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Ryan Looper

Title: Professor
College: Science
School / Department: Chemistry
Mentoring Philosophy:

Our research program focuses on the behavior of small molecules within biological systems. With clues from nature, we aim to develop compounds as specific modulators of cell signaling events and as tools for a community.

Initially, our synthetic achievements will support the exploration of post-translational protein-arginine modifications and its consequences. The recent implication of these events in a number of disease states (multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, glaucoma and tumorogenesis) encourages the preparation of biological tools and therapeutic leads.

Insight into the mechanism of action of natural products will inspire the development of new synthetic methodology and fragment based small molecule collections. In part, these advances will access natural product families which exhibit a wide range of biological activities. The efficient construction of these skeletons will allow us to investigate the evolutionary conservation of their biosynthesis by their contribution to the national screening infrastructure.

We are also developing antibiotic collections for the inhibition of prokaryotic protein synthesis. Molecules with purported rRNA binding interactions that are uncharacterized or non-overlapping with known sites of resistance will be targeted to advance our understanding of RNA’s binding topology.