Dr. Huang focuses on both understanding the chemical basis of molecular recognition in protein-protein and protein-ligand complexes.
Dr. Ziwei Huang received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at San Diego in 1993.
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Structure-based virtual screening of chemical libraries for drug discovery.
Ghosh S, Nie A, An J, Huang Z
Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2006 Jun;10(3):194-202
Distinct functional sites for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and stromal cell-derived factor 1alpha on CXCR4 transmembrane helical domains.
Tian S, Choi WT, Liu D, Pesavento J, Wang Y, An J, Sodroski JG, Huang Z
J Virol. 2005 Oct;79(20):12667-73
Synthesis and helical structure of lactam bridged BH3 peptides derived from pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins.
Yang B, Liu D, Huang Z
Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2004 Mar 22;14(6):1403-6
Critical upstream signals of cytochrome C release induced by a novel Bcl-2 inhibitor.
An J, Chen Y, Huang Z
J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 30;279(18):19133-40
Ziwei Huang's Research Focus
Dr. Huang’s research focuses on both understanding the chemical basis of molecular recognition in protein-protein and protein-ligand complexes and translating such basic knowledge into the discovery of new drugs. By integrating the tools of structure-based drug design, synthetic chemistry, biophysical and biochemical analysis, and molecular and cellular biology, my primary interest is to generate novel chemical modulators of protein biological function and use them as small molecular probes to explore the structure-function relationship and molecular mechanism of biological processes involved in immunology and cancer cell biology. The second goal of my research is to further develop these molecular probes into new therapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer. One example is our focus on Bcl-2. Bcl-2 family proteins are key regulators of apoptosis or programmed cell death which is implicated in many human diseases including cancer and neurodegenerative disorder. My lab has shown that synthetic cell permeable Bcl-2 binding peptides can induce apoptosis of tumor cells and suppress the growth of tumor in mice. In addition, my group discovered, using computer screening techniques, organic compounds that mimic the tumor-killing effect of Bcl-2 binding peptides. These findings have demonstrated a novel approach of using chemical modulation of Bcl-2 function as an anti-cancer strategy. Our laboratory is planning further studies to advance these Bcl-2 inhibitors to human clinical trials as a new class of anti-cancer drugs.
About Ziwei Huang
Dr. Ziwei Huang received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at San Diego in 1993, working with Dr. Murray Goodman on biologically active peptides and peptide mimics. From 1993-1995, he undertook a two-year postdoctoral research at the University of California at San Francisco, working with Drs. Stanley Prusiner (1997 Nobel Laureate in Medicine) and Fred Cohen on structure of Prion protein and mechanism of Mad Cow Disease. In 1995, he became an Assistant Professor at the Kimmel Cancer Center of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. In 2000, he joined the faculty of Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Biophysics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as an Associate Professor with tenure. In 2004, Dr. Huang was recruited to San Diego as a Full Professor at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and Adjunct Full Professor at School of Medicine of University of California at San Diego.