New Medical Countermeasures against Neurotoxicity Caused by Nerve Agents and Insecticides
The project is about the development of new antidotes against chemical weapons such as sarin, tabun and VX. We work with computational simulations, chemical synthesis and biochemical testing of the desired antidotal compounds.
Norman Hoster is a doctoral candidate at the Industrial Doctoral School at Umeå University.
Highly toxic nerve agents such as sarin, tabun and VX, commonly known as "nerve gases", are known for their use in chemical warfare, assassinations and terror attacks. They work by inhibiting an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (AChE), responsible for the clearance of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine within our synapses, thus leading to overstimulation and ultimately death.
With our expertise, we want to develop a new library of nerve-agent-AChE antidotes that have improved characteristics over existing molecules: they shall not only be faster in clearance of the nerve agent, but also access and effect the central nervous system which current antidotes are hitherto unable to do, as well as be more selective towards intoxicated enzymes to lower their toxicity compared to current drugs.
This work will employ modern technology within organic chemistry, computational chemistry and biochemistry in close collaboration with the Swedish Armed Forced Research Institution (FOI).