Faculty

Dr. Jianfeng Cai

professor

cai

Contact

Office: NES 408B
Phone: 813/974-9506
Lab: NES 405, 407, 409
Email: jianfengcai@usf.edu 

Education

B.S., Nanjing University, 1997
M.S., Nanjing University, 2000
Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2006
Advisor: John-Stephen A. Taylor
Postdoctoral Associate, Yale University, 2007-2009
Advisor: Andrew D. Hamilton

Research

Bioorganic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Biophysics

The research in our laboratory is focused on the expansion of interdisciplinary research at the interface of chemistry and biology to discover novel peptidomimetics and other small molecules that modulate protein-protein interactions involved in critical cellular processes.Understanding how these compounds interact with proteins will help to reveal mechanisms governing cell activities.We are particularly interested in developing compounds that lead to the design of novel therapeutics potentially targeting cancer, HIV, and Alzheimer’s disease, etc.

1. Design of novel non-natural peptidomimetics mimicking bioactive peptides

The principal goal of this project is to design novel peptidomimetics termed "AApeptides" that mimic the distance relationships and relative positions of amino acid side chains along natural peptides.These AApeptides are designed based on chiral PNA backbones.Such peptide mimics may be used as a valuable tool to probe or modulate cellular processes such as protein-protein interactions and cell signaling.They also have great potential to identify novel drug candidates or lead compounds.The primary aim in this project is to expand upon this growing research area in chemical biology.