Dr. Ryan joined the City College Department of Chemistry faculty in 2003. He teaches at City College and at the CUNY Graduate Center in the fields of Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry.
Chemical Genetics and pre-mRNA Processing
During gene expression, the information stored in the DNA of the genome must first be transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA) before it can be translated into a functional protein. In eukaryotes, i.e. yeast and higher organisms, the mRNA is not merely a copy of the genomic DNA sequence. Rather, the primary transcript, or pre-mRNA, being a linear mosaic of coding and non-coding segments and much longer than the reading frame length of the gene being transcribed, must undergo extensive processing before being exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Pre-messenger RNA processing includes the splicing and cleavage/polyadenylation of the transcript to remove the non-coding segments and protect the 3’ end with the poly(A) tail... see more
Non-natural Isosteres of G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) Ligands
GPCRs, such as the OR-I7 olfactory receptor, specifically bind low-molecular weight compounds while carrying out their function as signal transduction membrane receptors. Because membrane proteins are difficult to crystallize, very little is known about the molecular recognition between the various GPCRs and their ligands. The OR-I7 receptor binds octanal during its function in olfaction, the sense of smell... see more
No one can argue that combinatorial chemistry and high-throughput screening haven’t revolutionized the way medicinal chemists generate and refine new compounds in their quest for new medicines. Nevertheless, for some medicinal chemists these methods are not as satisfying as rationally designing new compounds based on knowledge of first principles, such as the structure of a target receptor, or an enzyme’s impressive manipulation of organic chemistry. In this project our goal is to rationally design, synthesize and test new compounds that will selectively inhibit HIV reverse transcriptase, the cyclo-oxygenases (the pharmacological target of aspirin) and other enzymes of medicinal interest. [Project entails molecular modeling, organic synthesis, biochemical assays]
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