Applications of bioorganic chemistry to medicine

Chemistry plays a central role in uncovering the mysteries of biology, and in the generation of new ways to approach diagnostics and disease therapies. An exciting area for health research is in the development of synthetic chemistry – the creation of “man made” molecules that contain properties that regular DNA does not possess. This merging of chemistry and biology towards medically relevant goals—such as developing antiviral compounds or radiopharmaceuticals for diagnostics or treatment—represent a powerful combination. Dr. David Perrin’s work involves the creation of synthetic DNA and peptides that may be useful in recognizing, imaging and ultimately interfering with or halting disease processes. He generates new molecules based on amino acids and nucleic acids, which have potential for disrupting RNA activity in diseases such as cancer or HIV. In addition to researching the use of synthetic DNA in disease therapies, Dr. Perrin has developed a new class of PET imaging (Positron Emission Topography) probes for the efficient radiolabelling of biomolecules. These biomolecules have the potential to image and possibly eradicate cancer directly or permit more precise monitoring of its progression in conjunction with other targeted therapies.