September 7, 2021
Joseph DiPiro, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University, has announced that Professor Martin Safo will serve as interim director of the Institute for Structural Biology, Drug Discovery and Development, effective September 1, 2021.
Professor Safo, since 2018 has served as the Director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Structural Biology Core. He is also professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry. His areas of expertise include Structural Biology, Hemoglobin Structure and Function, Sickle Cell Disease Drug Development, Vitamin B6 Metabolism and Regulation.
Professor Safo follows Umesh Desai, Ph.D., as director of the Institute who was instrumental in bringing the Institute to the next level. Dr. Desai continues to serve as the Chair of Medicinal Chemistry.
June 11, 2021
Dr. Yana Cen has been awarded the 2021 Ralph E Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). This award comes with a financial award and an equivalent match from the winner's local institution. Congratulations to her on this prestigious honor. Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU)'s original purpose is to advance science and technology education and research by providing access to the atomic energy research facilities of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to faculty and students of universities across the South. Congratulations again Dr. Cen.
March 23, 2021
Dr. Keith Ellis has received a subcontract from KeViRx, Charlottesville, which has succeeded with an SBIR grant. The PI of SBIR grant is Prof. John Lazo of University of Virginia. The title of his grant is Developing Small Molecule Inhibitors of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases as Cancer Therapeutics. Congratulations, Dr. Ellis.
September 1, 2020
Professor Darrell Peterson of Biochemistry has retired. Thus, he is now a professor emeritus. We appreciate all that he contributed to the growth and development of the Institute. His presence here will surely be missed. May he enjoy his retirement fully.
August 25, 2020
Congratulations to Dr. Yan Zhang who has been awarded a supplement titled ' Novel fentanyl derivatives as counteracting agents against fentanyl'. Thisfurthers his current UG3 grant ' Mu Opioid Receptor Modulator Development to Treat Opioid Use Disorder' from NIDA. UG3 mechanism is an early phase exploratory cooperative agreement to assess clinical promise of novel agents.
August 25, 2020
Dr. Shijun Zhang is the recipient of a supplement to his current R01 grant titled 'Development of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors towards Alzheimer's disease'. Congratulations Dr. Zhang.
August 25, 2020
Dr. Martin Safo has received an one-year research grant award titled 'Examining the Interaction Between Plant Phenols and Agrobacterium Receptor VirA Using X-ray Crystallography and Fluorescence Spectroscopy'. This grant was originally sponsored by the Jeffress Foundation. Congratulations Dr. Safo for receiving one more award!
July 7, 2020
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Glen Kellogg has received a VCU Commercialization Fund Grant. He is co-PI of this grant. Dr. Kellogg's grant title is “Development of Novel Chemical Inhibitors for Sterol Carrier Protein-2 for Correcting Dyslipidemia and Fatty Liver Disease”. Congratulations Dr. Kellogg.
June 21, 2020
Dr. Yana Cen is selected for this year's Jeffress Trust Award for Interdisciplinary Research. The title of her grant application was "Determining Enzyme Transition State Using Kinetic Isotope Effects and Computational Analysis."
January 31, 2020
Srinivas Sistla, Ph.D., is the recipient of the Outstanding Scientist Award from the Association of Biomolecular Research Facilities. He presented his work at the association's annual meeting in Palm Springs, California. Congratulations, Dr. Sistla.
December 17, 2019
Congratulations to Dr. Li who has been awarded the Elsa U. Pardee Foundation Grant for his research titled, "Targeting miR-204-5p suppresses the tumorigenesis and metastasis of head and neck cancer". We are excited for him and how this will positively impact lives.
September 27, 2019
The grant title is CAREER: Allosteric Activating of SIRT6 by DNA and the project period is 09/01/2019 - 08/31/2024. This study seeks to elucidate how the regulation of SIRT6 activity takes place in cells and to suggest possible strategies for effective SIRT6 activation. The concurrent aim is to provide a broadly accessible research experience for a large number of students across multiple academic levels. The comprehensive plan includes the mentoring of undergraduates, graduates and PharmD students as well as an outreach program offered to high school AP biology students. A PI-graduate student working group is to be established to develop and implement new guidelines for training in the interdisciplinary field of chemical biology.