Prof. Philip S. Low, a Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Purdue University and the Director of the Purdue University Institute for Drug Discovery, addressed a gathering of students, researchers and Purdue alumni at the Material Research Centre auditorium, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore on the 8th of January 2018.
His talk, titled “New Targeted Therapies for cancer, Autoimmune, and infectious Diseases”, was a part of the India – Purdue lecture series in honour of Bharat Ratna Prof. CNR Rao, organised by Purdue University to promote collaborative efforts between the Indian scientific community and researchers at Purdue University. Prof. CNR Rao, who is also an alumnus of Purdue University, delivered the opening remarks for the lecture. Eminent scientists like Dr. Usha VijayRaghavan, Chairperson, Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, IISc, and others attended the event.
Prof. Low’s lecture highlighted the various verticals of his research pertaining to targeted therapy. He explained how targeted therapeutic interventions could fight diseases like cancer, aid in cancer imagery, cancer drug development, and drug delivery for cancerous cells without harming other healthy cells. His also explained how the same could act against autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, drug delivery for efficient fracture recovery and treatment of infectious diseases like malaria. His presentation style ensured that specialists and non-specialists in the audience were equally able to appreciate and understand the intricacies of his research, which is on the forefront of drug discovery.
In the lecture, Prof. Low through photographs and videos, highlighted the use of ligands, small molecules that attach to specific target molecules in the body, thereby delivering drugs intended for infected or unhealthy cells. He explained how the presence of folate in cancerous cells, a vitamin necessary for cell growth, was being used in his research to develop targeted drugs. He mentioned about the astounding efficacy these drugs have shown in clinical and pre-clinical trials against a range of diseases. The lecture was followed by a question and answer session with the audience.
Similar lectures by Prof. Low will be held at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore (9th of January 2018), Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai (10th of January 2018) and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (11th of January 2018).