Mining Small-Molecule Screens to Repurpose Drugs

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 10:12am


Tuesday, February 7, 2012
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Computer Science Conference Room, Harold Frank Hall Rm. 1132

HOST: Ambuj Singh

SPEAKER: S. Joshua Swamidass, M.D. Ph.D.
Washington University, School of Medicine in St. Louis

Title: Mining Small-Molecule Screens to Repurpose Drugs


Repurposing and repositioning drugs—discovering new uses for existing
and experimental medicines—is an attractive strategy for rescuing
stalled pharmaceutical projects, finding treatments for neglected
diseases, and reducing the time, cost and risk of drug development. As
this strategy emerged, academic researchers began performing
high-throughput screens (HTS) of small molecules—the type of
experiments once exclusively conducted in industry—and making the data
from these screens available to all. Several methods—many of which
will be reviewed in this presentation—can mine this data to inform
repurposing and repositioning efforts. It is hopeful that these
strategies will accelerate the discovery of new uses for known drugs.


Both a Physician and a Scientist, Dr. S. Joshua Swamidass MD PhD is a
professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis,
where he writes computer software that can help discover both new
medicines and new uses for known medicines. His collaborators include
Pfizer, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, and the Broad Institute of Harvard/MIT. Dr.
Swamidass is also an alumnus of the UC, Irvine, where he graduated with
a BS in BIology in 2000 and from medical and graduate school in 2009.