UCSF

Tagged: Recent Research

Fragment-based discovery: using smaller molecules to solve larger challenges

To discover new drugs and chemical probes, researchers have traditionally screened small molecules—small enough by weight to pass through cell membranes. Their goal is typically to find compounds that selectively bind to a much larger protein molecule (often an enzyme) at a chemically reactive pocket known as the active site, inhibiting its activity to treat a disease or to better understand a biological process.

MacDougall study finds severe sepsis alert speeds drug delivery

Sepsis occurs when the body responds to an infection with a mix of tissue-damaging inflammation and anti-inflammatory responses. This biological storm can lead to acute organ dysfunction (severe sepsis) and dropping blood pressure that does not respond to intravenous fluids (septic shock).

Yang study demonstrates simulator to study antibiotic dosing against biofilms

Nearly every human bacterial infection—including some of the most serious, life threatening, and costly to treat—can take the form of a biofilm, in which bacteria aggregate into structured communities that enclose themselves within a secreted slime.

Study discovers why leading gout medication is ineffective for many

Allopurinol, the first-choice medication for treating gout—an excruciatingly painful condition that is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, afflicts more than eight million Americans, and is on the rise worldwide—is not fully effective in more than half of patients.

Study finds depression in pregnancy, postpartum is overlooked and undertreated

About 10 to 20 percent of women suffer from new-onset depression during pregnancy or after giving birth. Untreated, the impact of such illness can be profound, ranging from substance abuse, poor prenatal care, and miscarriages to impaired infant bonding and developmental delays.

Study builds breast tissues to track how abnormal cells affect neighbors

It can take just the flick of a genetic switch for breast cells to kick-start the normally well-regulated process of growth seen in puberty, pregnancy, or the menstrual cycle—or the mutation of that switch to initiate the unchecked proliferation of cancer.

Study finds including unpublished FDA data alters drug effectiveness outcomes

Every year U.S. drug regulators approve dozens of new medicines as “safe and effective,” but just how effective are they? How well do they alleviate specific aspects of illness, whether light sensitivity from migraine headaches or itching from eczema?

Computer models to predict drug clearance by liver cells show promise

A holy grail of drug discovery is to answer key questions about potential new drugs less by experiments in petri dishes and lab animals and more by faster, cheaper engineering efforts using predictive computer models.

Drugs screened for effects on key transporters, risk of dangerous interactions

To reduce the risk of toxic drug interactions, UCSF's Kathy Giacomini, PhD, and colleagues are screening thousands of prescription drugs, testing how much they inhibit key proteins in kidney and liver cells that help clear medications from the body.