Biomedical Research

Cluster

The functionality of nearly any biomedical system can be traced down to an intricate and complex system of interacting molecules, operating under chemical and physical principles, that ultimately drives biological phenomena, from the microscale to the macroscale. And this is the approach that we take as we seek to develop solutions to relevant issues in modern medicine that have not yet been fully resolved - protein folding disorders, mechanisms of cell signaling, pathogen antibiotic resistance, enzymatic catalysis, just to name a few. Our research collaborations are driven by these pressing questions in molecular and cell biology, and are tackled from both computational and empirical grounds. We see tremendous potential in the parallel usage of tools from biochemistry/structural biology, computational modeling, and organic chemistry in developing new knowledge of the molecular systems that drive human health. We seek aspiring biomedical researchers who are unafraid to tackle intellectually challenging problems with enthusiasm, curiosity, and creativity to push forwards the limits of molecular medicine. We hope you will join us this summer in #ASDRP2020.

Amyloid Inhibitors of Aβ-42 Towards Developing Therapeutic Strategies for Alzheimer's Disease

Aggregation of the peptide Aβ-42 has been linked to progression of Alzheimer's disease. We are interested in natural product screening and nature-inspired synthetic compounds that inhibit aggregation of amyloid fibrils. Further, we employ various computational methods to understand the biophysical parameters behind amyloid formation. 

Structure-Activity Relationships in Small Molecule Antibiotic Compound Development

Sulfa antibiotics have been previously shown to be competitive inhibitors of dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS), which is integral in the biosynthetic pathway of folic acid in many prokaryotes. Here, we investigate structure-activity relationships in a synthetic library of novel small molecules in antimicrobial activity. 

Molecular Oncology: Pharmacophores in Tubulin-Binding Antiproliferative Agents

Several natural product  have been shown to attenuate the growth of tumor cells by blocking mechanisms of the mitotic spindle in rapidly dividing cells. Here, we incorporate natural product screening and de novo molecular design to engineer the next generation of potentially antiproliferative agents towards anti-cancer drugs. 

Total Synthesis of Etoposide and Anti-Tumor Activity of Etoposide Analogs

Etoposide is a clinically used drug that treats a variety of cancer types by inhibiting the action of topoisomerase during DNA replication. Here, we describe a synthetic route towards etoposide, and the design and development of etoposide analogs as potential anti-cancer pharmaceuticals.  

Development of a Machine Learning Platform towards Antiviral Therapy Discovery

This project is jointly handled by computer science and biochemistry research students. We are working on a machine learning platform for rapid screening of small molecule non-nucleoside antiretroviral inhibitors of the reverse transcriptase enzyme of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). 

Biologics Design, Discovery, and Development towards potential COVID-19 therapies

A collaboration of research advisors are collectively using virtual screening means and molecular biology tools to identify and develop biologics such as siRNA therapies as well as antiretroviral drug repurposing in efforts of accelerating preclinical drug discovery against SARS-CoV2 (novel coronavirus, 2019). Since ASDRP operates at a Biosafety Level 1, no live/actual coronavirus specimens will be handled. 

Development of novel inhibitors of TP53 Induced Glycolysis Regulatory Phosphatase (TIGAR)

A collaboration of research advisors (Brah, Tallapaka, Gupta, Njoo) are using computational biophysical models, small molecule screening, and enzyme kinetics to identify small molecule inhibitors of TP53 Induced Glycolysis Regulatory Phosphatase (TIGAR), which has been linked to the replication of cancer cells. There are currently no known inhibitors of TIGAR. 

Synthesis and in vivo screening of novel benzimidazoles as KRas inhibitors

This work in collaboration between the Clark and Brah groups is currently involved in indium-catalyzed oxidative condensations towards novel benzimidazoles as KRAS inhibitors for cancer therapy. 

What We Do

Biomedical research is interdisciplinary - we are huge fans of combining the best techniques and approaches across the life sciences towards understanding some of the most pressing issues in molecular medicine today. 

Leadership & Investigators

The Biomedical Research Cluster is composed of several research faculty members from all three departments (Biology, Chemistry, CS/Engineering) who are involved in cross-disciplinary work that has potential application and impact in the biomedical field. 
Ankur Gupta
Director of Biomedical Research
Dept. of Biological, Human, & Life Sciences
Molecular & Cell Biology
ankur.gupta@asdrp.org
Carly Truong
Dept. of Biological, Human, & Life Sciences
Molecular & Cell Biology
carly.truong@asdrp.org
Edward Njoo
Dept. of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics
Organic & Medicinal Chemistry
edward.njoo@asdrp.org
Harman Brah
Dept. of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics
Computational biochemistry
harman.brah@asdrp.org
Soumya Suresh
Dept. of Biological, Human, & Life Sciences
Genetics & Molecular Biology
soumya.suresh@asdrp.org
Peter Le
Dept. of Biological, Human, & Life Sciences
Cell Biology, Microbiology
peter.le@asdrp.org
Nardeen Mikhail
Dept. of Biological, Human, & Life Sciences
Genetics, Microbiology
nardeen.mikhail@asdrp.org
Gayathri Renganathan
Dept. of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics
Medicinal Biochemistry
gayathri.renganathan@asdrp.org
Scott Clark
Dept. of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics
Organic Chemistry
scott.clark@asdrp.org
Kavya Tallapaka
Dept. of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
kavya.tallapaka@asdrp.org 
Kavita Gandhi
Dept. of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics
Biological / Medicinal chemistry
kavita.gandhi@asdrp.org

Guest Speakers and Seminars

08.02.2020 Biomed Guest Speaker: Edie Zusman, MD

Join us this Sunday at 2-3 PM for our final summer Biomed Guest Speaker Seminar hosted by Ankur Gupta, Director of Biomedical Research. Our guest speaker this week is Dr. Edie Zusman, Chief of Neurosurgery at North Point Healthcare.  Click here for details.

07.26.2020 Biomed Guest Speaker: Sethu Sankaranarayanan, PhD

Join us this Sunday at 2-3 PM for our third summer Biomed Guest Speaker Seminar hosted by Ankur Gupta, Director of Biomedical Research. Our guest speaker this week is Dr. Sethu Sankaranarayan, a neuroscientist at Annexon Biosciences. Dr. Sankaranarayanan will be sharing his academic journey as a scientist as well as some of the recent science that has been developing in molecular neuroscience and neurodegenerative disease targeted research.  Click here for details.

07.19.2020 Biomed Guest Speaker: Tony Qu

Join us this Sunday at 2-3 PM for our third summer Biomed Guest Speaker Seminar hosted by Ankur Gupta, Director of Biomedical Research. Our guest speaker this week is Tony Qu, PhD candidate at the University of California, San Francisco. Mr. Qu currently performs research at UCSF on craniofacial sciences.  Click here for details.

07.12.2020 Biomed Guest Speaker: Kristen Valentine

Join us this Sunday at 2-3 PM for our second summer Biomed Guest Speaker Seminar hosted by Ankur Gupta, Director of Biomedical Research. Our guest speaker this week is Dr. Kristen Valentine, a research fellow at the La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Valentine obtained her PhD in immunology from the University of California, Merced - and will be sharing some of the latest frontiers in the field.  Click here for details.

07.05.2020 Biomed Guest Speaker: Jimmy Qian

Join us this Sunday at 2-3 PM for our first summer Biomed Guest Speaker Seminar hosted by Ankur Gupta, Director of Biomedical Research. Our first guest speaker is Jimmy Qian, MD candidate and venture capitalist at Stanford Medicine and co-founder of Osmind, and a board member at ASDRP. Click here for details.

Research & Development Laboratory:

46307 Warm Springs Blvd.

Fremont, CA 94539

General Inquiries: asdrp.admin@asdrp.org

Admissions: admissions@asdrp.org

Telephone: 1(510)371-4831

© Aspiring Scholars Directed Research Program 2020, All rights reserved.

ASDRP is a production of Olive Children Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Fremont, California.

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • YouTube