Stephen W. Fesik, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, and Chemistry
Orrin H. Ingram II Chair in Cancer Research
The focus of our lab is on cancer drug discovery using fragment-based approaches and structure-based design. To accomplish this goal, we have assembled a multidisciplinary team that includes structural biologists, medicinal chemists, and cell biologists. In our lab, we clone, express, and purify proteins, conduct fragment-based screens, determine the three-dimensional structures of protein/ligand complexes using NMR and/or X-ray crystallography, design and synthesize compounds, and test compounds in primary and secondary biological assays. The cancer drug targets that we are pursuing are highly validated but technically challenging such as K-Ras. In addition to K-Ras, we are targeting Mcl-1, PAK1, the N-terminal protein binding domain of the 70 kDa subunit of replication protein A (RPA), and several epigenetic target proteins containing bromodomains or other protein modules.