Schultz and Liang represent Medicinal Chemistry at the 32nd Annual Research Showcase

Daniel Schultz, a second year Ph.D. student of Medicinal Chemistry, won the UF College of Pharmacy’s 32nd Annual Research Showcase Oral Competition in the Junior Division.

The showcase took place on February 11th, 2019 and the winners were announced the following day. Schultz presented the research title Structure-based Drug Design towards small molecule interleukin-6 inhibitors. “Interleukin-6 is a protein produced by many different cells in the body, and it is involved in many different diseases. My research was part of an iterative approach to design an inhibitor for the signaling involving this protein. Essentially, potential compounds were evaluated computationally and the best compounds were synthesized and tested with this process being repeated several times to maximize the efficacy of the designed inhibitors. My future work will be to design and synthesize the next generation of inhibitors to improve their efficacy.” – Schultz. After graduation, Schultz hopes to pursue a research and development career in industry; working towards the next new treatment or cure.Scultz and Liang

Xiao Liang, a fifth year PH.D. student of Medicinal Chemistry, was a finalist for the UF College of Pharmacy’s 32nd Annual Research Showcase Oral Competition in the Senior Division. Liang presented the research title Discovery of Amantamide: a New Selective CXCR7 Agonist from Marine Cyanobacteria. “CXCR7 plays an emerging role in several physiological processes. Amantamide, isolated from marine cyanobacteria, was synthesized and identified as a selective CXCR7 agonist. The selective activation of CXCR7 by amantamide could provide the basis for developing CXCR7 targeted therapeutics and deciphering the role of CXCR7 in different diseases” – Xiao Liang. After graduation, Liang plans to work as a postdoctoral fellow.


Schultz, pictured left, is mentored by Professor Chenlong Li, Ph.D., while Liang, pictured right, is mentored by Department Chair Hendrik Luesch, Ph.D.