Huw Davies' organic chemistry lab is developing methods aimed at making drug production highly scalable and cost-effective. His group patented a rhodium catalyst that can selectively produce single mirror images of molecules. Like hands, many carbon-based drug compounds occur as mirror-image pairs. While the "left hand" of the compound may have a valuable pharmaceutical effect, the "right hand" could produce an unwanted side effect, making selectivity critical.
In his latest paper, Davies demonstrates how his group's methods can make a new class of compounds to selectively activate targets in the central nervous system, and serve as potent monoamine transporter inhibitors. "It's conceivable that we could apply this new chemistry to develop molecular probes to study the biology of these targets, or develop therapeutic agents for depression and cocaine addiction," says Davies, who hopes to find collaborators at Emory to expand this research.
For more about Davies research, read his profile in Emory Report.
Pay a virtual visit to Huw Davies' lab.