September 13, 2010
Health Sciences Campus, Kochi
Dr. C. Gopi Mohan, Assistant Professor and coordinator at the Centre for Pharmacoinformatics at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Punjab was recently invited to speak at Amrita’s Health Sciences campus.
Dr. Gopi’s talk was titled Novel and Selective Cholinesterase Inhibitors Identified by Bioassay and Sequential Virtual Screening for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Doctoral and postdoctoral scholars at the Department of Molecular Medicine attended the talk.
Dr. Gopi first spoke about the general outlook for molecular medicine, and then addressed treatment methods for Alzheimer’s disease.
“By 2020, the faculty of molecular medicine will ascend to a level where there will be discovery of more effective pharmaceuticals,” he stated. “Genetic testing and therapy will help in the understanding of life in a better way.”
The outlook and impact of pharmaceutical sciences in drug discovery were also discussed.
“The different steps in the drug discovery pipeline involve drug target discovery, drug discovery characterization, medicinal chemistry, preclinical studies and clinical studies,” he explained.
“Pharmacoinformatics is the proper integration of bio-chemo informatics towards drug discovery program,” Dr. Gopi emphasized.
“If you identify a particular protein or target causing the disease, you have to validate it. Biologists, medicinal chemists, pharmacologists, and clinicians play important roles in druggable target identification and validation.”
Moving on to Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Gopi explained that the disease was a common form of dementia. “It is a chronic irreversible neurodegenerative disorder with genetic and nongenetic causes,” he reminded the scholars.
“In Alzheimer’s disease, the nerve cells in the brain are filled with dense fibrils inside and amyloid cells outside.”
The disease is widespread. Dr. Gopi noted that about 3,50,000 new cases were discovered every year. “According to WHO, Alzheimer’s disease will affect nearly 34 million people by 2025,” he shared.
Dr. Gopi elaborated on the role of cholinesterase inhibitors such as Aricept and Galantamine that are used for the treatment of this disease.
“It was an informative talk,” stated a post-doc scholar from the Department of Molecular Medicine, who attended. “Also we had the opportunity to interact with an expert in this field from our country.”