Dr. Ryan Rafferty

Department: Chemistry
Departmental Website

Feature story in JCRC's 2017 Conquest magazine

The blood-brain barrier protects the brain from threats. Unfortunately, it is also an obstacle in treating brain cancers with anti-cancer agents. Investigations into chemophysical properties and means to traverse this barrier are underway. Once identified, these properties will be mapped onto known drugs in order to develop new brain tumor therapies.

Potentially fatal, off-target side effects of anticancer agents continue to be a major concern. While cancer cells use a majority of the same cellular processes as non-cancerous cells, the rate at which they employ them differs, to the point that they can be exploited to develop new drug delivery systems that have reduced side effects. Applying synthetic organic chemistry, our lab will endeavor to synthesize new natural products—complex, biological scaffolds—with potent cytotoxicity towards various cancers.