Research
Drug Discovery

Falk Center scientists have recently created a family of neuro-modulators that can act as both learning and memory enhancers and protective agents against neurological damage brought about by strokes and seizures. These small peptides act as partial agonists to the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, a molecular complex that plays a pivotal role in modulating normal cognitive processes.

Research

Today, the Falk Center has built upon these results by creating a complete drug discovery program that includes molecular pharmacology and molecular biology (Professor Roger Kroes) and behavioral neuroscience (Professor Jeffrey Burgdorf). By using appropriate animal models and applying systems biology-based molecular technology, it has been possible to identify novel genes associated with, for example, depression. From these data, novel therapeutics can be built; from viral vector mediated gene transfer to the creation of novel compounds that modulate appropriate gene and protein function directly.

Molecular Modeling

Sites of interaction on target molecules are identified and characterized by in silico molecular modeling approaches which, in turn, guide medicinal chemistry platform development and optimization.

Functional Validation

Novel gene-based therapies and unique compounds are functionally validated by site-directed mutagenesis approaches and efficacy assessed in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models.

High Throughput Screening Assays

Genetic and pharmacological manipulation of target gene function in the relevant disease model.