Department Seminar

Supported by The Allergan Foundation

Upcoming Seminar

Histone Deacetylase Enzymes: Anti-cancer Drug Design
Dr. Mary Kay Pflum, Wayne State University

May 4, 2022
4:00pm in HSCI-105

Mary Kay Pflum

Histone deacetylase (HDAC) enzymes are key players in cancer progression and have emerged recently as targets for anti-cancer drugs. In fact, four drugs are currently used clinically to treat leukemia and lymphoma. Despite the successes of HDAC inhibitors as therapeutics, the clinical drugs manifest significant side effects. One factor leading to the clinical side effects is the non-specific inhibition of the eleven HDAC proteins (HDAC1 – HDAC11) in human cells. There is still a lack of selective inhibitor compounds targeting only select HDAC proteins among the eleven HDAC family members, which could overcome side effect issues. Beyond drug design, selective inhibitor compounds as useful biomedical tools to study the biological functions of HDAC enzymes in normal biology and cancer. The goal is this project is to identify inhibitors that selectively target only one or only a few HDAC enzymes. Towards this goal, we have synthesized a variety of small molecule HDAC inhibitors and evaluated their potencies. In this talk, the identification of dual HDAC6/HDAC8-selective inhibitors is highlighted (see Negmeldin et al. Eur. J. Med Chem, 2018, 143, 1790-1806). Through inhibitor development, the HDAC project in the Pflum lab will deepen our understanding of cancer onset and progression, while also assisting in the development of next generation cancer therapeutics.

histone deacetylase enzyme
Fig. Crystal structure of the histone deacetylase enzyme (purple) bound to an inhibitor drug (red).  Histone deaceylases are involved in cancer and have emerged in the last 10 years as excellent targets for anti-cancer drugs. This structure shows how the drug binds to the histone deacetylase to inhibit its enzymatic activity.

Seminars are held on Wednesdays at 4:00pm. All are invited to attend.

For seminars held via Zoom, faculty, staff, alumni, and students of the department will automatically receive a weekly invitation via email. All others may email the Seminar Coordinator for invitation.

Seminar Coordinator

For information and suggestions about our Department Seminar series, please contact the seminar coordinator:

Schedule for Spring 2022

Department Seminar Schedule
Date Title Speaker and Affiliation
May 4, 2022 Histone Deacetylase Enzymes: Anti-cancer Drug Design Dr. Mary Kay Pflum, Wayne State University

Previous Seminars

Past Seminars from this Semester
Date Title Speaker and Affiliation
April 27, 2022 Exploring Color and Heat Reflectance Tunability of "Cool" Pigments Dr. Joya Cooley, CSU Fullerton
April 20, 2022 Exploring the Biochemical Environment of Insulin Secretory Vesicles Dr. Kate White, USC
April 13, 2022 Electrification and Decarbonization of Chemical Synthesis Dr. Karthish Manthiram, Cal Tech
March 23, 2022 Atomic and nanoscale characterization of chemical segregation in multiphase ceramics and nanocomposite functional oxides by TEM Dr. William Bowman, UC Irvine
March 16, 2022 Strategies and Methods for Bioactive Diterpenoids Dr. Chris Vanderwal, UC Irvine
March 9, 2022 Heterogeneous materials for electrochemical catalysis – using simple tools to understand complex interfaces Dr. Eleanor Gillette, University of San Diego
March 2, 2022 Dynamic catalytic interfaces: ensembles of metastable states break the rules of catalysis Dr. Anastassia Alexandrova, UCLA
February 23, 2022 Problematic Proteins: Mechanisms of Protein Aggregation and Dysfunction in Cellular Models of Neurodegenration Dr. Danny Hatters, University of Melbourne
February 16, 2022 Complex Chemical Mixtures - What is Inside of Them? Dr. Petr Vozka, CSU Los Angeles
February 9, 2022 Efficient quantum dynamics for two-dimensional electronic and vibrational spectroscopies Dr. Tomislav Begusic, Cal Tech

The Seminar Archive has Department Seminars from previous semesters.