Experimental Therapeutics Programme

Medicinal Chemistry Section

Head of Section:  Sonia Martínez

The Medicinal Chemistry Section is part of the Experimental Therapeutics Interdisciplinary Programme that is dedicated to early Drug Discovery activities in the oncology field. Our mission is to discover and to develop new anticancer agents based on novel hypotheses and targets generated by CNIO’s Basic Research Groups, and to do so in close collaboration with these groups. Medicinal chemists are responsible for the design, the preparation and the optimisation of compounds for biological evaluation, as well as for the generation of Structure Activity Relationships (SARs) and the development of novel lead compounds with in vivo activity in appropriate animal models.

Recently, and due to the increasing number of projects related to the cell phenotype, our Programme is entering the chemical biology field in order to contribute to the deciphering of the precise protein target or mechanisms of action responsible for the observed phenotypes. In this regard, we chemically modify the active molecules into affinity probes − compounds with appropriate linkers that form either reversible or irreversible complexes with their targets inside living cells and/or cell lysates − that enable us to directly identify the target/s by extracting them via pull-down experiments, followed by mass spectrometry resolution and cellular localisation experiments using imaging techniques.