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Vassily Hatzimanikatis, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2009
For developing original biophysical models and innovative computational methods to analyze and design complex cellular systems.

Open-access database could speed up repurposing of old drugs as new treatments

Via News-Medical.Net | August 3, 2021

Researchers have created a new open-access database of information on drug candidates and how they are metabolized by the body, which could help speed up the repurposing of old drugs as new treatments.

There is an urgent need for more effective treatments for many conditions, including COVID-19, cancer and malaria. But the process of developing new drugs is costly, can take decades, and often leads to failed treatments. The database, called NICEdrug.ch and described today in eLife, may help expedite the process by helping scientists find promising, existing drugs that might be repurposed for these diseases… Continue reading.

A new model of metabolism draws from thermodynamics and ‘omics’

Via EurekAlert | January 13, 2020

All living things are made of carbon, and sugars, e.g. glucose, are a very common source of it. Consequently, most cells are good at eating sugars, using enzymes to digest them through a series of chemical reactions that transform the initial sugar into a variety of cell components, including amino acids, DNA building blocks, and fats. Because they help these sugar-metabolism reactions run efficiently, the enzymes called biocatalysts.

Given how critical all enzymes are to life itself, scientists have built several mathematical models that describe how the cells use enzymes to transform a sugar. Such models have been successfully used, for instance, to improve 2nd generation biofuel production or identify drug targets for malaria, but they don’t take into account the metabolic “cost” of producing the enzymes that catalyze all these chemical reactions… Continue reading.