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Environmentally Activated Peptides

Membrane Active Peptides are a group of potential lead compounds that are well-known for their ability to disrupt cell membranes.  Unfortunately, their nondiscriminatory membrane activity has caused most leads to be dead ends, resulting in extremely high toxicity.  In this project we are developing peptides that will activate only in specific cellular environments.  This will lead to "environmentally based targeting" and more useful drugs. Our current course of work has focused on redox- and photo-activated peptides for controlled activity

Lab Members Working on this project: Cristina Ventura 




J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136 (12), pp 4724–4731

BBA, 2015, 1848(4), pp 951-957


Therapeutic Drug Monitoring

One of the key challenges in delivery effective therapies is the fact that even ideally designed molecules can be difficult to control in the body.  Molecules may be degraded, they may bind to serum proteins, or they may fail to activate from prodrug-->drug.  This is why the 3B Lab is invested in developing methods for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring of small molecules.  We want to incorporate monitoring of molecule levels into therapies to supplement pharmacokinetics information.  The 3B Lab is exploring methods such as SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment) to develop ways to capture molecules.  We are also actively searching for the best platforms to detect small-molecule-to-capture arm binding events in a quick, affordable, and accurate way. 

Lab Members Working on this Project: Charnette Frederic,


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Synergistic Drug Interactions

Phospholipids are one of the most important components of the cell membrane.  Microbes are often able to evade drug activity by dynamically changing their lipid composition using machinery called Lipid Flippases.  The 3B Lab is looking to developing molecules that can interfere specifically with Flippase machinery to improve drug efficacy.  This is a challenging and ambitious project but we believe that our unique blend of Chemistry, Microbiology, and Bio-engineering expertise make us well equipped to take on the task. To this end, we are creating novel co-Culture assays and studying peptides which interact with lipid flippases.

Lab Members Working on this project: Robert Tancer


References: TBD