March 19, 2024
3:00 pm – Refreshments
3:30 pm – Presentation

(1) Chang-Guo Zhan, Molecular Modelling and Biopharmaceutical Center, Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation, and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky

(2) Nicholas Teets, Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky

Davis Marksbury Building – James F. Hardymon Theatre
(Zoom link:

(1) State-of-the-art computational drug design, discovery, and development: Challenges and opportunities 

(2) Genomics and transcriptomics of extreme insects

(1) Discovery and development of a novel drug to meet an unmet medical need is generally an extremely long and very costly process. This process may be accelerated by performing state-of-the-art computational design in all phases of drug discovery and development. Computational drug design has been evolving from ligand-based drug design to structure-based drug design and further to mechanism-based drug design. All these computational drug design methods are further powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Overall, the accuracy and efficiency of state-of-the-art drug design rely on development of both computing power and computational algorithms. In this seminar, I will first briefly discuss the general strategies of high-performance supercomputing used in the state-of-the-art computational drug design, discovery, and development. I will also discuss the general trend of computational drug design and discovery through a specific example. Our computational drug design efforts, followed by extensive experimental tests, have resulted in exciting discovery and development of promising drug candidates, including multiple first-in-class drugs in clinical trials; one has received the Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA.

(2) Insects are the most diverse and abundant animals on the planet, but Antarctica is the exception to that rule. Only a handful of species can survive Antarctica’s harsh terrestrial environments, and these insects have unique adaptations for coping with extreme abiotic conditions and long winters. Our lab is interested in the physiological and molecular mechanisms by which these insects survive (and thrive) at the bottom of the earth. Antarctic insects are difficult to collect and currently unamenable to laboratory rearing, so genomics provides a powerful tool for identifying mechanisms that underpin adaptation to extreme environments. We use a combination of transcriptomics, whole genome sequencing, and population genomics to characterize the molecular and evolutionary genetic processes for surviving in Antarctica. As non-model insects, analyzing these datasets requires customized pipelines, and CCS resources have been instrumental in facilitating the analysis of large sequencing datasets.

(1) Chang-Guo Zhan – 20240319-Zhan-Seminar.pdf
(2) Nicholas Teets – 20240319-Teets-Seminar.pdf

Click here to see the complete list of speakers.