November 24 Neuroscience Research Cluster Seminar Series Presenter

Dr. Jeremy Lee
Department of Biochemistry
Date: November 24, 2016
Place: Room GD-04 Health Sciences Building D-Wing
Time: 3:00 pm 

“Dimer Drugs as a Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease:
Staying in the Loop”

ABSTRACT: The pathology of Parkinson’s disease is not well understood but it is clearly linked to the misfolding and aggregation of the protein α-synuclein in neuronal cells. It is postulated that drugs which bind to α-synuclein and cause the protein to adopt a loop conformation will prevent aggregation of the protein and thus prevent the progression of the disease. We have recently demonstrated that drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and 1-aminoindan bind to α-synuclein and cause a loop conformation. Not only do these drugs prevent aggregation but there is good epidemiological evidence that they are neuroprotective and lower the incidence of Parkinson’s disease. We have synthesized homo- or hetero-drug dimers which are expected to have increased affinity for α-synuclein and therefore, should be suitable lead compounds for drug therapy of Parkinson’s disease. Our initial results with the drug dimers are very promising.
Contact: Dr. Francisco S. Cayabyab,, 306-966-8191