From drug design to target selection: developing new anti-cancer and CNS-targeting compounds


October 5, 2017    
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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Prof. Antti Poso, University of Eastern Finland, School of Pharmacy; Distinguished Guest Professor at the University of Tübingen in Germany

Host: Outi Salo-Ahen (outi.salo-ahen(at)

Prof. Antti Poso’s main research interest has been computer-aided drug design and early hit/lead identification and optimization. He did his post-doctoral research as a Humboldt-fellow in Düsseldorf with Prof. H.-D. Höltje (1997-1998) and after returning to Finland he started his own molecular modeling group. One of his first major research topics was to identify and optimize sirtuin inhibitors, especially against Sirt2. His group has also contributed substantially to the design of new compounds targeting different proteins of the endogenous cannabinoid system, such as CB1 and CB2 receptors as well as MAGL and FAAH enzymes. In recent years, his interest has shifted mainly to anti-cancer and anti-infective drug design, although he is also active in projects aiming to find new therapies to age-related macular degeneration. Besides his position at the University of Eastern Finland, he has also worked at FIMM (Helsinki) with Prof. Kallioniemi and since 2012 as a Guest Professor at the University of Tübingen (Germany) with professors Zender and Laufer.

About the seminar topic:

The seminar talk will discuss three separate projects in anti-cancer drug discovery. The introduction will give a brief overview of the methods used in Kuopio and Tübingen. The first case study is about a ribosomal drug targeting project and how early computational work is mandatory for a successful druggable target identification. The other two projects (targeting a kinase and DNA replication proteins) are both currently in the late lead-optimization phase.