3 Mediates Group A Streptococcus Streptolysin S-Based beta-Haemolysis” Nature Microbiology 2016, 1, 1-6.

 

  • Chemistry & Biochemistry Professors Mayland Chang and Prof. Shahriar Mobashery have designed and developed a compound that accelerates diabetic wound healing, and may open the door to new treatment strategies. Gao, M.; Nguyenm T. T.; Suckow, M. A.; Wolter, W. R.; Gooyit, M.; Mobashery, S.; Chang, M. “Acceleration of Diabetic Wound Healing Using a Novel Protease-Anti-Protease Combination Therapy” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 2015, 112, 15226-15231.

 

  • The Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development at the University of Notre Dame have recently established a research collaboration with Retrophin, Inc. and the Grace Science Foundation to focus on developing treatment for NGLY1 deficiency.