Mission statement: Our goal is to understand and be able to predict the physico-chemical mechanisms by which heparin and heparan sulfate
interact with proteins.
The ultimate goals are to achieve a molecular-level understanding of the role heparin and heparan sulfate play in metastasis and other diseases,
to help develop strategies that prevent these events, and to help develop better therapies.
We study computationally the binding of a particular class of small molecules, namely heparin, to various proteins.
Heparin and heparan sulphate are complex polysaccharides (sugars) ubiquitously found on all mammalian cell surfaces and within the extracellular matrix.
They are members of glycosaminoglycans which bind selectively to a variety of proteins and therefore play important roles
in many physiological and pathological processes including angiogenesis, anticoagulation, and metastasis.
We are studying the physical interactions between heparin and various proteins in order to understand at the
molecular level the biological processes that lead to diseases.
We have presented our work thus far at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans in March 2013
(Cynthia Lombardo won an ACS award for her presentation!), the Midwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society
in October 2013, as well as the locally organized Drury Science Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Presentations and Publications
- Validation of a computational methodology to identify the noncovalent binding site of heparin oligosaccharides to proteins, Deborah Peana, Cynthia B. Lombardo, Christos Deligkaris,
ACS 2013 Midwest Regional Meeting
- Binding of heparin oligosaccharides to proteins: Validating a computational methodology, Cynthia B. Lombardo, Christos Deligkaris, American Chemical Society National Meeting,
New Orleans, Spring 2013