• Mandë Holford, Ph.D. Assistant Professor mholford@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Summary: The peptidic toxins found in the venom of Toxoglossate (“poisoned-tongued”) marine snails (cone snails, terebrids, and turrids), have been identified as effective biochemical tools for studying the structure-activity relationships of ion channels in the nervous system. The first marine snail drug, ziconotide (Prialt), used to alleviate chronic pain in HIV and cancer patients, is a major breakthrough that caused a paradigm shift in analgesic drug development.

  • Spiro Alexandratos, Ph.D. Professor - Polymer & Environmental Chemistry, Hunter College alexsd@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Summary:  The preparation of polymers modified with ion-selective ligands allows for their utilization in areas where toxic metal ions must be removed from water in the environment in order to be rendered safe.  The modification of polystyrene beads with glucamine ligands has led to an arsenic-selective resin, modification with phosphonic acid ligands has led to an actinide-selective resin, and modification with phosphonate ligands has led to a lead-selective resin.  The ability of auxiliary groups to modify the ionic selectivity of a primary ligand is the subject of current research.

  • Charles Michael Drain, Ph.D. Professor of Chemistry, Hunter College cdrain@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Interest:Supramolecular Photonics, Nanomaterials, Phototherapeutics

    Research Summary:  Our research falls broadly into several areas interconnected by the themes of self-assembly and energy transduction: Self-Assembly of Supramolecular Photonics (organic, inorganic and materials chemistry), Combinatorial Chemistry & the molecular recognition of biomolecules (organic and biochemistry), Membrane Electrostatics & Conduction (theoretical and biophysical chemistry), &PorphyrinPhotophysics(physical chemistry).

  • Dixie J. Goss, Ph.D. Gertrude B. Elion Endowed Scholar and Professor, Hunter College dgoss@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Interest:Protein-nucleic acid interactions

    Research Summary: Our lab is using biophysical methods and molecularbiology to study protein-nucleic acid interactions and macromolecular assembly. We are particularly interested in mechanisms of assembly and how kinetics and equilibria influence the final composition of assembly complexes and ultimately biological function. Experiments are aimed at determining the detailed function of proteins and how they recognize nucleic acids. These processes are studied by steady-state and life-time fluorescence measurements, circular dichroism, rapid scanning stopped-flow, and site-directed mutagenesis. Detailed quantitative measurements of these biological processes lead to elucidation of molecular mechanisms and how these processes can be regulated.

  • Nancy L. Greenbaum, Ph.D. Professor - Chemistry, Hunter College nancy.greenbaum@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Interest:Structural Biology of RNA

    Research Summary: As the major research focus of our laboratory, we attempt to answer questions about how RNA molecules fold and interact with other RNA, metal ions, and proteins in order to carry out the complex activity of precursor messenger (pre-m)RNA splicing. This process, by which noncoding sequences of pre-mRNA molecules, or introns, are excised, and flanking coding regions, or exons, are ligated together, is an essential step in preparation of mRNA transcripts prior to translation of their message into protein sequences.

  • Wayne W. Harding, Ph.D. Assistant Professor – Chemistry, Hunter College wayne.harding@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Interest:  Medicinal Chemistry

    Research Summary: Synthesis and Evaluation of Central Nervous System (CNS) Receptor Ligands  (Typified by the following): Our group is involved in the synthesis and biological evaluations of compounds which modulate serotonergic and adrenergic receptors.  Through our research, we hope to uncover novel dual potent 5-HT2A/alpha1 antagonists which may be useful as chemical tools to study the effects of antagonist potency and selectivity at these and other CNS receptors in the antagonism of MDMA's effects.

    Psychoactive Natural Products: We are investigating plants or plant products that are reputed to possess psychoactive (eg. sedative, anxiolytic, stimulant) properties.

  • Akira Kawamura, Ph.D. Associate Professor – Chemistry, Hunter College akawamur@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Interest:  Bioorganic & Natural Products Chemistry

    Research Summary: Currently we are working on two research programs, namely, natural products chemistry and chemical proteomics.

    Uncovering Hidden Potential of Natural Products:Long-known natural products with plain chemical structures can surprise us with remarkable biological activities. In order to uncover hidden potential of natural products, we established a screening protocol called "Biomarker-guided screening", which permits the identification of previously overlooked biological activities of natural products. Our current focus is the application of this screening to immunostimulatory herbal medicine.

    Drug Target Identification using BenzophenonePhotoprobes:Photoaffinity-labeling is a powerful approch to identify cellular binding targets of small organic molecules. Identification of new proteins targeted by small molecules is important because it opens up new opportunities for therapeutic intervention of various diseases using small molecules.  In this research program, benzophenonephotoprobes of various natural products, including ginkgolide, immunostimulatory lipids, etc., are prepared to identify their binding targets in cells.

  • Frida E. Kleiman, Ph.D. Associate Professor – Chemistry, Hunter College fkleiman@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Interest: Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology

    Research Summary:  Mammalian cells are known to exhibit a sophisticated and coordinated response to DNA damage. We have determined that a dynamic macromolecular assembly of proteins occurs as part of that response and this includes transcription, RNA processing and DNA repair factors. Our lab is interested in identifying and analyzing those protein complexes, to understand the molecular basis of the transcription-coupled repair (TCR) process and how these interactions regulate gene expression after DNA damage.

  • David R. Mootoo, Ph.D. Professor – Organic Chemistry, Hunter College dmootoo@hunter.cuny.edu

    Research Interest: Organic Chemistry

    Research Summary: Our research centers on the design and synthesis of molecular probes for biological pathways, with the ultimate goal of elucidating disease processes and devising new therapeutic strategies.  The underlying synthetic and mechanistic chemistry bear wider relevance to the field of bioorganic chemistry. Our interests span two broad categories of molecules, unnatural analogues of disease-related carbohydrates and structurally related natural products with unique biological activity.