Receptors and transporters in the CNS as drug targets
Most drugs on the market were found either by chance observation or by systematic screening of large numbers of natural and synthetic substances. Today the traditional drug discovery methods are supplemented by a more direct rational design based on molecular knowledge about disease processes and the availability of three dimensional structures of target proteins. Diseases connected to the CNS are among the most common causes of disease burden in the world. In spite of significant breakthroughs, there is still a large need for new drugs. In the present project we are using a combination of in silico and in vitro methods to study molecular mechanism of GABAergic and serotonergic G-protein coupled receptors and transporter proteins and to search for new compounds with a potential in in psychiatric disease.
Molecular dynamics simulations are used to study molecular mechanism involved in ligand binding and function. A combination of ligand based and structure (target) based virtual screening approaches are used to search for new putative molecules binding to the receptors and transporters. Following the virtual screening, compounds are selected for in vitro testing by us or by collaborators. The project is in close collaboration with the groups of professor Andrzej J. Bojarski and professor Andrzej Pilc at the Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Science, Krakow, Poland and the group of professor Zdzislaw Chilmonzcyk, National Medicines Institute, Warsaw, Poland (information about the collaboration on http://platformex.eu/). The PhD candidates Linn M. Evenseth and Thibaud Freyd are both connected to this project.
Bachelor, master and PhD –projects
Depending on financing and supervising capacity bachelor-, master- and PhD-project can be offered connected to the project.