ABSTRACT: The standard care of cancer therapy is highly dependent on the cancer type, stage and patients themselves. Consequently, for most cancers there is only marginal improvements in patient survival rates. Undetected/unremoved cancer during surgery or resistance to treatments such as chemo and radiation therapy, are major causes for a poor prognosis. To tackle these issues, research in my lab focuses on i) development of small molecule fluorescent chemosensors as diagnostic tools that can be used to predict anticancer drug resistance for personalized medicine, and ii) development of cancer selective probes for photodynamic therapy that will enable simultaneous real-time fluorescence imaging and destruction of cancerous tissue with high selectivity over healthy tissue. In this presentation, I will discuss progress in developing small molecule activatable probes that exploit overexpressed levels of enzymes found in a variety of cancers for applications in cancer biology.
BIO: Andrew Beharry is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences. A Toronto native, he obtained his undergraduate degree from York University. In 2007, he joined Professor Andrew Woolley’s lab at the University of Toronto and obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry with a research focus on the development of azobenzene photoswitches for cellular applications. For his post doctoral work, Andrew joined Professor Eric Kool’s lab at Stanford University as a Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellow. There, he developed DNA-based fluorescent chemosensors for several clinically-important DNA repair enzymes. Currently his lab is focusing on developing chemical probes to solve problems in cancer biology.