Center for Drug Discovery (CDD)
The Center for Drug Discovery (CDD) is a multi-disciplinary unit that integrates basic with translational research to identify and develop new drug leads with established efficacy and safety in pre-clinical models. Its overall mission is to synthesize diverse disciplines to generate a robust and innovative pipeline for drug discovery research. Convergence between varied disciplines such as molecular biology and mass spectrometry analysis is employed for interrogating and delineation of molecular pathways involved in disease pathophysiology. Seamless linkage of this activity with downstream capabilities like; in vitro screening, computational drug discovery, medicinal chemistry and pharmacology then anchors a facile workflow from target identification to lead development and optimization. The following are the expertise domains of CDD.
- Molecular biology and mass spectrometry: Expertise in developing new tools and approaches to study disease-specific phenotypic perturbations using cell lines and tissue samples (pre-clinical and clinical). Research emphasis on integrating high-throughput experimental approaches e.g. mass spectrometry-based proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics analysis to interrogate and delineate disease-specific networks for identification of molecular signatures having application as drug targets or disease progression markers.
- In vitro/vivo assay development: Development and standardization of robust, sensitive, and reproducible platforms for medium-throughput screening to identify new drug hits based on phenotypic assays (2D, 3D and organoid models). Abilities in cloning, expression and purification of proteins for biochemical characterization as well as drug screening assays. The center has the capability to perform high throughput screening assays using purified enzymes and cell lines. The center has also established metabolic disease models in mice with a focus on fatty liver phenotype.
- Medicinal chemistry and pharmacology: Capabilities for organic synthesis and SAR optimization, coupled with ADME/PK evaluation, exploratory non-GLP dose tolerance/accumulation, tissue distribution and toxicokinetic studies in rodents.
- Computer aided drug discovery: Strong capabilities and expertise in bioinformatics to understand target protein structure, in silico drug design, protein-protein interaction as well as protein-ligand studies for new hit generation as well as pharmacophore understanding.
Research focus and major objectives
The expertise of the scientific team of CDD is multidisciplinary and disease agonistic with a focus both on non-communicable and communicable diseases of national importance. One of the major therapeutic focus is metabolic chronic diseases with a special emphasis on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). The team has following two broader goals in the NAFLD program.
- New therapeutic development based on the small molecule as well as botanical extracts
- Identification of phenotype specific molecular signatures having potential application as novel drug targets and/or markers to study disease progression.
The team has developed cell-free and cell-based relevant phenotypic assays, diet-induced fatty liver disease model in rodents with NASH phenotype, bioanalytical methods for mass spectrometry-based studies (proteomics, metabolomics and lipidomics) to analyze disease-specific perturbation in pre-clinical as well as clinical samples. The center has also established relevant clinical and industrial collaborations to facilitate and achieve its goal in NAFLD research.
Name of faculty members and Scientists
DR. DINESH MAHAJAN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
DR. SANTOSH S. MATHAPATI, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
DR. SHAILENDRA ASTHANA, PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST-II
DR. AJAY KUMAR, SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST
DR. AMIT KUMAR YADAV, SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST
DR. RUCHI TANDON, SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST
DR. YASHWANT KUMAR, SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST
The centre/facility is open to providing services to academia and industry. For any queries, contact the following
Dr. Dinesh Mahajan