May 25 PHTX Postdoc Candidate Seminar: Viren Soni, PhD

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Viren Soni, PhD

Postdoctoral Candidate Seminar for the Golkowski Lab.

“Design Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Novel Small Molecules as Potential Therapeutic Agents”

Viren Soni, PhD

Postdoctoral Candidate Seminar for the Golkowski Lab.

May 25, 2023


5100B HSEB


Medicinal Chemistry is the discipline of Chemistry that involves the design and synthesis of molecules to address unmet medical needs. These molecules could be potentially used as anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, or anti-fungal agents etc. Throughout my years in research, I worked on numerous projects that fall under the discipline of Medicinal Chemistry. In doing so, I derivatized and optimized different natural products to improve their medicinal activity. 

To highlight my research projects, Sucralose an artificial sweetener (Splenda) was modified to develop potential anti-bacterial agents in which one lead molecule was identified as a potential gram-negative selective anti-microbial agent. 

Betulin a natural product from the bark and sap of birch trees that has anti-cancer properties was extracted and oxidized to the respective carboxylic acid (Betulinic Acid). This molecule was then further modified via the conjugation of a triazole ring system with another natural product Urolithin B, which is naturally found in pomegranate, strawberries, red raspberries, and walnuts and is known to have anti-cancer properties. 

In following the trend of using natural products as anti-cancer agents, Salinomycin found in chicken feed was isolated. Based on the literature it has been recently highlighted to have anti-cancer properties in addition to its known anti-bacterial activity. Modifying this molecule after isolation was performed. Two lead molecules were identified through in vitro assays and evaluated for their toxicity and efficacy in vivo using mice models. 

Published in Post Docs/Graduate Students, Seminars
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