Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin-Madison

VIRTUAL: PharmSci Seminar/WARF Therapeutics Distinguished Lecture in Drug Discovery – Kevan M. Shokat




Pharmaceutical Sciences Seminar Series/WARF Therapeutics Distinguished Lecture in Drug Discovery

Kevan M. Shokat, PhD

  • Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF
  • Professor, Department of Chemistry, UC Berkeley
  • Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

New Strategies to Drug Challenging Targets by Exploiting Covalent Targeting, Beyond Rule of 5 Bitopic Ligands and Binary Pharmacology

The GTP-ase K-Ras represents the most frequently altered oncogene in cancer patients.  Directly targeting K-Ras is difficult due to its picomolar affinity for GTP/GDP and the absence of easily identifiable allosteric sites.

I will describe the discovery of small molecules that covalently bind to a common oncogenic mutant, K-RasG12C. These compounds have served as a blueprint for the development of multiple K-RasG12C drugs currently undergoing clinical investigation. 

Many drug discovery efforts are hampered by the size limit of cell permeable ligands.  I will discuss an unusually large (>1700Da) bitopic ligand termed Rapa-Link which inhibits all drug resistant forms of the nutrient sensor kinase, mTOR.  The particular physicochemical properties of this molecule can be exploited to overcome a common challenge in drug discovery termed on target/off tissue toxicity by leveraging a new binary pharmacology platform. 

Hosted by Professor Chuck Lauhon

To obtain the Webex link for this seminar, contact Debra King at 
Friday, April 23, 2021
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

This event is brought to you by: Pharmaceutical Sciences Division