Our interdisciplinary research program merges the fields of bioorganic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, and radiochemistry with peptide chemistry at its core. Our research projects focus on developing new and improved peptide therapeutics. We have two main approaches to reaching these goals:
1. utilizing three-dimensional peptide architecture and controlled intermolecular interactions to overcome in vivo peptide permeability issues
2. synthesizing difficult peptide-based cytotoxic natural products using streamlined solid phase peptide synthesis methods.
Cyclic peptide nanotubes (cPNTs) are an organic alternative to the carbon nanotube. They are composed of several medium-sized cyclic peptides that spontaneously stack in a "pancake-like" fashion into a nanotube architecture. This arrangement is entropically driven by several intermolecular hydrogen bonds. cPNTs have unique interactions with viral membranes by arranging vertically as artificial ion channels, or horizontally to disrupt membrane integrity and cause cell death. The Charron lab is focused on harnessing this cell membrane relationship for applications in drug delivery, and targeted cell death in mammalian diseased cells.
Azole Containing Marine Peptides
Azole containing natural products are a vast structural class of natural products containing a 5-membered heterocyclic ring. The electron rich nature of azoles results in a potent interaction with enzymes and receptors, and interesting cytotoxic properties. Azole containing peptides, isolated from marine sources, are often understudied due to challenging and low yielding synthesis pathways. The Charron group is focused on streamlining synthesis of azole containing peptides using solid phase peptide synthesis and exploring their potential as new peptide therapeutic agents.