12/29/2005 Update

Jong @ PC Lyu's Lab

Life Science, NTHU


In the Phase I Program for Promoting Academic Excellence of Universities, The Department of Chemistry and The Department of Life Science at National Tsing Hua University had joint effort in conducting ¡§Structure-Based Rational Drug Design¡¨ program project. During the past four years, we have conducted anticancer research under the collaboration between Chemical Synthesis team and Structural Bioinformatics team, and successfully established an excellent research center for rational drug design. We have also collaborated with Academics Sinica to set up Taiwan International Graduate Program for recruiting of international students in the field of ¡¨Chemical Biology and Molecular Biophysics¡¨. As an extension of joint efforts between Chemical Synthesis and Structural Bioinformatics teams, we recruit specialists in medical oncology and tumor genomics as team members to study the ¡§Novel Molecular Targets for anti-Metastasis¡¨ for the phase II program based on the accomplishments of the phase I program.

According to the first ever World Cancer Report released by WHO (World Health Organization) and IACR (International Agency for Research on Cancer) last year, in many countries more than one-quarter of deaths were attributable to cancer, with estimated over 10 million people developing a malignant tumor and 6 million people dying from the disease annually. Significantly, most cancer deaths were not resulted from the primary tumor itself, but rather were due to metastases from the tumor that were resistant to current therapies. It is known that for tumor cells to undergo metastasis, they must produce and/or recruit proteases to degrade the surrounding extracellular matrix and subsequently facilitate cell migration and invasion. Thus, the search for effective anti-metastasis therapy to inhibit these proteases is of great interest in recent years of cancer research.

Since none of these genes has ever been reported to play a role in cancer, and currently protease inhibitors are usually thought to inhibit rather than promote tumor metastasis, this 4-year research project will no doubt provide important new insights and sharpen our understanding towards the complex metastatic process. In addition, by merging our expertise and platform techniques in the synthesis and screening of compound libraries, the substrate-based design of peptide mimics, the structural bioinformatics and cancer biomedicine of protease inhibition, we believe that such an integrated research will enable us to more effectively and accurately target these cancer-related genes and to better assess the usefulness and reliability of protease inhibitors for future development of anti-metastasis therapy.

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Jan 13, 2006


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:: Program for Promoting Academic Excellence of Universities (Phase¢º) :: Project Period: April 1, 2005-March 31, 2009