New Chemical Probe Technologies: Applications to Imaging, Target Identification and Drug Discovery

Hydrolases are enzymes that often play important roles in many common human diseases such as cancer, asthma, arthritis, atherosclerosis and infection by pathogens. Therefore tools that can be used to dynamically monitor their activity can be used as diagnostic agents, as imaging contrast agents and for the identification of novel classes of drugs. In the first part of this presentation, I will describe our efforts to design and synthesize small molecule probes that produce a fluorescent signal upon binding to tumor associated protease targets.

Highly Sterically-Crowded Subvalent Group 14 Compounds: Unexpected Structures and High Reactivity with Small Molecules

A series of new compounds, MAr2 (M = Ge, Sn, or Pb; Ar = terphenyl ligands) display structures and structural trends that are counter-intuitive with regard to steric effects. These trends are also reflected in their spectroscopic properties and in their reaction chemistry. It was found that the presence or absence of substituents at apparently-remote sites on the ligands can exert a large influence on the course of the reactions, as well as on the structural characteristics of the group 14 element environment.


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