the friedman lab:


@ the interface of chemistry & biology


    Macromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins are fascinating and truly central to modern biology. In our lab we have used chemistry to target therapeutically important nucleic acids, as found in the anti-cancer enzyme telomerase, and in HIV reverse transcriptase.  In addition, we have used chemistry to bring RNA interference under the control of light, to create the tool of Light Activated RNA Interference.  This technique allows for the modulation the spacing, timing and amount of any gene’s expression with light. 

In the process of pursuing this latter project we have gained skill in modifying important macromolecules with light cleavable groups.  This has lead to our development of the idea of the Photoactivated Depot of insulin, an approach in which light can be used to release insulin within the body.  This eliminates the need for most injections, and has the potential to result in very tight control of blood sugar, as insulin release can be modulated minute by minute with pulses of light.

In all of these projects, we use the tools of chemistry to modulate the properties of biomedically important macromolecules.  Macromolecules, whether nucleic acids or proteins, are still molecules and are therefore amenable to the tools of the chemist.  The philosophy that underlies the work of the lab is that chemistry has a unique and powerful contribution to make to the world of macromolecules, and therefore to biomedical research. 


Located in the Division of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical  Sciences at the UMKC School of Pharmacy


What we do and why we do it.

2020 NIH RO1 Grant Awarded for Project: 
 “Continuously Variable Protein Delivery Using a Photoactivated Depot”
Called “Very Innovative and Elegant”Friedman_Lab_Insulin_Project.html
Breaking News:
Student Swetha Chintala  paper on fibril resistant, light activated Glucagon  published in ACS Biomaterials April 2021
Student Mayank Sharma paper on   challenges of light activated drug activity published in ChemPhotoChe March 2021
Click for further information and news.The_News.html

Article on Light Control of Drug Activity

Featured on Upcoming Cover of ChemPhotoChem 2021

Selected as Very Important Paper