Classes, labs and research are most definitely back up and have been in full swing for a few weeks now! Right now, I am synthesizing the “core” of the molecule I am studying. What you see in that picture, although not too clearly, is me taking some water and adding it to the synthesized core (yellow, in my left hand). This last step is to help purify our product–I’m hoping that the water will help soak up some extra unwanted side products (salt). Then, I’ll filter off the water after a couple days and hopefully the majority of what is left is what I intended to make: the core of a molecule that has significant activity against tuberculosis!
This molecule we are working on is a drug target and is intended to one day land in the hands of those people in third world countries who are suffering immensely from drug resistant strains of tuberculosis. The collaboration that the Franciscan Institute for World Health has with AbbVie, a biopharmaceutical company, makes this incredible opportunity possible.
This is just the core, meaning I still have to add on a few things to it to get it to a point so it can be tested against tuberculosis. We’ll be looking to take the last steps soon and send these off for testing. This semester, I’ve taken on more of a teaching role and I’m helping some other less experienced undergraduates understand what is happening and how exactly we go about all this medicinal chemistry research. I’m really enjoying the leadership and mentor role in the lab. Everybody’s excited about the research, and we’re taking leaps forward in getting some great work done.