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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Maitra Research Group

students at the Anaheim ACS Meeting

Areas of Research

Our passion is Medicinal Chemistry – which is the chemistry of medicines.   Medicinal Chemistry is a very close relative of Synthetic Organic Chemistry as the latter helps synthesize or, build the drug candidates.  The Maitra group is currently enjoying a collaborative project to develop Inhibitors of a carier protein called, Apolipoprotein-E, in short ApoE.  ApoE has been implicated in aging, atheroschlerosis, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and a few other neurological and lipid-related disorders.  Certain apoE alleles are known to be “bad” apoEs and generally, high levels of plasma and brain apoE are known to be risk factors for AD irrespective of the genotype.  Thus, therapies that can reduce the apoE levels offer tremendous value to several medical areas including AD.  We have teamed up with Dr. Nilay Patel at CSU Fullerton to develop Small Organic Molecule apoE Inhibitors.  Initial research has identified a Pharmacophore, responsible for apoE inhibition and few potent Hits have arrived.  Interestingly, Structure-Activity-Relationship (SAR) studies have also led to the discovery of a few Inducers of apoE gene expression.  We are focusing our attention on gaining insight in the Pharmacophore structure as well as unraveling the Mechanism of Action (MOA).

A few brave souls in our research group have been busy synthesizing Isoprene nitrates and peroxides for an Environmental project with Dr. Alam Hasson.   The goal here is to understand the relatively complex Atmospheric Chemistry through kinetic and mechanistic studies of the chemical processes.

Apart from the two major projects described above, we also worked on the Conformational Analysis of DEET (a known pest repellant) analogs using modeling and NMR studies with Dr. Krish Krishnan.  Despite the primary incentive had been exclusively Chemical Education, the project has surprised us with some novel findings.

Selected Publications, Patents and Presentations

  1. Dhah, H.; Singh, M.; Oseni-Olalemi, H. S.; Welles, J. A.; Boyce, M. A.; Granata, R. T.;  Moghis, B.; Schott, J. T.; Wohlt, D. M.; Surman, A. M.; Stoddart, J. M.; Patel, A.; Maitra, S.  Synthesis, Characterization and Biological Screening of Apolipoprotein-E(apoE) Modulators based upon a Triaryl-substituted Pharmacophore.    241st American Chemical Society National Conference, Anaheim, CA, USA. March 27-31, 2011.
  2. Jackson, J. J.; Stephenson, M. P.; Thompson, W. B.; Cole, J. T. T.;  Sosa, A.; Addala, R. L.; Nana, L.; Vu, K. K.-T.; Marhenke, R. L.; Hasson, A. S.; Maitra, S.  Synthesis, Purification, and Characterization of Isoprene Nitrates for Gas Phase Atmospheric Chemistry Study.  241st American Chemical Society National Conference, Anaheim, CA, USA. March 27-31, 2011.
  3. Thompson, W. B.; Maitra, K.; Olmsted, M.; Krishnan, V. V.; Maitra, S.  Conformational Analysis of DEET Analogs Using VT-NMR, Modeling and X-Ray Crystallography.   241st American Chemical Society National Conference, Anaheim, CA, USA. March 27-31, 2011.
  4. Vamsee K. Chintakunta; Vasudev R. Bhonde; Devendar A.; Santanu Maitra; Mukkanti K.; Javed Iqbal “A cross metathesis strategy for the synthesis of highly conjugated cyanodienes: Synthesis of C3-C17 fragment of (-)-borrelidin” Tetrahedron Lett. 2008, 49, 2013-2017.
  5. Sang-Woo Kang, Chris M. Gothard, Santanu Maitra, Atia-Tul-Wahab, and James S. Nowick “A New Class of Macrocyclic Receptors from iota-Peptides” J. Am. Chem. Soc . 2007, 129, 1486-1487.
  6. “Protein b-Sheet Dimers and Related Methods for Controlling Protein Actions and Interactions”, EP 1210360   WO 0114412
  7. “Novel pyridine compounds, process for preparation and compositions containing them”, US 2006/0084644   WO 2006/034474
  8. “Novel bicyclic heterocyclic compounds, process for the preparation and compositions containing them”, WO 2006/073973

Current Funding

  1. RUI: Mechanistic and Kinetic Studies of the Atmospheric Chemistry of Isoprene and its First-Generation Products. (2010-13) Funded by: National Science Foundation ($251,000)  Role: Co-PI