An International Team of SUSU Scientists Creates a Cure for Cancer

Within the framework of the 5-100 Project, South Ural State University invites young and promising researchers from different countries. The purpose of the program is to exchange experience between scientists, which allows the University to conduct relevant research in various fields. Scientists from India, Croatia, China, Tajikistan, and Tunisia are at present working at South Ural State University. As part of the work of the SUSU laboratory for computer modeling of medicines, an international team of postdocs is conducting research that will help develop new effective drugs against various fatal diseases, including cancer.

The research laboratory for computer modeling of medicines was established in SUSU School of Medical Biology in 2016 under the leadership of Vladimir Potemkin, a candidate of Chemical sciences. A team of researchers from Russia, India, and Croatia is developing methods to improve many antiviral, immunomodulatory, and anti-cancer medications, including life-saving ones.

"I graduated from the Department of chemistry at the University in Croatia and defended my thesis at the same university. At this moment I work as part of an international team of scientists who are seeking a method to predict the effects of experimental drugs, new molecules, without the need to synthesize them physically. I worked at the Faculty of Pharmacology and Chemistry in Zagreb, in the framework of cooperation with South Ural State University I came to Russia for 1 year. I enjoy working here. I am fond of rock climbing, and I sometimes devote my free time to it," — suggests senior researcher Rimac Hrvoje, a scientist from Croatia.

Currently, the essential work of scientists is aimed at developing software that allows determining the properties of substances and chemical compounds so accurately that you can definitely state how a particular drug will work in the body. Scientists maintain a database of substances based on their chemical composition and other properties.

Senior researcher of the laboratory Kandagalla Shivananda and his colleague Gurushankar Krishnamurti came from India. They work in the field of biotechnology.

"Each of us performs various tasks, but we are all working on the same project. We develop a unique software that will assist us in modeling medicines with distinct properties. We design a "library" in which we enter all the substances and chemical compounds used in the drug. Thanks to this, we can "assemble" the molecule of an alternative drug virtually. But that's not all. Employing this method, we can assess the potential risks from the use of drugs, their interaction with other chemical compounds even before the start of laboratory tests. This will produce a more effective cure for breast cancer, for example. It is not a secret that this type of cancer remains the most common in the world. Needless to say, there are surgical methods of treatment, but we can reduce their number in the future with the help of more effective medicines, this will be the result of our work," — hopes Kandagalla Shivananda.

India is a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry, so this cooperation is significant for the Research laboratory of computer modeling of medicines of South Ural State University. Developing vaccines, antitumor, and antiviral drugs represent a relevant area of biotechnology development, which can reduce the spread of fatal diseases, the risk of epidemics and pandemics around the world.
The recruitment of postdocs to the University takes place within the framework of the project of the current "Road map" M. 2.2.1. South Ural State University is actively developing the system of inviting young scientists, remain a platform for international events, competitions, and grants.

Elena Kiriakova, photo by Elena Potoroko
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