Dr. Keykavous Parang is a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology at Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Rhode Island. Dr. Parang received his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Alberta in 1997, followed by a postdoctoral study in the fields of carbohydrate chemistry and solid-phase organic synthesis. He pursued additional postdoctoral studies at Rockefeller University and Johns Hopkins University in bioorganic chemistry. Dr. Parang joined the University of Rhode Island in October 2000 and is currently a Professor in Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Dr. Parang’s research can be appropriately described as “the application of synthetic organic chemistry to problems in biology”. Specific areas currently under investigation include (1) using peptides as cell-penetrating molecular transporters in drug delivery; (2) designing protein kinase inhibitors; (3) development of multifunctional anti-HIV, anticancer, and antibacterial agents; (4) synthesis and evaluation of modified nucleosides and nucleic acids; and (5) designing peptide nanomaterials for tissue engineering and nanomedicine. One recent area currently under investigation is to design peptide nanomaterials for applications in drug delivery and tissue engineering. The objective of this project is to design and evaluate peptide nanomaterials as cell-penetrating nuclear targeting agents, molecular transporters of bioactive cell-impermeable compounds, or self-assembled scaffolds for tissue engineering. This study will document the potential for new hybrid peptide-drug assemblies that may be used for the non-covalent or covalent targeted delivery of bioactive molecules including cell-impermeable compounds with biological significance.