Research & Collaborations

The Warren Center for Drug Discovery 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:

  • Professors Littlepage and Niebur collaborated on the following publication. Machireddy, M.; Oberman, A.G.; DeBiase, L.; Stephens, M.; Li, J.; Littlepage, L.E.Niebur, G.L.. Controlled mechanical loading affects the osteocyte transcriptome in porcine trabecular bone in situ. Bone. 2024 Apr;181:117028. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2024.117028. Epub 2024 Feb 2. PMID: 38309412
  • Professors Bilgicer and Littlepage collaborated on the following publication. Khan, S.; Mejia, F.; Shin, J.; Hwang, G.; Omstead, D.T.; Wu, J.; Cole, S.L.; Littlepage, L.E.Bilgicer, B.  Disease-driven engineering of peptide-targeted DM1 loaded liposomal nanoparticles for enhanced efficacy in treating multiple myeloma by exploring DM1 prodrug chemistry. Biomaterials. 2023, Jan; 292:121913. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121913. Epub 2022 Nov 18. PMID: 36442437
  • Professors Champion, Fisher, Kim, and Mobashery collaborated on the following publication. Avila-Cobian, L.F.; Hoshino, H.; Horsman, M.E.; Nguyen, V.T,; Qian, Y.; Feltzer, R.; Kim, C.; Hu,D.D.; Champion, M.M.Fisher J.F.; Mobashery, S. Amber-codon suppression for spatial localization and in vivo photoaffinity capture of the interactome of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa rare lipoprotein A lytic transglycosylase.   Protein Sci. 2023, Oct;32(10):e4781. doi: 10.1002/pro.4781.PMID: 37703013, PMCID: PMC10536563 (available on )
  • Professors Boggess, Champion, and Vaughan collaborated on the following publication. Sterling, F.R.; D'Amico, J.; Brumfield, A.M.; Huegel, K.L.; Vaughan, P.S.; Morris., K.; Schwarz, S.; Joyce, M.V.; Boggess, B.; Champion, M.M.; Maciuba, K.; Allen, P.; Marasco, E.; Koch, G.; Gonzalez, P.; Hodges, S.; Leahy, S.; Gerstbauer, E.; Hinchcliffe, E.H.; Vaughan, K.T. StARD9 is a novel lysosomal kinesin required for membrane tubulation, cholesterol transport and Purkinje cell survival. J Cell Sci. 2023, Mar 1;136(5):jcs260662. doi: 10.1242/jcs.260662. Epub 2023 Mar 2. PMID: 36861884, PMCID: PMC10203878
  • Professors Brandon Ashfeld, Brian Blagg, Xin Lu, and Olaf Wiest collaborated on the following publication.  Zhu, Y.; Zhao, Y.; Wen, J.; Liu, S.; Huang, T.; Hatial, I.; Peng, X.; Al Janabi, H.; Huang, G.; Mittlesteadt, J.; Cheng, M.; Bhardwaj, A.; Ashfeld, B.L.; Kao, K.R.; Maeda, D.Y.; Dai, X.; Wiest, O.Blagg, B.S.J.; Lu, X.; Cheng, L.; Wan, J.; Lu, X.  Targeting the Chromatin Effector Pygo2 Promotes Cytotoxic T Cell Responses and Overcomes Immunotherapy Resistance in Prostate Cancer.  Sci Immunol. 2023, 8(81):eade4656. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.ade4656. Epub 2023 Mar 10.PMID: 36897957.  
  • Professors Mayland Chang and Shahriar Mobashery collaborated on the following publication. Qian, Y.; Birhanu, B.T.; Yang, J.; Ding, D.; Janardhanan, J.; Mobashery, S.; Chang, M.  J Med Chem. 2023, 66,13891-13899. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.3c01249. Epub 2023 Sep 21.PMID: 37732641 
  • Professors Mayland Chang, Choon Kim, and Shahriar Mobashery collaborated on the following publications. Kim, C.; Lee, M.; Birhanu, B.T.; Hesek, D.; Chang, M.; Mobashery, S. Chembiochem. 2023, 24,e202300282. doi: 10.1002/cbic.202300282. Epub 2023 May 8. PMID: 37072375
  • Janardhanan, J.; Kim, C.; Qian, Y.; Yang, J.; Meisel, J.E.; Ding, D.; Speri, E.; Schroeder, V.A.; Wolter, W.R.; Oliver, A.G.; Mobashery, S.; Chang, M. A dual-action antibiotic that kills Clostridioides difficile vegetative cells and inhibits spore germination.   Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023, 20(20):e2304110120. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2304110120. Epub 2023 May 8.PMID: 37155891
  • Professors Mayland Chang and Christian Melander collaborated on the following publication. Marrujo, S.A.; Hubble, V.B.; Yang, J.; Wang, M.; Nemeth, A.M.; Barlock, S.L.; Juarez, D.; Smith, R.D.; Melander, R.J.; Ernst, R.K.; Chang, M.; Melander, C.  Dimeric 2-aminoimidazoles are Highly Active Adjuvants for Gram-positive Selective Antibiotics Against Acinetobacter baumannii. Eur J Med Chem. 2023, 253:115329. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2023.115329. Epub 2023 Mar 31.PMID: 37023677
  • Professors Meenal Datta and Xin Lu collaborated on the following publication. Zarodniuk, M.; Steele, A.; Lu, X.; Li, J.; Datta, M. CNS Tumor Stroma Transcriptomics Identify Perivascular Fibroblasts as Predictors of Immunotherapy Resistance in Glioblastoma Patients. NPJ Genom Med. 2023, 8(1):35. doi: 10.1038/s41525-023-00381-w. PMID: 37884531 
  • Professors Matt Webber and Donny Hanjaya-Putra collaborated on the following publication. Fan, F.; Su, B.; Kolodychak, A.; Ekwueme, E.; Alderfer, L.; Saha, S.; Webber, M.J.; Hanjaya-Putra, D. Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogels with Phototunable Supramolecular Cross-Linking for Spatially Controlled Lymphatic Tube Formation.  ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2023, 15, 58181-58195. doi: 10.1021/acsami.3c12514.  PMID: 38065571.
  • Professors Shaun Lee and  Brandon Ashfeld collaborated on the following publication.  Hammers, D.E.; Donahue, D.L.; Tucker, Z.D.; Ashfeld, B.L.Ploplis, V.A.; Castellino, F.J.; Lee, S.W.; Streptolysin S targets the sodium-bicarbonate cotransporter NBCn1 to induce inflammation and cytotoxicity in human keratinocytes during Group A Streptococcal infection. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2022 Nov 1;12:1002230. 
  • Professors Shaun Lee and Mary Ann McDowell collaborated on the following publication.  Corman, H.N.; Ross, J.N.; Field, F.R.; Shoue, D.; McDowell, M.A.Lee, S.W. Rationally Designed Minimal Bioactive Domains of AS-48 Bacteriocin Homologs Possess Potent Anti-Leishmanial Properties. Microbiol Spectr. 2022, 10(6):e0265822. doi: 10.1128/spectrum.02658-22. Epub 2022 Nov 7. 
  • Professors Jon Camden and Brad Smith collaborated on enzyme sensing. Morsby, J. J.; Thimes, R. L.; Olson, J. E.; McGarraugh, H. H.; Payne, J. N.; Camden, J. P.; Smith, B. D. Enzyme Sensing Using 2-Mercaptopyridine-Carbonitrile Reporters and Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering. ACS Omega, 2022, 7, 6419–6426. DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.2c00139
  •  Professors Xin Lu and Brian Blagg collaborated on investigating the effect of isoform-selective Hsp90 inhibitors on cancer immunotherapy. Rahmy, S.; Mishra, S.J.; Murphy, S.; Blagg, B.S.J.; Lu, X. Hsp90β inhibition upregulates interferon response and enhances immune checkpoint blockade therapy in murine tumors.  Front Immunol. 2022, Oct 20;13:1005045. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.1005045. eCollection 2022. PMID: 36341371

  • Professors Mayland Chang and Shahriar Mobashery collaborated on the following publications.  Masitas, C.; Peng, Z.; Wang, M.; Konai, M.M.; Avila-Cobian, L.; Lemieux, L. Hovanesian, J.; Grady, J.; Mobashery, S.; Chang, M. Matrix metalloproteinase-14 as an instigator of fibrosis in human pterygium and its pharmacological intervention. ACS Pharmacol. Transl. Sci. 2022, 5, 555-561

  • Peng, Z.; Konai, M.M.; Avila, L.; Wang, M.; Mobashery, S.Chang, M. MMP-1 and ADAM10 as targets for therapeutic intervention in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. ACS Phamacol. Transl. Sci. 2022, 5, 548-554 https://doi.og/10.1021/acsptsci.2c0050

  •  Peng, Z.; Nguyen, T.T.; Wang, M.; Anderson, B.; Konai, M.M.; Schroeder, V.A.; Wolter, W.R.; Page-Mayberry, T.; Peterson, C.E.; Mobashery, S.Chang, M. Proteomics identification of targets for intervention in pressure ulcers. ACS Chem. Biol. 2022, 17, 1357-1363,

  • Professors Shahriar Mobashery and Felipe Santiago-Tirado collaborated on ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters on a medically important fungi. Winski, C.J.; Qian, Y.; Mobashery, S.; Santiago-Tirado, F.H. An Atypical ABC Transporter Is Involved in Antifungal Resistance and Host Interactions in the Pathogenic Fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. mBio. 2022, DOI: online ahead of print.