How to design drugs with a computer

Stefanie Kampen

My name is Stefanie and I finishing my PhD in computational chemistry at Uppsala University. In this field we apply computations to identify small molecules called ligands that interact with proteins in a certain way.

I work with a specific type of protein that is located in the cell membrane and can transduce signals into the cell when a ligand interacts with it. Therefore, these proteins are referred to as receptors. The signals will then initiate various processes in the cell, which may be linked to alleviating a disease. As these receptors are located in different tissues throughout the human body and hold this basic functionality, they are very popular drug targets. In fact, approximately one third of all drugs that have been approved by the American food and drug administration interact with these specific receptors.

My Soapbox Science talk

I want to explain the first steps in finding a drug against Parkinson’s disease, a common neurodegenerative disorder. I will explain why the current therapy is not working too well and how we can target receptors with computational methods to find more efficient therapy forms. I am looking forward to meeting you there!

Photo Stefanie Kampen
Last modified: 2022-05-24