Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) Project in its quest towards conquest of Tuberculosis, is launching a massive initiative to further the understanding of the biology of the causative organism, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The objective is to accelerate the discovery of novel drugs for TB, a disease neglected by Pharmaceutical enterprises.
Though Mtb was sequenced a decade back, the standard databases have not annotated in real biological processes, more than 1000 of the near 4000 genes encoded by the organism. This is symptomatic of the problem of neglected diseases of the poor.
OSDD is taking the challenge of discovering novel therapeutics for Tuberculosis. IN this edition of the Connect to Decode programme we plan to involve a large number of students, researchers and volunteers.
For students this would be their summer project, the successful completion of which would fetch them a certificate from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). All the projects are managed by experts in the field. For the faculty coordinators in each of the participating centers, it is an opportunity to interact with leading scientists working in this field.
The best coordinators, student contributors and the best college centers would receive awards.
Summary of Phase II Programmes
Cloning , Expression and Purification of Proteins
In this we plan to clone each of the 4000 odd genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis to create a genome-wide community repository of Mycobacterium tuberculosis ORF clones. We also plan to express a subset of potential drug targets and take it up for assays.
Chemistry and Chemical Synthesis of Small Molecules
This project aims to tap into the skills of chemistry students and chemistry researchers to develop novel methodologies for synthesis of molecules with desirable properties and do chemical synthesis of these. The molecules would be further used in for the ongoing antibacterial screens against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Cheminformatics and Chemical Data Mining
The project aims to identify , priorities and screen using computational tools small molecules with desired set of properties from large online digital repositories. In the first phase of the project data would be manually curated to create specific databases which would be then used to generate predictive models of molecular properties. These models would further be employed for screening databases.
Volunteer Compute Grid and Software for the Grid
Computation of molecular properties and Molecular analysis of potential drug targets in Mycobacterium tuberculosis requires an enormous amount of computational power. In this project we propose to establish a volunteer computational grid to perform computation. In addition, we plan to port a large number of chem-informatics analysis algorithms on the grid, in addition to tools and softwares for molecular analysis of potential drug targets.