Dr. Larissa Podust

Structure-based drug discovery targeting pathogens with global health significance

Podust
Larissa Podust, Ph.D.

Professor
Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Email
lpodust@health.ucsd.edu
Phone
(858) 822-2548
Research Summary

Structure-based drug discovery targeting pathogens with global health significance: Chagas disease, tuberculosis, river blindness, COVID-19 others; oxidative reactions in antibiotic-producing bacterial systems.

Academic Achievements

Education: BS/MS 1982, Chemistry, Novosibirsk State University, Russia; Ph.D 1993, Bioorganic Chemistry, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Novosibirsk, Russia; Postdoctoral Fellow 1993-95, Enzymology of DNA Replication, University of Zurich-Irchel, Switzerland; Postdoctoral Fellow 1995-2000, Protein Crystallography, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. 

Awards and Honors: Dr. Philip J. Browning Memorial Award, 2004, Vanderbilt Meharry Center for AIDS Research; Target of the Year Award, 2009, UC Berkeley Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases. 

Leadership Experience: Core Director, 2010-present, Structural Biology & X-ray Crystallography, at Center for Discovery & Innovation in Parasitic Diseases UCSF/UCSD; NIH Principal Investigator, 2011-present; Associate Professor at Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2014-present, UCSD. 

Key Contributions
  • >100 crystal structures deposited in PDB from 15 organisms including human pathogens, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei, Entamoeba histolytica, Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Characterization of the P450 enzymes in the sterol degradation pathway of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Detailed catalytic mechanisms of certain microbial oxidative enzymes in natural product biosynthesis
  • Established a Chagas disease drug discovery program using novel methodologies & tools to achieve lead optimization, with ultimate goal of parasitological cure in humans.
Selected Publications

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Potential Collaborative Programs

Drug discovery for Neglected Tropical Diseases Science Exchange (collaborative international research group) https://www.scienceexchange.com/