Steve Canham, Global Discovery Chemistry

Co-Mentor: Nathan Ross, PhD

Global Discovery Chemistry

Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Our general research interest is in building chemical and genetic tools to enable a biological pathway-based approach to gain mechanistic understanding of disease. While genetics has provided us the parts list for biology, additional approaches are needed to understand how these parts work together in healthy or diseased states. Chemical genetics allows us to fill in some of these knowledge gaps and help identify novel entry points for therapeutic intervention.

A current area of research focus is in the development of chemical and genetic tools in order to elucidate biological pathways of lysosomal storage disorders. Lysosomal storage diseases are a group of ~50 inherited metabolic disorders that result in from defects in lysosomal function. Most disorders are the consequence of a deficiency of a single enzyme required for the catabolism of lipids, glycoproteins, or mucopolysaccharides. Although most of the responsible genes and proteins associated with the different lysosomal storage disorders are known, the link from gene to the observed associated clinical pharmacology is limited. Projects of current interest in our group span a range of pathways relating to lysosomal storage diseases.

Selected Publications

Glycocalyx engineering reveals a Siglec-based mechanism for NK cell immunoevasion.
Hudak JE*; Canham SM*; Bertozzi CR.
Nature Chem. Biol. 2014 Jan; 10(1): 69-75. *Equal contribution

Divergent synthesis and chemical reactivity of bicyclic lactone fragments of complex rearranged spongian diterpenes
Schnermann MJ, Beaudry CM, Genung NE, Canham SM, Untiedt NL, Karanikolas BDW, Sütterlin C, Overman LE.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011 Nov 2; 133(43): 17494–17503.

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