(Front left to right): Actis, Evison, Fujii, Vanarotti, McDonald, Inoue, Hefner.
Our research is primarily based on medicinal chemistry aiming discovery and development of drugs of novel mechanism of actions, especially for pediatric diseases. We are especially focusing protein-protein interaction antagonists for selective manipulation of pathogenic cell signaling pathways. To enable future translational research, we focus only drug-able bona-fide small molecule compounds but not peptides or peptidemimetics, nor find them from fine chemicals, that cannot be used for clinic. We also design special conjugated compounds for targeting these agents in specific components of cells and organs that are responsible for the pathogenesis. Another aspect of our research is development of new chemical tools for studying mechanism of the pathogenic cell signaling. Those tools are not only for modulating the signaling pathways, but also for investigating mechanism of actions of new drugs that we have discovered, and identification of new proteins by utilizing them as chemical probes for protein isolation.