Chemistry Department Seminar: Grace Yin Stokes, Santa Clara University

19 October 2022

Thermodynamic Studies of Artificial Plasma Membranes Elucidate Drug Design Principles

Fri, October 21, 2022 • 3:30pm – 4:30pm (1h) • Anderson 329

Official/Unofficial Story

Small molecule pharmaceutical drugs may adsorb to and perturb the physical structure of lipids in the mammalian plasma membrane. These non-specific interactions impact bioaccumulation and toxicity. They may also change the conformation and function of transmembrane proteins, such as G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). GPCRs are the target of over half of all FDA-approved drugs. The Stokes Lab uses a laser-based analytical method, second harmonic generation (SHG), to monitor adsorption of therapeutically-relevant concentrations of neurological drugs (clozapine, olanzapine and chlorpromazine) to lipid membranes that represent the blood-brain barrier. These studies quantified the molecular-level forces which drive adsorption. We are trying to provide a molecular-level understanding of how chemical structure alters membrane association. We have also conducted systematic studies of lipid adsorption with a small library of peptoids, N-substituted glycine oligomers, which are easy to synthesize and can serve as drug mimics.

*This seminar counts towards the chemistry major seminar attendance requirement.

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