Sharlow, Elizabeth R.
Associate Professor of Research, Pharmacology
- BA, Anthropology, History minor, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
- PhD, Genetics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Exploiting chemical biology approaches to understand signaling pathways that are critical for parasite, neuronal and tumor cell viability
The identification and validation of molecular targets are critical for discovering the intracellular signaling mechanisms that control cell and organism viability. These molecular targets form the foundation for the generation of new pharmacological agents.
My main research focus is on neglected diseases. In general, genome sequencing studies have greatly accelerated and supported small molecule, target-based approaches, although they have not provided significant insights into the molecular targets vital to parasitic growth, survival, invasion and life-cycle. Thus, to complement these genome sequencing efforts, I am using integrated high throughput screening methodologies with targeted and diversity-based compound libraries to identify novel and specific small molecule inhibitors of proteins and pathways that are critical to intraparasitic signaling.
Additional research efforts target the identification and development of specific and potent small molecule inhibitors for Protein kinase D (PKD), Polo-like Kinase 1 (PLK1) and Polo-kinase 2 (PLK2). Each of these proteins play critical roles in the signaling pathways of neuronal and tumor cell viability; however, functional studies have been hindered by the lack of specific, potent inhibitory compounds.