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College of Pharmacy


COBRE Center for Targeted Therapeutics

The COBRE Center for Targeted Therapeutics (CTT) was created to attract and foster the professional development of talented junior scientists who are motivated to make a difference in the treatment of debilitating diseases.

Collaborative Research

Targeted therapeutics is research that seeks to develop new and more effective classes of drugs against various diseases by aiming these drugs at molecular and cellular targets that play a key role in the disease. This topic was chosen because of its societal impact, the emergence of common technologies driving therapeutics research in different disease areas and the presence of a critical core of senior faculty with broad acumen and transdisciplinary vision in targeted therapeutics.


Resource Cores

The Center for Targeted Therapeutics includes three resource cores including the Functional Genomics Core, the Drug Design and Synthesis Core and the Microscopy and Flow Cytometry Core .

A core director is assigned to each of the research cores. These experts provide scientific advice in project development, along with technological support.


Current Projects

CTT currently supports four research projects led by junior faculty members with expertise in cancer biology and genomics, signal transduction, metabolic diseases and nanotechnology-based drug delivery. Through pilot projects and collaborative studies, CTT research will encompass targeted therapeutics for multiple diseases.


Research Project Leaders

KATIE KATHREIN
Project: Remediating Ing4 tumor suppressor deficiency using a zebrafish model

Katie Kathrein, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences

Research Goal:

Mentors:
John Rawls
Preet Chaudhary

EUGENIA BROUDE
Project: Potentiating targeted drugs in breast cancer via transcription-regulating kinases 

Eugenia Broude, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy

Research Goal:
Develop new approaches to improving the efficacy of breast cancer therapy by combining targeted drugs with novel transcription-regulating kinase inhibitors.

Mentors: 
Hippokratis Kiaris
Phillip Buckhaults

OZGUR SAHIN
Project: Overcoming in vivo resistance to chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer. 

Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy

Research Goal:
Overcoming in vivo resistance to chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer. 

Mentors:

Igor Roninson

Phillip Buckhaults

SAJISH MATHEW
Novel structure based design of RSV derivatives with therapeutic potential

Sajish Mathew, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy

Research Goal:
Novel structure based design of RSV derivatives with therapeutic potential.

Mentors:

Jeffery Twiss
Stephen Cutler

 

Former Research Project Leaders

JING FANG

Project: Dual targeting of Gq/11 and calcineurin for leukemia therapy 

Jing Fang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Services, College of Pharmacy 

Research Goal:

Targeting of Gq/11 and calcineurin for leukemia therapy

Mentors: 

Igor Roninson

Lorne Hofseth

 

MYTHREYE  KARTHIKEYAN
Project: Targeting inhibin in cancers lacking the type III TGF-beta receptor

Mythreye Karthikeyan, MSc., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences mythreyelab.org

Research Goal:
Validate and explore inhibin as a novel potential cancer target for antibody-based and small-molecule drugs.

Mentors:
Igor Roninson
Hippokratis Kiaris

MICHY KELLY
Project: Selective Targeting of Phosphodiesterase 11A Transcription and Catalytic Activity

Michy Kelly, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience, USC School of Medicine

Research Goal:
Identify the molecular mechanisms that control Phosphodiesterase 11A (PDE11A) transcription and/or catalytic activity in order to reveal new opportunities for developing PDE11A-targeted therapeutics.

Mentors:
Igor Roninson
Jim Fadel

NORMA FRIZZELL
Project: Targeting Fumarate and Protein Succination for Mitochondrial Disease Treatment

Norma Frizzell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Neuroscience, USC School of Medicine

Research Goal:
Validate and explore a new metabolic target for genetic neuropathological diseases associated with aberrant mitochondrial function.

Mentors:
Lawrence Reagan

PEISHENG XU
Project: Dual responsive nanoparticle for brain targeted drug delivery

Peisheng Xu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy

Research Goal: 
Develop a highly selective and efficient system for drug delivery into the brain and test this system in a model of Alzheimer’s disease.

Mentors:
Qian Wang 
Mark Kindy

MICHAEL SHTUTMAN
Project: Targeting COPZ1 in miR-152 deficient tumor cells 
Michael Shtutman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences, College of Pharmacy

Research Goal:
Develop an anti-cancer drug that kills both dividing and non-dividing tumor cells, while sparing normal tissues, by targeting coatomer protein complex.

Mentors:
Igor Roninson
Kim Creek