The Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics was recently profiled in the Orlando Sentinel. In the article, Dr. Greg Roth described how the center’s robotic screening systems can sift through thousands of chemical compounds to find the few that can alter a protein’s behavior and perhaps even become a new treatment.
“The robotic arms can fill miniature test-tube “wells” so tiny that 1,536 of them fit on a plate the size of an index card. Using such small test tubes allows researchers to save money on chemicals and compounds.”
In a separate article, the MIT Technology Review profiled Regulus Therapeutics, a startup biotech investigating the therapeutic potential of microRNAs (miRNAs), small, non-coding nucleic acids that are involved in cell signaling. Understanding how they function could have a profound impact on how we treat a variety of diseases. Dr. Peter Linsley, Chief Technology Officer for Regulus, recently presented at Sanford-Burnham’s annual scientific symposium. In the article, Sanford-Burnham faculty member Dr. Sumit Chanda explained the importance of miRNAs:
“First discovered in the 1990s, misbehaving miRNAs have been linked to several diseases, including cancer and heart failure. Drug developers hope these molecules will prove to be particularly effective drug targets because manipulating just one seems to suppress several disease-linked proteins–whereas most biotech drugs only target individual proteins.”