Lab & Facilities

The lab and facilities at Saint Louis University provides our scientists and researchers the necessary tools to put their unique skill sets to use in finding therapies for rare and neglected diseases.

  • Over 200 years combined experience in drug development in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Comprised of a full team of former pharmaceutical company scientists, representing all scientific disciplines needed to discover and develop new drug therapies:
    • Medicinal Chemistry: lead optimization, organic synthesis, and Structure Based Drug Design
    • In vitro Biology: pharmacology, assay development, and screening capabilities
    • In vivo Pharmacology: disease models, PK/PD, pharmacokinetic modeling, and ADME expertise
  • Established collaborations and partnerships with global disease experts for each of the Center’s disease projects
  • Expertise in spinning out companies (Antegrin Therapeutics) and partnering directly with pharmaceutical companies (Ultragenyx)

Our Capabilities and Expertise

  • Medicinal Chemistry:
    • Lead optimization expertise
    • Synthetic organic chemistry
      • Methods optimization
      • Compound isolation, purification, and characterization
      • Small scale-up capability
      • Targeted library synthesis
      • Chromatographic separation
    • Structure based drug design
    • Strong relationships with CROs (e.g. WUXI, CBT, AMRI) for efficient and cost effective synthesis when appropriate
    • Protein expression/purification
    • Protein crystallography - SLU Biochemistry Department collaboration
  • In vitro Biology:
    • Diverse target function assays (biochemical/cellular)
    • Optical, fluorescence (FRET, FP), and luminescence detection formats
    • Cytotoxicity
    • Pathogen culture (Plasmodium, Trypanosoma, Mycobacteria)
    • ELISA, IP/Western, FACS, qRT-PCR
    • MS analysis of substrates/products
    • Equilibrium dialysis for drug-protein binding
    • In vitro metabolism (microsomes/hepatocytes)
  • In vivo Pharmacology:
    • In vivo PK/PD
    • Plasma and tissue optimization
    • LC/MS method development
    • Compound concentration determination
    • Pharmacokinetic modeling and predictions
    • Metabolism
    • Metabolic stability
    • Microsomes
    • Hepatocytes
    • Metabolite identification
    • Cyp P450 phenotyping
    • Cyp P450 inhibition
    • Absorption and distribution
    • Solubility
    • Blood and intestinal stability
    • Protein binding in plasma and tissue
    • Caco-2

Infrastructure

  • Located at the Saint Louis University Medical Center with labs and offices in the Doisy Research Center and Schwitalla Hall
  • Integrated with Biomedical Research scientists studying a variety of diseases affecting global populations, including infants, children, and the poor in impoverished regions of the world
  • Utilizes sophisticated equipment and instrumentation which enables basic and advanced drug discovery and development activities:
    • Separation, purification, and analytical instruments used in the synthesis of new drug molecules in medicinal chemistry labs
    • Various advanced instruments to facilitate cell and molecular biology and pharmacology experiments and activities, including:
      • Agilent UHD Accurate mass Q-TOF High Resolution mass spectrometer
      • Two Sciex API-4000 triple quadruple mass spectrometers with autosampler and chiller
      • Tecan Safire2 microplate readers with stacker modules
      • Titertek Multidrop Microliquid dispenser with 25-plate Titan stacker
      • Matrix PlateMate Plus pipetting robot with 60-plate stackers
      • Digilab Hummingbird pipettor
  • Access to the Saint Louis University Vivarium and the comparative medicine staff for conduction in vivo experiment in various disease models and for standard pharmacokinetic determinations