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Drug Design Lab

Virtual Drug Design

Drug design refers to the inventive process of creating new compounds and medications based on our knowledge of a biological target. Often, this biological target is a protein that may be inhibited to provide a therapeutic effect. A detailed understanding of a protein’s structure and function is often required in the design of novel inhibitors. The Mahajan laboratory utilizes virtual, or computer-aided, drug design methods to model new compounds that are complementary to a target protein’s shape and charge. These protein-inhibitor complexes are modeled on our lab’s parallel computing system and can be visualized in three-dimensions on 3D monitors, providing an in-depth view of these molecular interactions. Virtually-designed compounds are then synthesized in collaboration with Stanford’s Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center for testing in biochemical and cellular assays.

Drug Repositioning

The development of new drugs can cost upward of a billion dollars and take over a decade before the drug reaches the market. Drug repositioning makes use of existing drugs for the treatment of diseases where there are few therapeutic options. This approach can provide a safer alternative to the development of new compounds, since repurposed drugs are already FDA-approved, have proven bio-availabilities, and well-characterized side-effect profiles. To identify which drugs to reposition, our laboratory performs proteomic analyses of liquid biopsies (e.g. vitreous or aqueous humor) from diseased patients to identify drug targets and biomarkers. This approach allows for rapid, real-time repositioning of available drugs to patients with few therapeutic options. 

Projects

Structure-based drug design for inherited eye diseases.
Identifying available drugs to treat patients with rare diseases using proteomics.

News

Sep 26 2018 | Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Palo Alto, CA — Physicians, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and patients are collaborating in an effort to move ophthalmology away from symptom-based, trial and error approaches to personalized treatment plans. 
Jul 26 2018 | Posted In: 20/20 Blog
San Francisco, CA — The majority of astronauts who travel in space for a prolonged period of time experience vision loss. Some vision problems are resolved after returning to earth, but others are irreversible.
Jul 12 2018 | Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Palo Alto, CA — Dr. Vinit Mahajan and Dr.
Dec 21 2017 | Stanford Report | Posted In: 20/20 Blog, Press
Researchers are studying proteins in the eye to find existing drugs that can treat a rare eye disease known as neovascular inflammatory vitreoretinopathy that causes blindness.
Dec 13 2017 | Posted In: 20/20 Blog
Using proteomics to identify new drug targets for PVR.