Although rapidly developed genome-sequencing technology revealed a number of potential oncogenic proteins through cancer genomics, from a chemists point of view this does not automatically lead to the design of efficacious new drugs. The human genome consists of about 30 000 genes, 10% of which have been estimated as disease relevant. The currently approved drugs only target about 400 proteins related to these disease-causing genes. Thus, the development of small molecules targeting the currently undruggable proteins remains a major challenge in the field of medicinal chemistry.
Our group is focused on expanding the druggable proteome. We use two main approaches: (a) cell-based high throughput screening to discover novel chemicals as drug candidates and (b) drug repurposing, utilizing modern biotechnology methods to identify new targets of existing drugs. The methods used in our lab range from classic chemical synthesis to modern molecular biology, including organic synthesis, PROTAC technology, proteomics, various in vitro/cell-based assays, RNA-seq and gene manipulation.