Molecular Modeling and Biopharmaceutical Center

Located in the University of Kentucky’s Biological-Pharmaceutical Complex, the UK College of Pharmacy's Molecular Modeling and Biopharmaceutical Center (MMBC) was created to promote innovative research development in computational modeling-based rational design, discovery, and development of biopharmaceutical agents and in understanding detailed protein structures and mechanisms of potential drug targets across all units at UK. 

The Director of MMBC is Dr. Chang-Guo Zhan who has developed novel, accurate and efficient computational approaches for determining molecular structures, intermolecular interactions and reaction pathways in solution, and developed unique structure-and-mechanism-based biopharmaceutical design methods. Dr. Zhan’s unique structure-and-mechanism-based drug design and discovery efforts through integrated computational-experimental studies have led to discovery of various novel, promising biopharmaceutical candidates. Two of the biopharmaceutical candidates designed in the Zhan Lab are currently in human clinical development; the Phase II clinical trials have been completed for both of the Investigational New Drugs, showing very positive results without any major adverse effects. 

With state-of-the-art facilities, innovative computational modeling/design strategies and approaches, and unique expertise available, MMBC engages UK investigators and beyond with interests in biopharmaceutical design, discovery and development and/or in understanding detailed protein structures and mechanisms of potential drug targets to create unique opportunities of innovative research development and external funding.

Connection with CPRI

MMBC is highly complementary to the College of Pharmacy’s Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation (CPRI). Dr. Zhan also serves as the Chemoinformatics and Drug Design Core Leader of CPRI. Whereas the CPRI Chemoinformatics and Drug Design Core provides services in computational modeling and design for small-molecule drug discovery and development efforts when the drug targets have been well-established, MMBC performs the following additional research activities:

  1. Computational modeling and simulations that aim to understand detailed protein structures and mechanisms of potential drug targets, when the drug targets have not yet been established/confirmed. For a given research project, when the drug target has been well-established, the project will “graduate” from MMBC and advance to CPRI for further drug design and discovery effort if the goal becomes discovery and development of small-molecule drugs afterward. 
  2. Rational design, discovery and development of biopharmaceutical agents including peptides/proteins and vaccines etc. whether the drug targets have been established or not. A protein drug could be either a pure protein (such as metabolic enzyme or antibody) or an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC). 

Contact Dr. Zhan if there is any question concerning the connection between MMBC and CPRI.

Opportunities

The Molecular Modeling and Biopharmaceutical Center seeks new opportunities to develop innovative research partnerships with UK investigators. For more information and to request services, please contact us.