The main thrust of this division is to developchemical and biological approaches to solve problems in living systems. Current research programs include mechanism-based and structure-based drug discoveries, development of high-throughput systems to facilitate the process, design of new carbohydrate and other molecular probes for imaging and glycoproteomic analysis, nano- and micro-fabrication of carbohydrates for the high-throughput analysis of biomolecular interactions, and development of new reactions and methods of interest to functional genomic study and drug discoveries. In addition, study of functional genomics is another emphasis. Some efforts are directed toward identification and validation of important targets associated with cancer and infection, and protein misfolding diseases, and understanding of the function of these targets at the molecular level. Using the state-of-the-art mass spectrometry, NMR, and X-ray crystallography as well as other genomic and proteomic approaches, the division is developing new strategies to tackle the problems of protein folding, structure and function, especially that of membrane glycoproteins and intracellular proteins associated with cancer, infectious diseases and the immune system.
The following subjects are of current interest.
• Membrane protein: structure-function study and drug design. Transglycosylase, hemagglutinin, neuraminidase and other glycoprotein markers on bacteria, viruses and cancer cells.
• Carbohydrate chemistry and biology: New synthetic chemistry, glycan sequencing, glycan arrays for analysis of sugar-protein interaction, sugar-based drug discovery and vaccine design.
• High-throughput screening and drug discovery: Development of diverse structure space and assays for target-based and cell-based screen, e.g., transglycosylase of MRSA and XDR-TB, HCV protease, influenza, breast cancer, and directed evolution of enzymes for biofuel synthesis.
• Modification of biomolecules and protein design: Protein design by computation and phage-display: high-order structures, human antibody library. Synthetic biology and natural product chemistry: synthesis of new antibiotics, biofuels and other bioactive molecules. Protein misfolding and disease progression.
• Post-translational glycosylation and epigenetic regulation: Glycoprotein synthesis, human antibody, and vaccine design. Probing the effect of glycosylation on protein structure and function. Chromatin methylation and demethylation associated with cancer and viral diseases.
This division will continue its long-term plan in the discovery and development of new chemistry and technology to solve emerging scientific, medical, and biotech problems. The middle-term efforts are devoted to the following areas: (1) solving technology hurdles in glycomics research, i.e. glycan synthesis, sequencing, and analysis, (2) tackling the problems of infectious diseases, in particular, influenza, HCV, and drug resistant bacteria, such as MRSA and TB, (3) development of new probes for biomarker discovery in cancer and cancer stem cells and novel vaccine development, (4) identification of novel therapeutic components from natural products, (5) drug discovery using the ultra-HTS system, and (6) functional proteomics – study of structure, folding, function (in vitro and invivo), mechanisms, modifications (methylation, phosphorylation and glycosylation), interactions, and therapeutic application. In addition to pursuing new chemistry and technology discovery, the division is intended to translate important discoveries into disease diagnosis, vaccines, and drug developments.
Division Director :
Dr. Che Alex Ma
Members(ordered by English last names)
Dr. Yun-Ru Ruby Chen
Dr. Wei-Chieh Cheng
Dr. Shang-Cheng Hung
Dr. Li-Jung Juan
Dr. Tsung-Lin Li
Dr. Su-Chang Lin
Dr. Chi-Huey, Wong
Dr. Chi-Fon Chang
Dr. Ting-Jen R Cheng
Dr. Tsui-Ling Hsu
Dr. Chien-Tai Ren
Dr. Ying-Ta Wu
Dr. Wen-Bin Yang
Dr. Hui-Ming Yu