Paul Seidler, PhD has joined USC Mann as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. His lab at USC will focus on CryoEM structure determination to discover how protein aggregates interact with drug-like molecules. He explains that the key to developing drugs for some of the most widespread neuropathologies is understanding the fine features of protein aggregates, and how they interact with therapeutic molecules—antibodies, small molecule natural products and peptides.
In addition, his lab will investigate protein structures that seal the blood-brain-barrier (BBB). The BBB hampers therapeutics that are vital for treatment of neurodegeneration from entering the brain; and yet BBB weakening is one of the earliest features of Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration. Structures of the BBB will open the door for development of therapeutics that regulate BBB permeability and correct dysfunction.
Prior to joining USC, Seidler was a Ruth Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA in the laboratory of Dr. David Eisenberg where his research focused on atomic-resolution structure determination of protein aggregates, and the development of structure-based inhibitors to block prion-like spread of protein aggregation in neurodegenerative disorders. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a BrightFocus Alzheimer’s disease research grant, a 2018 Turken Research Award for studies on Alzheimer’s disease, a 2019 award from the UCLA Department of Energy (DOE) for scientific productivity, and a Young Investigator Scholarship from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) in 2018 and 2019. In his time at UCLA, his postdoctoral work in the realm of Alzheimer’s drug discovery elicited eight publications and four United States provisional patent applications.