The CNPD3 provides both drug discovery expertise and the infrastructure to screen for novel targets and chemical entities that modulate target activity. Specifically, target discovery and validation require genomic scale libraries for overexpression (gain-of-function) and siRNA-mediated knockdown (loss-of-function). Validated targets are screened against drug-like small molecule libraries, especially UF proprietary natural products and natural product-like libraries. Assays can be miniaturized and made “HTS-ready” to allow future high-throughput screens (HTS) at larger screening facilities. Hits can be optimized and developed into probes and/or drug candidates through medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical development campaigns.
To complement these target and drug discovery & development activities, genomes of unexplored microbes will be analyzed for biosynthetic potential to discover new natural products that are not expressed under “standard” conditions and require artificial systems for heterologous expression, thereby increasing the pool of screenable natural products and chemical diversity. Furthermore, we are evaluating the scientific basis of selected complementary alternative medicine and certain natural product preparations that are being used as part of the diet or dietary supplements.