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Chad Rappleye, PhD

Award Name Pilot and Collaborative Studies Award
Award Date 08/17/2012

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Researchers seeking more effective drug to inhibit fungal growth

The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science awarded Chad Rappleye, PhD, with a collaborative/ partnership pilot award for his research entitled “Lead Candidate Antifungal Drug Development.”

Rappleye’s research team is looking for small chemical compounds that may inhibit the growth of fungal pathogens. Once discovered these compounds could become potential drugs to treat fungal infections.

“There are a limited number of drugs for treating fungal diseases,” Rappleye said. “The drugs that are currently used have a lot of side effects which greatly affect patients.”

To begin the search for a new antifungal drug, Rappleye’s group obtained a collection of different chemicals to test for growth inhibition of the fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum. Promising compounds were then subjected to further tests to ensure that they were not toxic to human cells.

“Our process has helped narrow the list of possible compounds down to just a few that make up our list of promising candidates for what we’re hoping to do,” Rappleye said.

Using this shortened list of promising compounds, Rappleye’s research team is focusing on determining what molecule the compounds attack in fungal cells to impair growth. Once this target is discovered, its structure can be used to create modifications to the compound to make it more potent, and can hopefully be turned into a pharmaceutical drug.

Rappleye is working with Werner Tjarks, PhD, a medicinal chemist at the OSU College of Pharmacy.

Through this collaboration, Rappleye and Tjarks hope to produce a more effective drug to inhibit fungal growth, while resulting in minimal toxicity to patients.

By Alecia Frankart, August 8, 2013

* Check out CBS New York's coverage of this story: CBS New York article

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