Abstract: Series 102, Lecture 1

The Harvey Lectures Series 102 (2006—2007)

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Lecture #1: Thursday, October 19, 2006 — Time and Location

Drugging the Undruggable

Gregory L Verdine, PhD

Gregory L Verdine, PhD

Erving Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Dr Verdine's Website

Professor Verdine is one of the founders of the field of cancer chemical biology. The efforts of his laboratory are focused in two main areas of cancer research, one related to prevention and the other to treatment of the disease. On the prevention side, Verdine and his co-workers have made great strides toward elucidating the structural and mechanistic basis for recognition and repair of DNA damage via the base-excision DNA repair pathway. With respect to treatment, the Verdine laboratory has invented several powerful chemistry-based platform technologies to address “undruggable” targets having significant but as-yet unrealized promise for the treatment of cancer in humans. These technologies center upon the development of molecules Verdine has coined as “synthetic biologics” – molecules that, like biologics, possess the ability to target large flat surfaces, but that, like small molecules, are fully synthetic and hence can be modified at will. Synthetic biologics are actively taken up by cells, hence they may constitute the long-awaited solution to the problem of targeting intracellular protein/protein interactions.