Pictured: Liza Shrestha

I received my PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology from Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) in 2013. My dissertation involved substrate-based synthesis of inhibitors of Isoprenylcysteine Carboxyl Methyltransferase (Icmt) to combat K-Ras mediated pancreatic cancer and several other neoplasias. During my graduate career, I successfully generated an extensive library of bioactive small molecules, which have strengthened the SAR of lead compounds and resulted in the discovery of low nanomolar inhibitors. These inhibitors have exhibited promising effects on pancreatic tumor cells.  As a part of my research, I have also synthesized effective benzophenone based photoaffinity probes for the identification of Icmt active site residues.

I recently joined the Chiosis research group for my postdoctoral training. My research in the Chiosis lab involves the development of small molecule anticancer therapeutics targeting heat shock protein, Hsp70 that have high potency profile and good PK/PD properties. As a research fellow, I will be involved in the lead optimization of Hsp70 inhibitors, determination and improvement of metabolic stability, and preclinical drug evaluation in mice. From my training in a multidisciplinary Chiosis lab, I expect to deepen my enthusiasm and expand my knowledge in medicinal chemistry and chemical biology.