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Chemistry Department News

Dr. Owen McDougal and Graduate Students Published in Toxins

Matt Turner, Leanna Marquart, Paul Phillips, Owen McDougal

Biomolecular Sciences Ph.D. candidate Matt Turner, chemistry MS students Leanna Marquart and Paul Phillips, and Dr. Owen McDougal recently published a review article in the journal Toxins titled, “Mutagenesis of alpha-Conotoxins for Enhancing Activity and Selectivity for Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors.” Dr. McDougal has been researching conotoxin peptides for the past twenty five years. This article highlights advances in the field of conotoxin peptides that provide a molecular template, which can be manipulated for advanced therapeutic drug development to treat diseases involving neurotransmission like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Schizophrenia, chronic pain, and nicotine addition. Highlighted in this body of work is a computational approach to therapeutic drug optimization utilizing the DockoMatic software developed by Drs. Tim Andersen and Owen McDougal at Boise State University over the past ten years. The graduate students that worked on this project spent nearly three years compiling the data and organizing it in a coherent and compelling manner for publication. This body of work is representative of the quality of student participating in graduate programs at Boise State University that have benefited from support by COBRE and INBRE, and access to the BRC.

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