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Young Adult Science Cafe: The Role of Structural Biology in Drug Design

April 27 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Dr. PiduguDr. Pidugu is a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine.

Her research interests focus on structural studies for understanding enzymatic mechanisms involved in Base excision and the DNA repair pathway, which play a key role in DNA methylation. Several somatic mutations observed in cancer are associated with the improper function of these enzymes. Her biological understanding of these proteins are used to inhibit and alter the activity of these proteins in an effort to aid in cancer treatment.

Dr. Pidugu will discuss her background and provide an introduction to drug discovery. She will share her expert insight regarding the role of structural biology in lead identification, target validation, and structure-based drug design along with potential drug target identification, naturally occurring compounds in probable drug candidates, pre-clinical drug trials, and clinical drug trials.

Event: Young Adult Science Cafe
​Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Room 2230, Building III, The Universities at Shady Grove, 9630 Gudelsky Dr, Rockville, MD 20850.
Target Audience: Middle School and High School Students (Parents are encouraged to attend)
Hosted By: The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Student Chapter of USG in affiliation with the Rockville Science Center.

Food and Refreshments will be provided. ​

Please let us know if you'll be attending the April 27 Young Adult Science Cafe. We look forward to seeing you there!

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More about our speaker:

In 2001, as a graduate student, Dr. Pidugu was introduced to the fascinating field of X-ray crystallography and the design of denovo antimalarials, which specifically target the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway of the malarial parasite. Her initial post-doctoral research at CARB, currently known as the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), focused on mastering several molecular biology and protein chemistry techniques. Following her work with CARB, she worked with proteins targeting various cancers (prostate, breast, and non-small cell lung cancers) at the Center for Biomolecular Therapeutics, a drug design department of the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine. Her research explained the mechanism of action for anti-cancer properties of dimeric naphthoquinones. Dr. Pidugu’s structural studies on enzymes from the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism – involved in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and Huntington’s disease – illustrated the binding of inhibitors and, thus, ways to improve the efficacy of such molecules. Collaborating with several experts in the field of cancer biology and neuroscience exposed her to the ongoing research in drug design using two complementary techniques of structural biology.

Currently, Dr. Pidugu is involved in high throughput fragment screening of cancer targets to identify lead compounds using both X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. In addition, she loves training high school and undergraduate interns, and actively participates in student outreach programs within India and the United States.

Catch us live on YouTube:

The event will be Live Streamed on the USG ASBMB-UAN Youtube Channel from 5:00 – 7:00. Follow the link at 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 27, 2017. A YouTube account is not needed to watch the event. To ask the presenter questions during the event while watching live, you must log-in to your YouTube account. Please Like, Share, and Subscribe to the USG ASBMB-UAN YouTube Channel if you enjoy the event, and give us your feedback in the comments section below. ​


April 27
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Universities at Shady Grove, Bldg III (Camille Kendall Academic Center)
9636 Gudelsky Drive
Rockville, 20850 United States
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