April 26, 2012
School of Pharmacy, Kochi
Dr. B. Ranganathan, Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Amrita School of Pharmacy won the best oral presentation award in the National Convention of the Association of Pharmacy Professionals.
The event was convened on April 7, 2012 in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
The Association of Pharmacy Professionals was formed in early 2011. An organization of academics, researchers, scientists, industry experts as well as students, it is now gaining attention from the pharmacy community in India.
The convention was attended by about 100 delegates from different parts of the country.
Dr. Ranganathan won the award for his presentation titled Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of some novel chalcone derivatives as anti – inflammatory agents.
The presentation centered on the subject of rational drug design.
“I put forth the idea that small changes in a simple molecular scaffold could lead to reasonable gains with regard to activity in the context of chalcones and inflammation,” Dr. Ranganathan explained.
Chalcones form the central core for a variety of important biological compounds. Dr. Ranganathan presented an in-silico strategy to design focused libraries of such molecules.
“A rationally designed 51-member library of chalcones consisting of members with varied electronic and steric properties together with markedly different polarities was trimmed down to a subset of ten compounds through a primary filter utilizing the docking program called Argus Lab,” he explained.
“This set of pre-screened ligands was subjected to a rigorous, computationally intensive suite of molecular modeling testing through the software AutoDock, which acted as a suitable secondary screen when compared with the corresponding data for clinically used anti-inflammatory drug Ibuprofen.”
“A final assessment of drug-likeness was also carried out to ascertain the suitability of the hits generated above for oral administration.”
Cautioning that computational technique will only provide probabilistic values, Dr. Ranganathan said that the results always have to be assimilated with an open-minded approach.
“If used judiciously at an early stage of drug discovery, such a strategy can be very beneficial with regard to economy of time, money and energy to be invested in subsequent medicinal chemistry efforts,” stated the scholar.