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Matthew David Disney

Professor
Department of Chemistry
Graduate Program Faculty Member, Kellogg School of Science and Engineering
Email: Disney@scripps.edu


Positions:

-Regional Editor for the Americas, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
-Scientific Advisory Board, The University at Albany The RNA Institute

Education:
Grade 1-8, Saint Ursula School, Baltimore, Maryland
Grade 9-12, Calvert Hall College, Towson, Maryland
B.S., Chemistry, The University of Maryland, College Park, 1997
M.S., Physical Chemistry, The University of Rochester, 1999
Ph.D., Chemistry, The University of Rochester, 2003
Post Doctoral Fellow: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ETH Zürich - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, 2002-2004

Awards and Honors:

-NIH Director’s Pionneer Award, 2016
-Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 2016
-Blavatnik Young Scientists Award Finalist, 2015
-David W. Robertson Award in Medicinal Chemistry.  Awarded by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Medicinal Chemistry for having a primary role in the discovery of a novel therapeutic agents, targets, theoretical concepts in medicinal chemistry or drug discovery, and making a significant scientific discovery that enhances the field of medicinal chemistry. 2014
-Excellence Award in the field of Research in Science and Technology.  India-US Chamber of Commerce, Inc., South Florida.  2013
-Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry.  Awarded by the American Chemical Society’s Biological Chemistry Division for outstanding research in biological chemistry of unusual merit and independence of thought and originality.  2013
-The American Chemical Society Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry David Y. Gin Award. 2011
-University at Buffalo, Exceptional Scholar – Young Investigator Award. June 2011
-Camille & Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. August 2010 - July 2015
-Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award. July 2008 – June 2011
-NYSTAR JD Watson Young Investigator Award. July 2007 – June 2009
-Camille & Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award. September 2005 – August 2010
-Second Year Roche Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zürich). June 2005 January 2005
-Roche Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zürich). June 2003 – May 2004
-Arnold Weissberger Memorial Fellow; University of Rochester. 2001 – 2002
-Elon Huntington Hooker Memorial Fellow; University of Rochester. 2000 – 2001
-Sherman-Clark Memorial Fellow; University of Rochester. 1997 – 1999
-Eric A. Batista Award; University of Maryland, College Park. Award for most outstanding undergraduate research. 1997
-Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellow; University of Maryland, College Park. 1995 – 1997

Current Group Members

Photo of Slava
Viachaslau (Slava) Bernat
Research Associate
Department of Chemistry
Education:

PhD in medicinal chemistry (2013), Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Dipl. with distinction in pharmaceutical chemistry (2009), Belarusian State University, Minsk, Belarus

Photo of Sai Velagapudi
Sai Velagapudi
Research Associate
Department of Chemistry
Education:

B.S., Pharmaceutical Sciences, Andhra University, India, 2006

Publications:

1. Inhibition of non-ATG translational events in a cell via covalent small molecules targeting RNA. Yang WY, Wilson HD, Velagapudi SP, Disney MD, Journal of American Chemical Society, March 31,2015, Just Accepted.
2.Small molecule chemical probes of microRNA function. Velagapudi SP, Vummidi BR, Disney MD, Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 2015, vol 24, pg 97-103
3.Sequence based design of bioactive small molecules that target precursor microRNAs.  Velagapudi SP, Gallo SM, Disney MD, Nature Chemical Biology, 2014, vol 10, pg 291-297
4.Two-dimensional combinatorial screening enables the bottom-up design of a microRNA-10b inhibitor.  Velagapudi SP, Disney MD, Chemical Communications, 2014, vol 50, pg 3027-3029
5.Defining RNA motif-aminoglycoside interactions via two-dimensional combinatorial screening and structure-activity relationships through sequencing.  Velagapudi SP, Disney MD, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 2013, vol 21, pg 6132-6138
6. Probing a 2-aminobenzimidazole library for binding to RNA internal loops via two-dimensional combinatorial screening.  Velagapudi SP, Pushechnikov A, Labuda LP, French JM and Disney MD, ACS Chemical Biology, 2012, vol 7, pg 1902-1909.
7. Defining the RNA internal loops preferred by benzimidazole derivatives via two-dimensional combinatorial screening and computational analysis.  Velagapudi SP, Seedhouse SJ and Disney MD, Journal of American Chemical Society, 2011, vol. 133, pg.10111-10118.
8. Structure-activity relationships through sequencing (StARTS) defines optimal and suboptimal RNA motif targets for small molecules.  Velagapudi SP, Seedhouse SJ and Disney MD, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2010, vol. 49, pg. 3816-3818.
9. Two-dimensional combinatorial screening identifies specific aminoglycoside-RNA internal loop partners.  Disney MD,  Labuda LP,  Paul DJ, Poplawski, Pushechnikov A, Tran T, Velagapudi SP, Wu M, Childs-Disney JL. Journal of American Chemical Society 2009, 57(4):1183-1187. 

Photo of Suzanne Rzuczek

Suzanne Rzuczek
Research Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education
PharmD., Rutgers University, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, New Brunswick, NJ, 2005
Ph.D., Medicinal Chemistry, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 2011

The Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation has offered Dr. Rzuczek a two-year postdoctoral fellowship to support her research project, "Rational Design of Potent Compounds Targeting RNA in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1."

Publications:

1. Rzuczek, S.G., Park, H.J., and Disney, M.D.  A toxic RNA catalyzes the in cellulo synthesis of its own inhibitor.  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 53(41), 10956-10959, 2014.
2. Tran, T., Childs-Disney, J.L., Guan, L., Liu, B., Rzuczek, S.G., and Disney, M.D. Targeting the r(CGG) repeats that cause FXTAS with modularly assembled small molecules and oligonucleotides, ACS Chem. Biol., 9(4), 904-912, 2014.
3. Rzuczek, S.G., Gao, Y., Tang, Z.Z., Thornton, C.A., Kodadek, T., and Disney, M.D.  Features of modularly assembled compounds that impart bioactivity against an RNA target, ACS Chem. Biol.,8(10), 2312-2321, 2013.
4. Childs-Disney, J. L., Hoskins, J., Rzuczek, S. G., Thornton, C. A., and Disney, M. D. Rationally designed small molecules targeting the RNA that causes myotonic dystrophy type 1 are potently bioactive, ACS Chem. Biol., 7(5), 856-862, 2012.

Photo of Wang-Yong Yang

Wang-Yong Yang
Research Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
B.S., Chemistry, Pusan National University, Korea, 1996
M.S., Organic Chemistry, Pusan National University, Korea, 1998
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Florida State University, FL, 2011

Dr. Yang has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from FRAXA Research Foundation for his research project, "Design of small molecules to target r(CGG) expansions as a therapeutic option for Fragile X Syndrome."

Publications:

1. Yang, W.-Y.; Wilson, H. D.; Velagapudi, S. P.; Disney, M. D. Covalent small molecule targeting of r(CGG)exp inhibits non-ATG-initiated translation in FXTAS. J. Am. Chem. Soc. In press.
2. Su, Z.; Zhang, Y.; Gendron, T. F.; Bauer, P. O.; Chew. J.; Yang, W.-Y.;, Fostvedt, E.; Jansen-West, K.; Belzil, V. V.; Desaro, P.; Johnston, A.; Overstreel, K.; Oh, S.-Y.; Todd, P. K.; Berry, J. D; Boeve, B. F.; Dickson, D.; Floeter, M. K.; Traynor, B. J.; Morelli, C.; Ratti, A.; Silani, V.; Rademkers, R.; Brown, R. H.; Rothstein, J. D.; Boylan, K. B.; Petrucelli, L.; Disney, M. D. Biomarker and lead small molecule discovery to target r(GGGGCC)-associated defects in c9FTD/ALS.  Neuron, 2014, 83, 1043.
3. Colak, D.; Zaninovic, N.; Cohen, M. S.; Rosenwaks, Z.; Yang, W.-Y.; Gerhardt, J.; Disney, M. D.;  Jaffrey, S. R. Promoter-bound trinucleotide repeat mRNA drives epigenetic silencing in Fragile X syndrome. Science, 2014, 343, 1002.
4. Disney, M. D.; Liu, B.; Yang, W.-Y.; Tran, T.; Sellier, C.; Childs-Disney, J. L.; Charlet-Berguerand, N. A Small Molecule that Targets r(CGG)exp and Improves Defects in Fragile X-Associated Tremor Ataxia Syndrome. ACS. Chem. Biol., 2012, 7, 1711.

Photo of Jessica Childs

Jessica Childs
Staff Scientist
Department of Chemistry

Email: JDisney@scripps.edu

 Education:

B.S., Chemistry, Messiah College, Grantham, PA, 1998
M.S., Chemistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 2000
Ph.D., Biophysical Chemistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 2003
Post-doctoral: Chemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland, 2003-2005

Photo of HaJeung Park
HaJeung Park
Staff Scientist, X-ray Core Director, TRI

Email: hajpark@scripps.edu 

Education:

D.V.M., Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Korea, 1996
Ph.D., Biochemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, 2002

Bala

Jonathan Chen
Research Associate
Department of Chemistry

 Education:

B.S. Optics (with distinction); Minor: Chemistry, University of Rochester
M.S. Chemistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Ph.D. Chemistry, May 2015, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

Yoshi
Yoshio Nakia
Professional Scientific Collaborator
Department of Chemistry

Education

B.S., Pharmaceutical Science, Hiroshima University, Japan, 2003
M.S., Medical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Japan, 2004
Ph.D., Medical Sciences, Hiroshima University, Japan, 2007

Alison Angelbello
Alicia Angelbello
Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

Education

B.S. Chemistry, Villanova University 2011-2015

 


Student
Matthew Costales
Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

Education

Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry with Honors, from the University of Maryland College Park in 2012


Hafeez

Hafeez Haniff
Graduate Student
Dept. of Chemistry

Education:

B.S. Chemistry University of Central Florida 2010 - 2014

Rea

Rea Guertler
Research Technician
Dept. of Chemistry

Education:

12/2013 - 01/2015 PhD student, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Switzerland
10/2011 - 01/2014 Master of Science in “Biochemistry and Molecular Biology”, University of Potsdam, Germany
10/2007 - 09/2011 Bachelor of Science in “Molecular Biotechnology”, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany

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