Cell and molecular biology

Knowledge of the intracellular distribution of drugs is in its infancy, but is likely to reveal new insights and understanding of drug actions and drug metabolism. Fundamental cell and molecular biological methods are used to investigate these processes at the molecular level. Transporter functions also have direct impact on health and disease.

D4 is investigating intracellular transporter and trafficking mechanisms—in particular how drugs, macromolecules and particulate systems interact with endogenous transport systems, and how these interactions can be harnessed to control biodistribution and delivery to specific tissues or intracellular locations. Our work investigates regulation of expression of blood brain barrier transporters and their influence on the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.

D4 is also exploring the pharmaceutical uses of models derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), which can be used as a source of a wide variety of cell types. The technology for induction of PSCs makes it possible to compare cells from patients who have specific diseases with those from unaffected subjects. D4 is investigating brain cells as models of neurodegenerative diseases, and as general models for pharmacology and drug discovery.

D4's cell and molecular biology programs focus on the following areas: