Thomas Kodadek, Ph.D.

Project 5: Generation and Application of Peptoid Reagents for Studies in PAH

Dr. Kodadek's laboratory is involved in the development of new tools for diagnostic and therapeutic medicine. In addition, they are interested in the invention of new tools and methods to study complex cellular functions, such as transcription regulation. Over the last several years, the Kodadek laboratory has pioneered the development of new kinds of peptidomimetic libraries and methods to screen them. These efforts have resulted in a major advance in the ability to isolate highly specific protein-binding agents rapidly and cheaply. These reagents have been shown to function as interesting protein agonists and antagonists and can also be used as "antibody surrogates" for analytical purposes. They have also recently developed chemical "warheads" that can be appended to protein-binding compounds. When irradiated with visible light, these moieties generate bursts of singlet oxygen that selectively inactivate only nearby proteins with high efficiency. This allows modest potency antagonists or pure ligands to be "instantly" transformed into highly potent, photo-triggered protein knock-out agents.

Other efforts using variants of these combinatorial library screening methods provided a general approach to the isolation of molecules that bind specifically to autoantibodies or autoimmune T cells from crude blood samples that are tightly associated with a particular disease state. These methods have great potential for revolutionizing the diagnosis of immune-related diseases and perhaps their treatment as well. Dr. Kodadek was awarded one of the prestigious NIH Director's Pioneer Awards for this work.

Dr. Kodadek was the P.I. of the UT Southwestern NHLBI Proteomics Center in the original NHLBI contract period. His laboratory will move to the new Scripps Florida Research Institute in June, 2009. Because of the large overlap in interests and the high applicability of his laboratory's capabilities with the aims of the Stanford Center, he is the P.I. of one of the component projects, Project 5.