Controlling the Fate and Functions of Proteins with Photopharmacology

Seminar series
Organic Colloquium
Thu, Oct 24 4:00pm
CS 50
Speaker Prof. Dirk Trauner
NYU and NYU Langone School of Medicine
Chemistry and Neuroscience



Photopharmacology endeavors to control biological function with synthetic photoswitches that interact in various ways with their biological targets. These include ion channels, transporters, GPCRs, enzymes, molecular motors, scaffolding proteins, and elements of the cytoskeleton. I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of photopharmacology and its potential applications in biology and medicine, in particular with respect to controlling cell proliferation, cell migration, and targeted protein degradation. Furthermore, I will make the case that running a healthy program in chemical synthesis is highly beneficial to our interpretation of synthetic biology. This will be illustrated with natural products that are challenging targets for chemical synthesis but also have unexplored qualities as biologically active ligands.