PhD, Brown University, Providence, RI
MS, Duke University, Durham, NC
AB, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA
Area(s) of Expertise
Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Technology
Prof. Pollastri’s primary research focus is on discovery of new therapeutics for neglected tropical diseases, using a “parachute” or “repurposing” approach. In this approach, he identifies parasitic targets of importance that have been previously biochemically validated, with a further focus on those targets with human homologs that have been pursued in human drug discovery. Prof. Pollastri’s lab then prepare known ligands previously reported against the human homolog for assessment against the parasite target, and then pursue an optimization program
from that starting point. His lab’s first project is focused on trypanosomal phosphodiesterases, enzymes that have ~30% homology to human PDE4 and 5. Other projects focus on trypansomal TOR, Aurora kinases, dihydrofolate reductase, and HDACs.
Prof. Pollastrli’s secondary area of focus is on chemical technologies. Projects in this category include diversification of lead compounds using reaction screening approaches, applications of flow chemistry, and Green Chemistry.
417 Egan Research Center
A bright future for infectious disease research
Every year, nearly a million people die from one of three infectious diseases that few of us have ever heard of.