Understanding biological interactions are key to the understanding of disease processes and the development of effective therapies. My work involves the development of new methods for examining drug interactions and the development of DNA nanotech-based tools for probing biological interactions.
Commonly, drug interaction are described as simply as possible, using ic50 values, which assumes a simple bimolecular binding isotherm. This simplified view of biological interactions has worked well in the development of drugs that are required to simply shut down processes in an on/off interaction framework. This sort of analysis works well for things like infections where the role of the drug is simply to stop the infectious agent but has had limited success in the development of drugs for targeting disease such as Alzheimer’s disease. Disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease are multifactorial and most likely result from imbalances in metabolic processes, systems that most likely cannot be simplified to simple on/off processes.
My work attempts to enable researchers to access more complex models of enzyme activity, to facilitate a more intuitive understanding of biological processes. The models I have developed are generally applicable to most systems and the simplest model is available for use in an excel template published open access with peerJ (Walsh 2018).
In addition to modeling enzymes, I work on the development of aptamer and self-assembling DNA systems for sensor, diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Currently, I am developing self-assembling interfaces for the controlled distribution and orientation of receptors for biosensor development. Additionally, I work on the development and characterization of artificial DNA receptors known as aptamers for sensing and therapeutic processes.
Contact Ryan at ryan dot walsh at-sign ronininstitute [dot] org