Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer worldwide. One type of lung cancer, small cell lung cancer, is particularly devastating affecting 30,000-35,000 people in the U.S. each year. The recurrence rate among small cell lung cancer patients is extremely high resulting in a two-year survival rate post treatment. To combat this problem, the Bloom lab seeks to employ photoredox catalysis to prepare novel peptides and bio-derived therapeutics to treat small cell lung cancer. These therapeutic alternatives focus on targeting the chemo-resistant tumor cells found in small cell lung cancer, thereby preventing tumor regrowth and eradicating the cancer.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) affects over 35 million people worldwide. HIV-1, the primary form of HIV, accounts for 95% of all HIV cases. Accordingly, an enormous effort to understand and treat HIV-1 has been made in recent years. Work by several laboratories have revealed that the nucleocapsid protein, NCp7, plays a pivotal role in binding to viral RNA and inducing the formation of the viral capsid. The recognition between NCp7 and viral RNA can be blocked by specific amino acid sequences to inhibit capsid formation. The Bloom lab is interested in utilizing novel photochemical methods to develop improved therapeutics that interrupt the nucleocapsid-RNA interaction and reduce the infectivity of the virus