Ligand-nucleic acid interactions; Antiviral and antibacterial agents; Fluorescent nucleosides and nucleotides; Cellular delivery vehicles
Ph.D., , The Weizmann Institute of Science
B.Sc., , Tel Aviv University
, , Appointed to faculty, University of Chicago
, , Postdoctoral Research Fellow, California Institute of Technology
Awards and Academic Honors
Teddy Traylor Scholar in Organic Chemistry
Editor-in-Chief "Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry"
Hellman Faculty Fellowship
Outlined below are three major areas of current interest:
RNA-Small Molecule Interactions
Little is known about the interactions between small organic molecules and RNA biomolecules despite the central role RNA plays in numerous biological processes. The long term goal of our program is to understand RNA-ligand interactions and to develop small molecules that specifically interfere with the formation of essential RNARNA and RNAprotein complexes. This involves analyzing the structural and functional features of multiple families of RNA binding molecules by applying synthetic chemistry, biochemical assays, and biophysical tools. Revealing the "language" employed by proteins and small molecules to recognize RNA is applied for the design and synthesis of novel antibacterial and antiviral agents.
New Luminescent Molecules
We explore the fabrication of new emissive probes based on both organic and metal-containing chromophores. The ultimate goals of this program are: (a) to understand the relationship between structure and emission properties, (b) to develop fluorescent analogs of biologically important building blocks (e.g., nucleosides), and (c) to assemble biophysical assays for monitoring nucleic acid recognition.
Facilitating the uptake of molecules into living cells is of substantial interest for basic research and drug delivery applications. We explore delivery systems based on guanidinoglycosides, a family of synthetic transporters that can carry large, bioactive molecules across cell membranes. We investigate the mechanism of uptake and explore its potential for cell-selective drug delivery.
Primary Research Area
- Fluorescent HIV-1 Dimerization Initiation Site (DIS): Design, properties and use for ligand discovery.V. Tam, D. Kwong and Y. Tor, J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2007), 129, 3257-3266.
- Fluorescent Pyrimidine Ribonucleotide: Synthesis, Enzymatic Incorporation, and Utilization.S. G. Srivatsan, and Y. Tor, J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2007), 129, 2044-2053.
- Guanidinylated Neomycin Delivers Large, Bioactive Cargo into Cells through a Heparan Sulfate-dependent PathwayL. Elson-Schwab, O. B. Garner, M. Schuksz, B. E. Crawford, J. D. Esko and Y. Tor, J. Biol. Chem. (2007), 282, 13585-13591.
- Conformational Constraint as a Means for Understanding RNA-Aminoglycoside SpecificityK. F. Blount, F. Zhao, T. Hermann and Y. Tor, J. Am. Chem. Soc, (2005), 127, 9818-9829
- Simple Fluorescent Pyrimidine Analogs Detect the Presence of DNA Abasic Sites. N. Greco and Y. Tor, J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2005), 127, 10784-10785.