Wender portrait

Date: March 24, 2014
Time: 4 PM
Place: 125 Linfield Hall

Title: Translating Nature’s Molecular Library: Transformative Approaches to AIDS Eradication, Alzheimer’s Disease and Resistant Cancer

Sponsoring department: Chemistry & Biochemistry


Wender’s research involves studies in chemistry, biology, materials science, drug delivery and medicine. A special emphasis is placed on the design and synthesis of molecules, inspired by nature or de novo analysis, that exhibit unique or special function (e.g., catalysis, drug delivery, imaging, diagnostics, therapy). Representing 3.8 billion years of chemical experimentation, Nature’s vast and diverse library of compounds often provides the starting point for generating ideas to address unsolved problems of significance in many areas of science. In this talk, Wender will present research directed at unsolved problems in medicine, including approaches to the eradication of HIV/AIDS, and a first-in-class strategy to treat Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive dysfunction that is now connected to a recently opened clinical trial. He will also discuss advances in overcoming resistant cancer, the major cause of chemotherapy failure, and a small molecule approach to immunotherapy.  

About the speaker:

Wender is a global leader in the fields of molecular chemistry, designer molecules and sustainable chemistry. His pioneering research in synthesis—the physical and chemical manipulation of chemical reactions to create a new product—has led to the development of both new therapeutic agents and new methods for delivering drugs and probes into cells and tissues. Wender was integral to work on molecules used in the anti-cancer drug taxol, as well as phorbol, resiniferatoxin and other molecules involved in medical research.