Exploring New Avenues For Targeted Protein Degradation

Christopher Stevens, Predoc Trainee (Weiping Lab)

In recent years, researchers have been investigating a promising new approach to drug discovery that involves the careful destruction of these disease-causing proteins: targeted protein degradation, which engages the body’s natural mechanisms to break down unwanted proteins. It is one of the main research focuses of the Tang Research Group led by Professor Weiping Tang, Janis Apinis Professor in the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical Sciences Division, who recently developed a new method for targeted protein degradation that can access previously untargetable proteins outside and on the surface of liver cells.

It’s also the focus of Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate student Christopher Stevens, who researches in Tang’s lab.

“Targeted protein degradation has been around for a few decades, and the field has been progressing,” says Stevens. “It’s a really good combination therapy for cancer that you can use with a traditional inhibitor to have a higher efficacy overall, with hopefully fewer side effects to the patient.”

“The goal is that this could eventually be an earlier, therapeutic alternative to surgery.”
—Christopher Stevens

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